Autumn Brights, Sweets + Spice : How to Set A Modern Thanksgiving Table

The holiday season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is quickly closing in! Do you know how you’re decorating your table for the big event? So many beautiful tablescapes have popped up on the blogosphere this week, showcasing rustic accents to glamorous touches and everything in between. Many of them are beyond the reach of the average mama, unless you have a hipster florist on speed dial. But I’m here to tell you that there’s GOOD NEWS!

Wait for it…

You can make a gorgeous, modern Thanksgiving table setting with just three simple, albeit surprising, elements.

The first?

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table decor shibori table runner

Satsumas! And what’s more, you can find them on your next trip to the grocery store (mine are from Whole Foods, but look anywhere that sells quality produce). Make sure you buy them on the vine, as the leaves are just as important as the fruit.

And why should you decorate with satsumas, rather than something more traditional (leaves, pumpkins, turkeys)…? Because it’s unexpected, modern, easy, and beautiful. I love the effect of the bright orange against the wood of my dining table. Plus, you can eat them all afterwards. Bonus!

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table décor shibori table runner

The second simple element is star anise. Not only is it delicately beautiful, it smells amazing and reminds you of all the delicious spiced food we enjoy in the fall. Pick this up while you’re getting those satsumas (about a handful will do).

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table decor shibori table runner

The third element to this table setting is my DIY 30-Second Shibori Table Runner. I’m going to reveal how I created this tomorrow, so for now I’ll leave you in suspense, and instead tell you how to make the satsuma arrangement and place settings.

DIY Thanksgiving Table Setting


  • DIY 30-Second Shibori Table Runner (check back tomorrow for the instructions)
  • 3+ cartons of satsumas
  • A handful of star anise
  • 4+ votives (I used mercury glass, in various sizes)
  • White gift tags
  • Small alphabet stamps and ink
  • Scissors

First, lay down the table runner. Stagger the votives down the center of the table. Then, fill in the spaces between and around the votives with the satsumas. Holes can be filled with any extra leaves. Be sure to leave enough satsumas (with leaves attached) to use at the individual place settings.

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table decor shibori table runner

Place your chargers, plates, cutlery, and glassware on the table accordingly. Fold your napkins and place them on top of the salad plate. Then, plop a satsuma down on each one.

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table decor shibori table runner

Use your alphabet stamps to stamp “Give Thanks” on each label. Then cut the outer edge through to the hole, and attach to the stems of the fruit.

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table decor shibori table runner

Finally, sprinkle the star anise around the centerpiece and near the place settings.

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table decor shibori table runner

That’s it! Very easy to put together, and the effect is so lovely.  Bring on the turkey!

Modern diy thanksgiving table setting table decor shibori table runner

Product Guide: Stemless Wine Glasses, Crate & Barrel // Border Stripe Yarn Dye Napkins in Espresso, West Elm // Scape Salad Plates, West Elm // 365+ Plates, Ikea // Wood Grain Chargers, Sur La Table // Mercury Tealight Holders, West Elm // Bertoia Style Chairs, Amazon //

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Comments (16 )
  • Kristen
    | 21 November 2014

    Beautiful. I love it. I’m sure the table smells wonderful with that anise!

    • annabode
      | 25 November 2014

      Thanks Kristen! It smells sooo good; but the hardest part is convincing my 3-year-old not to eat the whole thing!

  • cassie
    | 21 November 2014

    oh anna, i love it! that runner is phenomenal!!!

    • annabode
      | 25 November 2014

      Thanks Cassie!

  • Brynne@TheGatheredHome
    | 21 November 2014

    What a gorgeous table setting! I love the orange with that gorgeous blue table runner! Pinning this for sure 🙂

    • annabode
      | 25 November 2014

      Thanks so much Brynne! I loved your “fakesgiving” post–hilarious!

  • Mary @ At Home on the Bay
    | 21 November 2014

    It looks simply beautiful!

    • annabode
      | 25 November 2014

      Thank you Mary!

  • Laura Irion // Avery Street Design
    | 24 November 2014

    Beautiful. I love those placesettings- the simplicity & color combo…perfect. Would you be interested in linking up at the Found & Foraged party I host? We do it on Saturdays at 8 pm at (It’s actually still open for another day if you want to join this week though!) Hope to see you sometime. And have a great Thanksgiving! xo, Laura

    • annabode
      | 25 November 2014

      Thanks so much Laura! I would absolutely love to link up. Looks like I missed it this week, but I’ll mark my calendar for this Saturday. Thanks for stopping by, have a great holiday! (Love your blog btw).

  • Katja | Shift Ctrl Art
    | 26 November 2014

    Anna, this table is just absolutely gorgeous. I am a new follower of yours (via Cassie). I love the orange colors of the fruit with the blues of the runner. So pretty!

    I was wondering if you would link up to our Dare to give Thanks link party here:–merci-beaucoup-fall-vignette.

    Hope to see you over there! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • annabode
      | 30 November 2014

      Thanks so much Katja! I linked up, and am looking forward to the other upcoming link parties :). Thanks for asking me to–hope you had a great holiday!

  • Rachel
    | 26 November 2014

    Absolutely gorgeous table!

    • annabode
      | 30 November 2014

      Thanks Rachel!

  • Grace
    | 2 December 2014

    Absolutely beautiful, fresh-looking & modern tablescape! I’m obsessed.

    • annabode
      | 3 December 2014

      Thanks Grace! 🙂

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