Outdoor Thanksgiving Table (and how to decorate for Thanksgiving with grocery store items)

An outdoor Thanksgiving table might be just the thing for your family’s next celebration! Be inspired by this beautiful fall dining table and find out how to decorate your Thanksgiving table with just a few affordable items from your local grocery store!

outdoor thanksgiving table: enjoy the beauty of nature with an outdoor fall celebration

Sometimes (like last week) I have days when getting myself and my crew dressed and fed and where they’re supposed to be seems about all I can manage. And then I have the bright idea of taking all four kiddos into Trader Joe’s (where – in case you didn’t know – they have kid sized baskets… which SOUNDS like a great idea until you are trying to steer three of them at a time around all the poor shoppers in the store! ;). I confess, I came home exhausted. But then this happened:

gorgeous outdoor fall dining table

Now, admittedly, I don’t normally set up a spread like this for my family. I knew I wanted to create something special, though, for the Styled + Set Thanksgiving tour hosted by my sweet friend Lory of Designthusiasm. Be sure to check out the other amazing Thanksgiving hosting ideas at the end of this post!

But back to that night… I’m learning more and more the value of enjoying simple pleasures. With the whirlwind of four kiddos, homeschooling, a new baby, and general life, I don’t have time or space for intricate, complicated projects these days. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on beauty.

poolside patio dining

In fact, I shared a similar thought after Hurricane Harvey with my fall mantel this year (you can read all about that here, if you want). It does mean, though, that I’m trying to enjoy some simpler forms of beauty.

gather gourds in a bowl as a Thanksgiving centerpiece

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So back to the afternoon at Trader Joe’s…

We headed into the flower section and spotted four $3 bunches: pink mums, purple mums, white chamomile, and a eucalyptus mixture. It fit right in with my non-traditional colors for fall on my porch this year.

mums and eucalyptus make a gorgeous, simple fall centerpiece #thanksgivingtable


Those four little bunches filled all three of my containers.

gorgeous outdoor fall dining set up

I then passed the produce section where I spotted a spaghetti, butternut, acorn, and honeynut squash… and my kiddos spotted white pumpkins for 69 cents each (and yes, I absolutely let them each pick one!). We’ve already eaten the honeynut squash, and the rest are on the menu for next week.

various gourds make an easy, beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece

If that’s not affordable, efficient decorating, I’m not sure what is. 😉

gourds and pumpkins make beautiful fall table decor #thanksgivingtable



How to decorate for Thanksgiving with grocery store items:

Find and mix simple, seasonal flowers and greenery.
I love the eclectic look – almost like wildflowers – that you can achieve with affordable flowers and greenery.

outdoor fall table with mums and eucalyptus #thanksgivingtable

Buy some seasonal produce.
Use seasonal produce first to decorate and then to eat! Just like I did in my fall kitchen this year.

Mix and match in various containers.
The eclectic look is not only amplified with the various containers, but it allows a few dollars worth of flowers and random produce to make your entire room (or outdoor space, in this case) feel decked for the occasion. One large arrangement can be lovely, but it can also be overpowering to the table. With several smaller containers, you can leave the center clear for gravy or family-style dishes or (in our case) a cozy fire.

gorgeous outdoor fire table perfect for fall #firetable

After those simple touches, I just added my favorite basic white plates, my go-to fancy cups for outdoor dining (or kids’ dining because they’re not breakable!), my favorite gold flatware and lovely dark gray napkins.

raw wood bowls with mums and gourds for a gorgeous fall table! #thanksgivingtable


And the best part? I was trying a new meal from this amazing new cookbook that evening, so we got to enjoy a delicious dinner alongside that spectacular sunset.

sunset outdoor poolside dining

In fact, it was so delicious that she started digging in while I was still taking pictures!

Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving celebration is filled with just as much magic.

Don't miss this outdoor Thanksgiving table and find out how to decorate yours with just a few affordable items from your local grocery store! #thanksgivingtable

For more amazing Thanksgiving hosting ideas, be sure to visit my friend Kelly at My Soulful Home. Her 19th century victorian home is STUNNING, and her heart is even prettier. 🙂

Hosted by Designthusiasm

Today’s posts:

Maison de Cinq

Decor Gold Designs

Maison de Pax

various gourds make an easy, beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece

My Soulful Home

Bless’er House

Ella Claire

French Country Cottage

Monday’s Posts

Maison de Cinq | Decor Gold Designs | Maison de Pax | My Soulful Home
Bless’er House | Ella Claire French Country Cottage

Tuesday’s Posts

Designthusiasm | Cotton Stem | Randi Garrett Design | Citrine Living
Celebrating Everyday LifeKelley Nan | Life on Virginia Street

Wednesday’s Posts

Taryn Whiteaker | On Sutton Place | Julie Blanner
Zevy Joy | Finding Home Farms | Setting for Four

Thursday’s Posts

StoneGable | Shabbyfufu | Sand and Sisal
French Garden House | Town and Country Living | Becky’s Farmhouse

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  1. Rachel I’m loving the non-traditional colors this year too! The rich colors of the flowers mixed with the copper gives just the right amount of fall without it being too much. Just a perfect, relaxed setting – I would love to eat out here:)

    Happy Fall my friend!


  2. Rachel, I’m amazed at what you put together with these grocery store items. It’s just beautiful! The florals are gorgeous and I love the copper touches. So lovely, and yes, there’s beauty in simplifying!!

  3. Rachel – not sure if my first comment disappeared of if this will show up as a duplicate but I wanted to be sure to tell you how amazed I am at what you’ve managed to put together with grocery store items. The florals are beautiful and the copper touches lovely! How wonderful it is to simplify and still create beauty!!

  4. I have a feeling you have got a magic touch and it doesn’t take much for you to make a great display. I admire you for all you do and taking care of those sweet little children.Have a great weekend.

  5. Rachel amazing and beautiful!!!! You have done an awesome and elegant design with grocery store items.. Thank you for sharing

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