Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with a natural centerpiece that reflects the season of the year? While fruits and vegetables harvested in the Fall make beautiful centerpieces, don't overlook colorful trees and natural foliage as options for an inexpensive alternative. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece ideas for natural foliage on a small table
With a handful of leaves, twigs, and acorns, you can create an arrangement for your holiday table... even for a small table.

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece using leaves, twigs, and acorns on a French Country table
Thanksgiving in the United States is a time to rejoice on the abundance in our lives and to reflect on our blessings with family and friends gathered around a table with seasonal fruits and vegetables. 

Thanks to Amber at Follow the Yellow Brick Home for gathering more than 20 blogging friends to share ideas for what many consider their favorite holiday of the year. There are links at the end to all of the posts as part of We Gather Together Thanksgiving Blog Hop.  

If you are coming from Cindy at County Road 407, welcome! Cindy is a joy to read and has a great idea for the best hostess gift ever, don't you agree? 

T H A N K S G I V I N G   

N A T U R A L   C E N T E R P I E C E 

Here are some tips and ideas to help you create a natural centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table, or buffet, or shelves, ... 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece using leaves, twigs, and huge Bur Oak fringed acorns
Inspiration for a Thanksgiving centerpiece began with the biggest and most striking acorns I have ever seen! After some research, I discovered these woolly-haired huge acorns are from a Bur Oak tree that produce some of the largest acorns in the United States. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece using Bur Oak twigs with fringed acorns attached
Two small branches were gathered with the fringed acorns intact a couple of weeks ago. The leaves have dried and curled, but retain much of their green color. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using twigs, leaves, and acorns include tips to prepare foliage by washing it before using it in arrangements
The first step in creating the centerpiece was to place the two branches on a rectangular narrow serving platter.

No, the first step was to wash all the leaves, twigs, and acorns to remove dirt and any hitchhikers. Be sure to always wash any foliage you bring inside. Not only is there dirt, and possible hitchhiking insects, the foliage may also have chemical residue from pesticides and fertilizers. 

Art imitates nature.

Three gold berry leaf metal ornaments scattered amidst the natural oak leaves add a little gold sparkle to the arrangement and help stabilize the oak twigs. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using twigs, leaves, and acorns from more than one tree or shrub to add variety to your arrangment
If you pull together a natural centerpiece, add more than one kind of leaves. The shape, size, and color of the small Japanese maple branches brighten the arrangement. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using colorful Japanese leaves
Only two small Japanese branches were needed to make the arrangement more interesting. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips show how to use colorful Japanese leaves around a large acorn
The acorns are still the stars in the centerpiece and are not overshadowed. Notice how the bright yellow and orange leaves surround the acorns, but do not cover them up. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using twigs, leaves, and acorns on a small table with room for conversation
More gold berry leaf ornaments serve as plate decorations and hold place cards. The natural centerpiece fits easily between the place settings and is low enough for conversations across the table. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using twigs, leaves, and acorns show the back side of the centerpiece
All sides of the arrangement are pretty to see. This is the "back side," and the small Japanese branch has many variegated leaves visible on this side. A gold berry leaf ornament is partially on the white platter and partially spills onto the table. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using twigs, leaves, and acorns show a few acorns lying outside the centerpiece
A couple of large individual acorns have escaped over the edge of the platter on this side. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using twigs, leaves, and acorns include using the shape of the leaves to decide the position of the branch
The curls of the leaves determined how to position the larger of the two oak stems. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips for using twigs, leaves, and acorns with footed blue etched glass
A gold berry leaf ornament stabilizes this end of the arrangement. There is a large fringed acorn attached to the oak stem on this end, but is hard to see in the photo. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips shows large Bur Oak fringed acorn in the centerpiece
With a close-up photo, you can see the details on the large fringed Bur Oak acorn on this end of the centerpiece. 

Thanksgiving Natural Centerpiece tips shows large Bur Oak acorns in centerpiece on French Country table in a breakfast sunspace

I hope you found some ideas and tips to help you create a natural centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. Begin by collecting acorns, dried flower stems, dried berries, and other bits of foliage. Soon you will have an assortment of natural elements to create a free seasonal centerpiece. After this Fall's centerpiece is dismantled, save all the bits and pieces of the natural elements to reuse next Fall. 

happy Thanksgiving from my table to yours...

Next up on the blog hop is Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles. She has several ideas for decorating for the season. 

Read all of the following posts for more ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving at your house. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!


  1. This is such a creative idea, Judith, I love it! Your home always feels so warm and inviting and I love how you're always incorporating bits of nature into your tablescapes and vignettes. This is fabulous! Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving, CoCo

  2. I love this centerpiece and boy with my 16 oak trees it is easily created! Do you carry the oak leaf ornaments in your shop? They are amazing!

  3. Gorgeous is the word. I'm a huge acorn fan, okay hoarder. I can't get enough of them off the ground. These are amazing. How I wish I had access to these to preserve and add to my large collection. These are truly amazing.


  4. Love your dining room, it is so pretty with the natural wood. Your centerpiece is stunning. I am such a fan of neutral displays of nature and this is stunning.

  5. Only you can make dead or dying leaves look so elegant and beautiful! I love this and free is even better. And oh my golly, even your wreath holder and flatware are fantastic. Love this entire post. Happy Thanksgiving Judith!

  6. Judith, I adore your natural centerpiece and all that fabulous natural light in your dining room! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  7. Lovely, Judith. Always inspiring. Bill and I found some of those acorns on a walk a few weeks ago. I did bring some home, of course. The fact that yours still have the leaves is amazing. I do love the contrast of the Japanese maple. So gorgeous.

  8. Judith, your table is so classic and elegant. I love the way you used natural items for your perfect for embracing the fall season. So great to hop with you!

  9. I love gathering acorns in the fall and I have never seen the acorn from a Burr Oak. Their fringy acorn cap is so interesting. Love the centerpiece you created using these acorns and pretty fall leaves.

  10. Your centerpiece is so gorgeous,Judith. I've never seen acorns like that, they're huge. we just have the little ones that end up crumbling easily. I love using naturals, and you've put together a beautiful tablescape. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  11. Judith, this has got to be one of the prettiest and most intriguing centerpieces I have ever seen! I have always loved the natural beauty of acorns, and their cute little caps, but these are AMAZING! Never seen anything like those! I've pinned, and I'm so happy to be hopping with you! (Be sure to share at Tuesday Turn About!)

  12. Judith, I always love seeing your beautiful home! That centerpiece is beautiful! I love all the natural elements. That’s my favorite type of arrangement! I hope you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

  13. Absolutely gorgeous! I adore your dining space. Natural elements for Thanksgiving are just perfect.

  14. Pulling from nature is the best way to create a centerpiece. In a way it reminds us to appreciate the beauty around us more. Love how the leaves retained some of their color. Simply gorgeous Judith!

  15. Judith, what a beautiful center design with the natural elements. I don't think I've seen a bur oak's acorns but that is unique! I love paying attention to what nature offers in the way of simple and chic design. You styled it so well.

  16. Judith, I'm not sure what is more beautiful --- your natural centerpiece or the stunning photography? I'm crushing over those wooly acorns! Never heard of or seen them before. Lovely display.

  17. Judith, what a pretty centerpiece and great ideas. I never thought about washing outdoor foliage to get rid of critters. Just the other day I found a little lizard in a vintage crate. I love the idea of mixing the gold faux leaves with the natural. Lovely table. Happy Thanksgiving.

  18. Wow those woolly-haired huge acorns are amazing and a wonderful addition to your lovely table.I'm happy to be hopping along with you, pinned. Hugs!

  19. Your centerpiece is gorgeous! I have never seen those acorns! What a great accent to your beautiful leaves. I love the leaves you sat on each plate, too! In Florida, we always have to wash EVERYTHING before we bring it in. Fortunately it is usually lizards and not bugs that hitch a ride~

  20. Love the natural, gnarly beauty of your centerpiece, Judith. Those acorns are downright cool; never seen anything like them. Very pretty presentation!

  21. Judith, I could've sworn that I commented before, but I don't see it here! I was admiring those wooly acorns right off the bat! I've never seen such a thing, and they make your centerpiece so interesting and beautiful! I truly love the rustic natural look of it all. Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. I love your natural centerpiece.

    At our former home we had a massive maple tree and I always had leaves for Thanksgiving. I would often have people knock on the door and ask if they could take some leaves. We know the people who own the house now and I sometimes think I should drive over and "borrow" some of their leaves.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  23. Judith this is so beautiful and elegant. I am a big fan if using natural elements for fall but I have never seen those interesting acorns. You never fail to inspire with your unique and creative ideas! All the beautiful sunlight pouring in and you or lovely natural centerpiece and elegant place settings are so inviting for Thanksgiving.

    Thank you so much for joining the hop. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


To leave a comment, you must complete Word Verification to show you accept my privacy policy regarding comments. See my full disclosure and privacy policy by clicking on it in my menu bar at the top of the blog. Your email address is NEVER shared. THANK YOU FOR LEAVING A COMMENT.