Simple Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas

Thanksgiving is going to look different at our house this year.

Last year, I set our long, farmhouse table with lots of place settings for us all to gather around. Having the family squeezed around the table makes my heart happy–the more the merrier!

But, this year, that just isn’t a good idea.

Our Socially Distanced Thanksgiving for 2020

My husband and I spent a lot of time brainstorming what we could/should do. Where we landed was having a “socially distanced” Thanksgiving dinner, instead of crowding everyone around the table. Thankfully, our kitchen/dining/living area is one large, open room, so even though we are planning for each couple to have their own, individual table, we will still all be in one space together. It will be kind of like a restaurant set up. 😂

When we aren’t eating, we will wear our masks. We will open as many windows as we can for better airflow, and just crank the heat up for the day if needed.

Yes, it’s not idea, but hopefully it’s just for this one year. I firmly believe that the current circumstances we are living in require us to adapt and adjust. This “socially distanced” dinner seems like a good way to still hold on to our important family bonding time, but do so in a safer and more responsible way.

Simple Table Settings

Regardless of how your Thanksgiving dinner looks this year– whether it’s just two, or a few, I’m here to help you today with some simple table setting options. With all that 2020 has dealt us this year, simplying is a sanity-saver.

All of the table settings I’m showing you today use the same classic white dinnerware, and the same round, woven placemats. All I changed up were the napkins and embellishments to get three completely different looks!

Option 1

Using some of my inherited antique silver here makes this extra special.

This was so easy to make, and completely free.

I typed the “Give Thanks” on a Google Doc and put a box around it, then printed it on my computer on cardstock. I cut two slits in the sides of the cardstock, and fed each end of my ribbon up from the back, pulling a bit so that it gathered the napkin with the silver inside it.

I used a neutral colored ribbon, but you can easily customize this by using a fall-colored ribbon of your preference. You could also change out the color of the cardstock to coordinate with your ribbon and napkin color.

Option 2

For this option, I used charcoal gray striped napkins, faux white mini pumpkins, and small wooden craft cutouts that I got at Hobby Lobby. If you have a Cricut, you could probably make some cutouts. You could also just print your words on cardstock and lay them across the plate for an even easier route.

Option 3

For this option, I used a simple white cloth napkin, and just tucked some artificial fall foliage into the napkin ring. Super simple, but so pretty.

Bonus Options from Last Year

Even last year, my table settings were fairly simple. I used the same round woven placemats, because I like the texture and interest they add.

My turkey plates are from several years ago, but you can find them on ebay HERE.

I used classic white dinner plates, and then added the small Thanksgiving themed plates on top of simply folded cloth napkins.


  • I have quite a collection of white dinnerware and serving pieces. I prefer white because I can use it for any holiday or ocassion. I mix and match styles and patterns, and as long as the pieces are white, they still all work together.
  • Use paper dessert plates as accents. Take a peek at my Easter and Valentines Day table settings to see how I used disposable paper plates on top of my white dinner plates as an inexpensive way to add seasonal elements to the table.
  • Cloth napkins are an easy and inexpensive way (because they are reusable) to make even a simple table setting feel more special. I have had the same set of white and ivory napkins for years, that I reuse for various holidays and ocassions.

Wishing you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving this year, whatever it may look like,

PS. I’d be so grateful if you’d follow me on social media and subscribe via email using the box at the top right of this page! Then you won’t miss a thing from The House on Silverado.

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Looking For More Thanksgiving Ideas? Checkout the posts from all the other bloggers who contributed to our Thanksgiving Blog Hop:


Natural Water Hyacinth Weave Placemat Round, 4 pcs

Rustic Harvest White Artificial Pumpkins

Cotton Dinner Napkins Set of 12, Charcoal Grey

1 Dozen 20″ Oversized Cloth Dinner Table Napkins Machine Washable Restaurant Quality

I have these cloth napkins in both white and ivory. They are so versatile and I use them for a variety of ocassions. They wash up beautifully and look brand new each time.

2 Pack Fall Maple Leaf Garland Hanging Fall Leaves Vine 

I have something similar to this garland, and I just clipped leaves off it for my place setting in this post, but also various other fall decor projects, like my Fall Tiered Tray.

Rae Dunn Magenta Ceramic Thanksgiving Gobble, Grateful, Thankful, Blessed, 4 pcs.

Gather Thankful Grateful Blessed Square White 5 x 5 Ceramic Plates Set of 4

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Party Supply Kit: Autumn Theme Appetizer/Dessert Bundle Includes Paper Plates & Napkins for 16 People

This post contains affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “Simple Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas

  1. Oh these ideas are lovely. We don;t do thanksgiving here in the UK of course but I’m thinking I could steal and adapt these ideas for Christmas.
    Your distanced meal sounds good. Here we are in a lockdown now in the hope it will be liftable by Christmas to allow some sort of family get together but to be honest I think that is looking less and less likely. We might be having our meals via zoom with our families this year.

  2. Niky, I love all of your suggestions! I especially like the wooden cut-outs from Hobby Lobby. I wonder if they are still in stock here. Easy yet decorative ways to make the place setting extra special. Thank you for sharing. And it is fun blog hopping with you!

  3. I love your place setting ideas, Niky. I agree that you can’t go wrong with white plates! My favorite is the first one with the blue and white striped ribbon. It sounds like you have a great plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family while staying safe. It was fun joining you on this hop!

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