Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas That Will Take 10 Minutes or Less

updated Oct 24, 2022
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(Image credit: Shannon Wolf Photography)

When you’re elbow deep in mashed sweet potatoes and poultry cavities, the last thing you have time to do is come up with elaborate and festive fall decorations. After all, everyone is on to Christmas the very next day (or later that night), so putting a ton of effort into styling your home for Turkey Day can feel like a waste of time. That said, we still love to spruce things up a bit and set a mean seasonal table.

Here, you’ll find 12 brilliant ways to decorate for Thanksgiving this year that take just 10 minutes or less to save you the holiday hassle while still looking stylish and festive. 

1. Transform a pumpkin into a menu.

While we may not have the fairy godmother power to transform a pumpkin into a magical carriage, we can certainly turn it into a festive menu. This “menu pumpkin” by The Merrythought can be made with your killer calligraphy skills or your handy dandy Cricut for a beautiful addition to your holiday table.

2. Invest in festive candelablras.

Ace the ambiance game with some fall-inspired candelabras and maybe, just maybe, your family will be cozy enough to avoid the political talk this year. We love this look by @melissa.kristyne to help set the mood. 

3. Embrace all the fall foliage outside your door.

Thanksgiving decorations aren’t just for the entryway or kitchen. We love how Cathy and Garrett of @thegritandpolish brightened up their bathroom with a bit of faux foliage, but you can also use real leaves to fill glass bowls and vases throughout the home. 

4. Tie in cool colors for a memorable tablescape.

While cool-toned blues, purples, and greens aren’t exactly in the traditional Thanksgiving color wheel, bringing in these unexpected hues are a fun way to jazz up a holiday tablescape. Here, Sarabeth of The February Fox ties in dark shades of blue with her table linens that really make this holiday table sing while still feeling plenty festive.

5. Create a cozy farmhouse vibe.

Neutral colors and natural textures are always a big win at Thanksgiving. We love this minimalistic yet beautiful tablescape created by @_cafeathome that feels both elegant and relaxed. Plus, you can mix and match these pieces for just about any other occasion!

6. Design a snack board centerpiece.

Forget the fuss of fancy table decor and set up a snack board centerpiece like @fashionablehostess to keep entertaining easy and guests happy. Turkey taking longer than expected? Now your grumpy uncle and little cousins will have plenty to munch on while the table waits for the main course to arrive. 

(Image credit: Maison de Pax)

7. Lean into what’s in-season.

Maison de Pax shows you how elegant (and seasonal) a table can look without much fuss. Here, the brand used a single vase with some fall foliage and a cake plate stacked with pumpkins on top of a runner for an edited yet chic look.

(Image credit: Wedding Sparrow)

8. Opt for organic beauty.

Technically, this tablescape found via Wedding Sparrow is a setting from a wedding, but it would be just as lovely for a non-traditional Thanksgiving table. Just grab yourself a battery powered set of twinkle lights and some bouquet filler, and you’re all set.

(Image credit: Julie Blanner)

9.  Swap in apples for pumpkins.

This image and the next, from Julie Blanner, show how beautiful a table can look with some seeded eucalyptus strewn about. Here, she mixed in low pillar candles and apples.

(Image credit: Julie Blanner)

10. Keep things minimalist with white pumpkins and fresh greenery.

Simple silver dollar eucalyptus springs and mini white pumpkins shine at this table. Plus, your fresh greenery will bring a soothing aroma to the family table that will (hopefully) keep everyone at ease.

(Image credit: Finding Home)

11.  Tie in your favorite culinary herbs.

Pick up a few packs of rosemary and twine on your next Turkey Day grocery run (there are bound to be several) to create a super simple place setting. Finding Home went a step further by adding dried lavender and a feather, but you might need to add a few more minutes to the time table if you want to create the same look.

(Image credit: Edna Valley Vineyard)

12. Create pinecone place cards.

Edna Valley Vineyard has the perfect use for those pesky pinecones that keep falling in the yard. Simply take as many as the number of guests coming over, insert a handwritten name tag and voila, you have yourself a festive Thanksgiving setting.