Thanksgiving Decorating Tips

Follow these 4 timely decorating tips to prepare your house for a festive and cozy Thanksgiving holiday.

As the gateway to the holiday season, Thanksgiving has a lot going on. It’s not just one meal, on a single day. For some, it’s a week-long experience of family gatherings, tons of food, football, shopping, and leftovers. Even if you’re considering selling your home in the winter, you can still make time to celebrate.

As the leaves turn and fall really gets underway, Thanksgiving is a great time to begin decorating your home. From the inside out, there are plenty of places where a little holiday decor can enhance the season and welcome in this wonderful time of year.

1. Work with tradition

While there are many traditions associated with Thanksgiving, CountryLiving encourages you to keep your imagination working. Take things in a more rustic direction, or create a unique fall scene that does more than just honor turkey and stuffing. Some of their suggestions include:

  • Turkey shaped vases
  • Pine cone wreaths
  • Painted pumpkins
  • Walnut garlands
  • Artistic pieces that remind you to “give thanks”

You can also create a Thanksgiving-worthy theme from colors or simple fall items. Combine pumpkins, pinecones, and acorns into DIY decor. Throw in a few apples, and you’ve got fall colors everywhere. Even the flowers you pick can stay within the orange, yellow, and red family to instill a sense of the holidays. It’s easy to create a Thanksgiving home, throughout your house with the right supplies.

2. Don’t neglect the outdoors

Your front porch is a great place to set the scene for your Thanksgiving celebration. Don’t save all the decorating ideas for the inside. A well-placed wreath or clever array of fall flowers and gourds can create an inviting entrance for the holiday season.


These days, you see wreaths for almost every holiday and season. Thanksgiving is no different. Rely on fall for your inspiration. This can come from the colors you select as well as the materials you use. You can create your own wreath or buy one already finished. Either way, popular items for your door decor include wreaths featuring:

  • Pinecones
  • Autumn leaves
  • Tiny pumpkins
  • Red berries
  • Olive branches
  • Corn husks
  • Small apples

The great thing about all these materials is that faux looks as good as real. Spend the time making one wreath this year, with fake apples or greenery, and reuse it for years to come. You just need a hot glue gun to bring it all together.

Pumpkins and flowers

Extra pumpkins that didn’t fall victim to the carving knife for Halloween can make perfect outdoor decorations for Thanksgiving as well. Consider mixing up your color palette by using more than just orange pumpkins. You can paint them different colors or seek out the unusual, often leftover, options from your favorite pumpkin patch.

Mix in some potted flowers on your front steps to enhance your decor even more. Ideal fall flowers include:

  • Mums
  • Sunflowers
  • Dianthus
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Pansies

Pot them in metal containers to keep up with a rustic theme, or take things a step further and convert your pumpkins into temporary, outdoor vases. You can even add in a small bale of hay to your outdoor design to add a little something extra this Thanksgiving.

3. Transform your interior

Turning your attention to the inside of your home, it’s surprising how many spaces are perfect for adding a decorative touch. From candles to throw pillows, themed rugs and cozy couch blankets, it’s easy to fill your house with Thanksgiving.

Consider swapping out everyday items with those in fall colors. Maybe your go-to throw or blanket on the couch is blue. Finding one in orange and red plaid screams Thanksgiving while still keeping you warm.

Take your regular rug in the entryway and air it out by replacing it with one decorated with turkeys or fall leaves.

Fill your candle holders with orange votives and light up jar candles with all the right fall scents. Popular choices are always pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and pine or spruce.

You can even incorporate more pumpkins by placing appropriately sized gourds on shelves and the fireplace mantle.

The Thanksgiving message

Another way to infuse your home with the holiday spirit is by focusing on the message. Beyond the turkey and stuffing, and all the fall colors, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Many families incorporate traditions, during their holiday gathering, that allows everyone to share something they’re thankful for. Whether it’s going around the dinner table, or writing a note to put on display, you can take this sentiment and incorporate it into your decorations.

Look for a sign you can hang in your home that reminds people what this holiday means to you. That it’s about giving thanks or feeling thankful. If you’re struggling to find just the right message pre-made, consider buying a small chalkboard and creating a temporary masterpiece yourself. You can then change it up each year.

Hanging these artistic pieces around your home, just for the holiday, can enable you to get every room of the house in on the celebration.

4. Perfect the holiday table

Perhaps the biggest component to your Thanksgiving decoration is the holiday table. If you’re hosting the big meal, this is your statement piece. From the place cards to the centerpiece to the place settings, so many elements come together to create the perfect Thanksgiving Day space.

Take color in a different direction

One way to make your holiday table stand out is to swap the fall color palette for something a little different. Still using pumpkins and fall foliage, opt for a chic blue and white combo or a minimalist black, silver, and white design.

Flip the switch in the opposite direction and incorporate a statement color that beautifully contrasts with the more traditional oranges and reds. Aqua is a great choice, but you can also ramp up the greens.

Pumpkins are a great way to infuse color throughout your table since they’re easily painted any hue you want. Smaller ones work perfect as part of a creative place setting, while larger ones can enliven a centerpiece.

Go for one unconventional piece

Keeping your table traditional is totally fine, but you can make it a more memorable meal by adding just one unique piece into your decoration. You may find a standout napkin ring to use at each place. It may serve as your pop of unique color, or may just catch the eye because it has nothing to do with fall.

Opting for a different kind of placemat can also stimulate the “oohs and ahhs.” Create a rustic look with wooden platters under each plate or get a woven or cork placemat that only comes out once a year.

Make a statement with place cards

We all look to the centerpiece of the table each Thanksgiving for the big statement, but it’s okay to draw focus somewhere else. You can get creative with your place cards and create something totally new.

Work the names of your guests into tiny floral bouquets for a place card that not only tells people where to sit, but smells good too. Put names on small pumpkins to sit on top of each plate. Personalize an “I am thankful for” place card that guests later fill out at the table.

Pinecones also make natural place card holders as well if you want to use those at your table. You can spray paint them for a little extra color as well.

There are so many options when it comes to how you customize your table that it’s easy to use your place cards as a way to make Thanksgiving pop.

Having a happy Thanksgiving

The most important thing to remember as Thanksgiving rolls around is that decorating your home should be a fun experience. It should feel like a break from your daily to-do’s, especially if you’re considering selling your home. Whether you go big, or keep it simple, warming up your home for the holidays means adding the decorative touches that mean something to you. Happy Thanksgiving.

Ready to Get Started?

Sell as-is. Pay zero fees to Sundae. Move on your time. No repairs, cleanings, or showings.

Get started

Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.