Thanksgiving Centerpieces: 21 Ideas Using Household and Garden Items

In just a few weeks, family and friends will be gathering round the Thanksgiving table! Aside from a lovingly prepared meal, you want to have an eye-catching centerpiece for such a beloved occasion. But not everyone has the time, means or creativity for those fancy arrangements we see in stores and online. Take heart! We searched the web for DIY projects that transform recycled household items and natural materials into fall-inspired creations that would make amazing Thanksgiving centerpieces. Choose from these 21 ideas we found—from super-easy to a bit more crafty. All doable…by you!

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas: Paper Projects and Recycled Items

Prepare to be amazed by how ordinary household materials and discarded items can be the base of these creations you’d be proud to display on Thanksgiving.

Upcycled Thankgiving Decorations That are DIY

1 – 4×4 Wood pumpkins
Some wood-cutting skills are needed to start off this project from Our House Now a Home. But if you can mask off with stickers and brush on paint, the rest of the steps are a breeze!

2 – Coffee can flower vase
An empty coffee can, a coat of paint, some raffia twine, stick-on letters, and a bunch of fall flowers. Done! Thanks, Ribbons and Glue.

3 – Baby food and sauce jars as fall vignette containers Just fill with acorns, pine cones, nuts, autumn leaves, twigs and wheat stalks, then group artfully as shown on Know How She Does It.

4 – DIY book pumpkin Check out how H2O Bungalow crafted this clever piece from a discarded book. Easy enough to do as a make-ahead activity with the kids.

5 – Lunch bag pumpkins That’s right, these crafty pumpkins are made from brown paper bags! Just follow the how-to steps from Vintage Paint and More, then display them alongside colorful fall flowers.

6 – DIY twine pears Guess what’s inside these rustic-style pears: old light bulbs! Simply wrap them with twine, as shown on My Love of Style. Then, arrange 4 or 5 in a bowl for a charming centerpiece.

7 – “Thankful Feathers” centerpiece How cute is this turkey project featured on BHG, with a pine-cone body and paper cutout head and tail feathers—perfect for family members to write their thankful thoughts on.

8 – Burlap & ruffles topiaries Fabric scraps in fall colors, plus strips of burlap make these delightful topiaries just waiting to grace your tabletop. Minimal sewing (mostly gluing) is all you need in this how-to from Crafts n’ Coffee.

9 – Wine bottle candleholders in wooden box A charming rustic-style presentation for candleholders made from cut-off wine bottles (tutorials to do this can be found online), found via Love It So Much.

10 – Recycled book pop-up turkey See the folding technique called “smocking” and the paper-cone tail that go into creating this incredible 3D turkey from Reading With Scissors.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas: Decorating Materials from Nature

Start looking around your backyard or on walks through the woods. The materials for your Thanksgiving centerpiece may be waiting there, ready to be transformed!

Natural Thankgiving Decorations That are DIY

1 – Cinnamon pinecones on a pretty stand
Make your own fall-scented pinecones with essential oils, as instructed on Treasure in an Earthen Vessel and you can have a centerpiece as fragrant as it is pretty!

2 – Acorn-filled candle holder Got any tall glass container? Pour in some acorns or other fall “finds,” stick in taper candles, then trim with twine and autumn leaves—as shown on Make and Takes.

3 – Corn-wrapped candle holder With Indian corn being naturally striking, just tie several cobs and corn husks around a glass cylinder or hurricane lamp—and you have an eye-catching centerpiece like this one from Fab Housewife.

4 – Burlap sack flower holder Have some mini burlap sacks lying around? Use them to bring instant autumn charm to any vase, bottle or pot of flowers. Lovely inspiration from Craftberry Bush.

5 – Autumn leaves in glass containers
Even just a handful of leaves can make an impact, as shown via Midwest Living. Stand them up singly in slender vases and vials, and let their shapes and colors do the rest!

6 – Fall fruit garland Take your cue from Julie Blanner to recreate this darling table runner of fresh apples, candles and sprigs of seeded eucalyptus. Such a heartwarming harvest look!

7 – Wheat bundle centerpiece The secret behind the wheat bundle in this fall vignette from Creative Ramblings is a tin can, cleverly hidden behind a strip of printed burlap ribbon. Arrange with autumn trimmings on a tray, and you’re done!

8 – Doily pumpkin Doll up any size of pumpkins with glued-on crocheted doilies, as Allyson Baker Design did. So simple and sweet! (Plus the glue is liquid starch, so you can wash and re-use the doilies afterwards.)

9 – Easy fall candle centerpiece Cinnamon sticks, twigs, burlap strips, berries, autumn leaves. That’s all you need to create this appealing candle-holder trio we discovered at Albion Gould.

10 – Gilded dried leaves in jars
Fallen leaves get instantly glammed up for this mod-looking centerpiece from Happy Hands Project. Amazing what gold spray paint can do!

11 – Autumn flowers in orange cups
“Orange” as in the fruit, that is! Get the look of mini pumpkins using Valencia oranges, hollowed out to hold bright fall blooms. Fresh idea from Daily Squeeze!


With a centerpiece as easy yet lovely as these, you can now focus on preparing a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast! Need some menu ideas and recipes? Check here, here and here.

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