How to Decorate for Thanksgiving: The Basics

Exterior Thanksgiving décor featuring fall garland, pumpkins, bales of hay and pumpkins
Give your home some serious Thanksgiving curb appeal. (DepositPhotos)

Planning to host Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends? Make sure your home is filled with decorations to celebrate the season.

Need help? Here are some ideas!


Thanksgiving décor on a mantel featuring pumpkins, candles and a wreath
Use seasonally appropriate colors. (DepositPhotos)

1. Use Harvest Colors

Make sure all your decorations match a harvest color palette. From the tableware and place settings to throw pillows in the living room, natural, earthy hues like orange, brown, yellow, green and tan are all reminders of this time of year.

Nature also plays a big role in Thanksgiving décor, so make sure your home features autumn fixtures like pumpkins, turkeys, wreaths and a cornucopia of fall fruits.

Stick to harvest tones as you strategically place these items and your home will look warm and seasonally appropriate.

Further Reading: How to Host Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving Potlucks


Thanksgiving wreath on a front door
Nothing gives guests a warm greeting like a fall wreath. (DepositPhotos)

2. Add Curb Appeal

We make sure our homes give the right first impression year-round, and it’s important to keep curb appeal in mind for seasonal décor as well.

So, put your family and friends in the holiday spirit as soon as they approach your front door with a do-it-yourself metal wreath. All you need is some aluminum flashing, metal snips, acrylic craft paint, and 20-gauge wire to make a unique display!

If you want to make a traditional wreath, just buy a wreath form from a craft store and load it up with pine straw, autumn leaves and burlap.

Then set some pumpkins on the front porch, along with strategically positioned cinnamon brooms, and your guests will be able to see and smell the season before they even enter your home!

Don’t let your entry have all the fun — you also can decorate the garage door. Hang autumn garland to border the door; buy magnetic strips and paste leaves on them; or hang a large fall wreath at the center of the garage door.

Just make sure form follows function — whether you use stick-on Thanksgiving decorations, magnets or wreaths, none of these things should interfere with the garage door opener.

Further Learning: How to Make a Wood Pallet Turkey


Exterior Thanksgiving décor featuring pumpkins, corn on the cob and string lights
Hanging string lights outside for a festive ambiance. (DepositPhotos)

3. Let There Be Light

If you are planning a backyard dinner party, consider stringing lights through your trees and above the table for a whimsical atmosphere. White, yellow and red lights are perfect for Thanksgiving; greens and blues can be left in storage for Christmas.

Other unique lighting ideas for this time of year include setting up pumpkin and turkey decorations along with tea lights (battery operated for safety, or fire-lit if you’re careful) to make your front or back yard even more festive.

Lights can provide a bridge between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so don’t hesitate to blur the holidays to make these celebrations last a little longer!

Watch and Learn: How to Transform Your Plain Folding Table to Rustic Chic

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger based in Los Lunas, New Mexico. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.          

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1 COMMENT

  1. Nice post! Updating your entry way and front door is the easiest and most impactful tip for decorating or changing the appearance of your house.

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