Last Minute Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving is upon us – time for turkey, pumpkin pie, football, and hours spent with family.  If you’re hosting a dinner this year, we have a few tips to help you get ready for Turkey Day with items from thrift stores.  Huge thanks to our co-blogger Lindsey for some great DIY décor tips in this article!

We have tons of cool décor ideas and fun recipes on our Thrifty Thanksgiving Pinterest board!



Tablecloths are a great item to thrift.  Even if they’ve got a couple of stains, it’s no big deal – you won’t have to worry what might spill on your Grandma’s heirloom tablecloth.  Many of the donated tablecloths are like new, probably used only for special occasions and then donated because they were hardly ever used.

Table service, especially items you don’t use often, can be thrifted to supplement what you already have.  Things like a gravy boat, for example, or extra serving trays are frequently found in the thrifts.  At thrift store prices, you could even re-donate after Thanksgiving to save space in your tiny kitchen cupboards.  Use mismatched serving ware for a cool eclectic look.  Look for other kitchen miscellany too – extra pot holders could come in handy setting out hot dishes for the food table.  A spare tea towel is a pretty (and eco-friendly) way to sop up a spill.  Why not thrift some fancy China to serve your classic dessert?

Natalie’s Tip:  Check the local shops run by churches – I feel like I always see the prettiest dishes and tablecloths at the best prices in these little non-chain shops.  They are also less likely to be as picked-over as chain thrift stores.

If you need want to go the extra mile with cloth napkins, there’s no need to scout for a matching set – simply thrift old flannel shirts in complementary hues, launder well, and cut into squares.  It will give your table a chic, cozy look without being too matchy-matchy.  If cloth napkins are beyond your scope, stitch together a rustic table runner with coordinating flannel patches between bands of solid fabric.

Décor Ideas

Thanksgiving décor can sometimes be found on thrift store shelves – but no need to get crazy.  Part of a modern Thanksgiving table setting it reducing the “clutter” and opting for simple, elegant pieces.  Supplement your table with a few simple festivities.  Here are some ideas on how to use thrift store items for an elegant table setting:

  • Thrift a basket and fill it with autumnal items like leaves, wheat, pumpkins, or gourds.
  • Thrift ribbons in hues of gold, red, orange, and yellow to spice up your centerpieces.
  • A pretty serving tray would make a great base to create a cool centerpiece as well.
  • Buy pretty clear vases or jars and fill with acorns or multicolored maize kernels.
  • Candles are frequently found at thrift stores; you might have to hunt harder for unscented ones to put on the table, but there are sometimes unscented taper candles.
  • Scout out cool vintage silverware to either craft a cool DIY project or simply display on its own.

Be creative and try to find cool, unexpected ways to repurpose thrift store items.

Hosting Attire

Don’t forget your fabulous hostess dress (or host attire.)  Pick something pretty but functional.  It must be comfortable and you need to move with ease, so definitely try it on before the big turkey day.  Layers are great for running back and forth from the hot kitchen to the front porch to greet guests.  Look for aprons, too – great for keeping the splatters off your clothes.  You’ll want something that looks good with flats – save the high heels for a big night out instead.  Don’t forget a forgiving or stretchy waist, just in case you want to overindulge!  You may want to change from your “prep” clothes to your cute clothes just before guests arrive.

That’s it!

Thanksgiving isn’t really about the cool stuff you can thrift or even the food – it’s about spending time with people you love and being grateful for what you have.  So thrift a few things and don’t worry about it – it’s going to be thrifty and fabulous!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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