Last-Minute, Super Cheap, No Stress Thanksgiving Decor


I’m in charge of hosting Thanksgiving this year. For the first time ever.

That’s right. I have people counting on me (an ex-vegetarian) to get a fully cooked turkey to the table. (Pray for me friends.) But all that aside…

I have such fond memories of a festive, warm and welcoming Thanksgiving table. It was always a thing of beauty, but never put together by my very, non-crafty self. That was left to either my artsy mother or my amazing sister-in-law (the one who takes trash and turns it into treasure by blinking). But this year, though I had a teeny tiny budget, little time, and no crafty bones in my body, it was up to me.

After hitting up the Dollar Tree and the craft section at Wal-Mart, I was able to put a classy tablescape together for about $18-ish dollars. Not too shabby, right? Here’s how.

After pricing holiday tableclothes ($14 minimum at Wal-Mart), I decided to settle on a Dollar Tree runner ($1) with a $2 burlap streamer (Wal-Mart wedding decor section) down the middle.


These were fun and super simple to make, even for my barely-crafty self. You may already have two matching vases hanging around, and perhaps two matching candles too. Maybe some unbuttered, unpopped popcorn and black beans? Believe it or not, I didn’t. Just mismatchy vases, half melted candles, and my unpopped popcorn was buttered (yummy) and greasy. However, I did have some twine and black beans!


If you’re making these harvest-theme candle holders from scratch, it’ll run you (from Dollar Tree)

$2 for two, matching vases

$1 box of popcorn

$2 for fresh white candles

So… $5 for both (and most of it’s reusable). Come to think of it, if you wanted to add another layer, I bet some green split peas would have made another colorful layer or two.

As the main centerpiece, I added a bowl-full of colorful apples! These were already in the house for me (FREE!) and we’ll enjoy munching on them later, I’m sure.


Next, did you know that Dollar Tree sells charger plates? (I can’t figure out why in the world they’re called that. What do they charge, exactly?) Finding each of these for a dollar was the perfect highlight and meant we didn’t have to use place mats, which I purged a long time ago after never using them. Since we’ll be serving six adults, that meant $6 ($1 per guest).


I settled our normal, pretty red plats on top (can you tell I like red?). Perfect.


I picked up some whimsical holiday napkins, again at Dollar Tree ($1).


And then, since having peoples’ names at their place setting is all the rage, I fell in love with these chalk-labelled, jar-style cups. Found at Dollar Tree, they came out to $1 per person/$6 for me total. Totally cute and reusable too. (They’ll be even cuter after they have names on them, but chalk is the last thing on our shopping list.)


All that was left, was to add the silverware and stemware.


Classy, yes? I feel like a grown up now.


Bring on the good memories and delicious food! Happiest of Thanksgiving to you all!


If, like my husband, you’re curious where all food is going to go… We’ll be serving that buffet-style in the kitchen.

Also, if you’re looking for a free Printable, check out this one. All you’ll need is a printer, some twine or ribbon, some baby clothespins ($1 at Walmart), and about 5 minutes to cut them out and clip them together.


3 thoughts on “Last-Minute, Super Cheap, No Stress Thanksgiving Decor

  1. betheny auker says:

    Love it!!! Simple and classy at the same time, my favorite combination!!!!!

  2. Karen says:

    Looks great, Kelsey! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. So glad to have come across your blog.

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