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DIY Backyard Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Tablescapes

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Having a Thanksgiving table with a “WOW” factor can be as simple as walking into your own backyard.

The great thing about the Magnolia State is everything from fruit to flowers is still in bloom this time of year. Even if the weather in your area has been a little cold and a tad bit rainy, you can still find flowers, fruit, and pinecones outside that are just fine.

Even if you feel like Thanksgiving is slightly rushed this year and that jolly-ole-fat-guy is itching to load his sleigh, you still have time to create a few easy do-it-yourself Thanksgiving decorations that will have your guests asking, “Where did you get that table centerpiece?” or declaring, “Oh my, that tablescape is stunning!” All without busting your budget or taking up too much of your time.

So whether you prefer a grand, simple, high-style, or kid-friendly Thanksgiving table setting, we’ve rounded up some of the most creative backyard centerpiece ideas that’ll surely fit in with any of your dining room decorations for the season.

Fruit & Branches

Effortlessly design a tablescape using apples, clementines, lemons or apricots with branches, pinecones, and foliage from the backyard. Surround the mix with taper candles to make the centerpiece stand out.

Foraged Flower Bouquet 

Forage leaves with fruit or flower blooms from your backyard and group them together with dried grass and pink florals. This leads to a bright, playful and stunning floral centerpiece.

Thankful Tree

Let’s not forget about the true meaning of Thanksgiving, being grateful. This is a project your kids can join in on. Make a thankful tree using backyard limbs and branches complete with blooms, berries, and flowers. Let the children cut leaves from scrapbook paper and write grateful messages to your guests. Staple the paper leaves to the branches and place them in a vase full of small pinecones for a colorful, rustic centerpiece.

Pumpkin Menu 

Whether it’s from your garden or left over from Halloween, make your own pumpkin menu for the table. You just need a pumpkin, paint and a paintbrush. Write out the food you’ll serve for the gathering on the pumpkin before surrounding it with smaller pumpkins, acorns, pinecones, and candles.

Bowl of Thanks

Start off the celebration by asking family members to write down what they’re grateful for on leaves gathered from your yard. Once everyone’s finished, stick them inside a bowl of fruit such as apples, pears, and oranges or pinecones and leaves to remind your dinner guests what they cherish most this holiday season.

Minimalist Centerpiece 

Silver dollar eucalyptus and scented white candles give off a refined look. Plus, you can re-use them together or separately at Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or just anytime.

Just Have Fun

So regardless if you have a full house or just a few friends, the upside to Thanksgiving in Mississippi is you can always take the party outside for a little backyard entertaining and a naturalistic tablescape.


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


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