Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Full of fruit, leaves, and friendly forest critters, this woodland-inspired Thanksgiving table decor recreates the autumn vibe of a walk in the wood. While it’s just the thing for a Thanksgiving dinner party, these centerpieces and extras would also work for a woodland wedding or any other fall party.

Fall foliage—enhanced with touches of gold—sets the color palette for this tablescape. It’s elegant, autumnal, inviting, and full of friends and nature—two things that always make us thankful! Here’s how to set the scene for a woodland-inspired Thanksgiving.


Fall for Foliage And Fruit

Fill vessels with foliage in fall colors, for an elegant but natural look inspired by the paintings of John James Audobon. We used nandina branches, euphorbia flowers, and ilix berries (also known as winterberries), and placed fall fruits—pumpkins, persimmons, and pomegranates—between the vases to finish the tablescape. To round out the woodland theme, add pinecones and acorns—gathering them can be a fun activity for kids in the weeks before Thanksgiving.

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Add a Branch to Each Placesetting

Tie a gold ribbon around a small branch bearing fall leaves (a nandina branch is shown here) and set one on each plate as an autumnal welcome. If the leaf is big enough, you could even write each guest’s name on a leaf with a gold paint pen to turn them into place cards. Or, tie a nametag onto a branch with smaller leaves.

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Add Some Gold Accents

Bring in gold touches to complement—and elevate—the rich fall colors. Place the foliage in gold vases and spray paint pine cones, acorns, pomegranates, and even branches of leaves for extra shine. You can also fill small bowls with gold-wrapped candy—just be sure to keep your decorative gold items separated from the edible gold-wrapped ones to avoid confusion. Wrap spray-panted branches around any decorative items you want to highlight, like this chocolate turkey in a cloche.

Create a Cornucopia

Fill a gold party hat with gold-spray-painted leaves and other fall foliage and you’ve got instant cornucopias for your table decor. You can also fill them with edible treats that come covered in gold, like golden Jordan almonds or gold foil wrapped chocolate eggs, balls or other candies.

Invite Friends from the Forest

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Nothing says “enchanted forest” like woodland animals. Birds, squirrels, and turkeys are all right at home on this woodland-inspired Thanksgiving table.

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Bring In Some Birds

Find millinery birds at the craft store and perch them on centerpiece branches and decorative bowls. The great thing about this reusable decor is that you can pull out your flock to decorate for most holidays, letting them nest in a tree at Christmas or perch on your flagpole at the Fourth of July. You can also use them as lovebirds or add mama and baby birds to a baby shower.

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Showcase Chocolate Critters

Elevate chocolate animals to sculpture status by displaying them under a cloche. Go for woodland classics like squirrels or celebrate Thanksgiving with a chocolate turkey.


Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Add Squirrels to Straws

Slide squirrel straw toppers onto gold or craft paper straws and slip them into apple cider or fall cocktails or mocktails. This adorable add-on is as simple as cutting out our printable squirrel straw topper template.

Then, Bring In More Sweet Squirrels

Stock up on sweet squirrels. Ice the fall favorite onto cakes or cupcakes, or serve squirrel shaped cookies like these from Jenny’s Cookies, which are busy gathering “acorn” cake pops for the Thanksgiving feast. Leave one at everyone’s place as a fun favor, pipe their name on with frosting to double as placecards or just display them on the dessert table. Cute cookies always make people feel grateful!

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Craft Some Turkeys

Craft pine-cone turkeys that flock on the kid’s table. These fine feathered friends are a fun project to keep little ones busy before dinner gets on the table, or an activity you can DIT (Do It Together) in the days before Thanksgiving to serve as decor. (For a how-to, click here.) You can save the turkeys to use again next year, or invite guests to take them home as a Thanksgiving souvenir.

Darcy Miller, Darcy Miller Designs, Thanksgiving

Toast with Turkey Bubbly

For a fun favor or easy solution to cocktail hour (no glasses to clean up!) add our Thanksgiving Gobble Bottle label to mini bottles of bubbly, whether it’s sparkling water or champagne.