Create a Harvest-Inspired Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Since the days of the pilgrims, Thanksgiving has been a celebration of the harvest and a chance to sample nature's bounty. Instead of honoring this tradition with a simple cornucopia, fill the center of your Thanksgiving table with a seasonal variety of fresh produce and flowers.
Put Fall's Bounty on Display
For centuries, fall has been the time to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Put that bounty on display using colorful fruits, veggies, gourds and nuts to create a lavish centerpiece that spills across your Thanksgiving table.
Stack two cake plates or low, footed dishes to create height at the center of the table. Top with bunches of grapes, assorted nuts in shell, apples, pears and artichokes. Tip: If you don't have a cake plate, center a large plate on top of an upside-down bowl using double-sided tape, if necessary, to ensure stability.
Add Edible Garnishes
Carry the abundant theme to each place setting with edible garnishes. An artichoke makes a great place-card holder while a small fruit-filled side dish offers a healthy appetizer or light dessert. Tip: Keep a nutcracker and bowl for shells on the table so guests can sample the variety of nuts scattered about.
Think outside the fruit bowl and tuck some edible goodness into flower arrangements as well. Black grapes look striking against hydrangeas and eucalyptus leaves while pinecones and mini artichokes still look "floral,, but add a bit of rustic texture. Play around with combinations to see what looks best. Tip: The grapes were simply nestled into this flower arrangement, but heavier fruit, like pears or apples, will need to be wired onto a wood skewer.
Create a Visual Feast
When arranging produce, alternate colors, textures and sizes to create a display that looks as delicious as it tastes. In this centerpiece, artichokes, grapes and pluots are arranged around a large bosc pear. Try to find produce that fits your color palette and is seasonal, but it's OK to mix in some imported, out-of-season fruit as well.
Balance the Look
A symmetrical arrangement at the center of the table creates a natural focal point. Here, the tall, stacked centerpiece is flanked with two slightly shorter floral arrangements in white stoneware pitchers that have a similar shape but aren't matchy-matchy.
The More the Merrier
When creating an abundant look for your table, don't stop at the centerpiece — scatter nuts, fruit, veggies, gourds, pinecones and seedpods around the table. This is a case where more is better.
Continue the Theme
Surround a few plated menu items, like this luscious pie, with nuts in shell, small gourds or bunches of grapes.
Get the Look: Step 1
To create this abundant centerpiece, start by setting the table. Next, add cake plates, pedestals, footed dishes, bowls or pitchers to the table's center — keeping height, symmetry and scale in mind when selecting pieces to use for display.
Get the Look: Step 2
Fill pitchers with flowers and greenery. Then, spread fresh or preserved leaves down the table's center to create a living runner. Magnolia, lemon and eucalyptus leaves are all great options. Try mixing a few different varieties for interesting texture and color.
Get the Look: Step 3
Finally, add fruit, vegetables, nuts, seedpods and pinecones to bring the centerpiece to life, varying the colors, shapes and textures of natural elements to create a feast for the eyes.
Finally, Enjoy the Feast
Not only is this abundant centerpiece visually stunning, it's also delicious, healthy and fun for guests to snack on. Tip: Give each guest an embellished paper bag to collect a few healthy treats to take home with them as a party favor.