Cheap DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece Idea With Common Thrifted Finds

Make this DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece idea for your own table decor using a scarf, thrifted candlesticks, and other common cheap finds to create a high end look.

It’s possible we’re living in The Twilight Zone these days. Because as Robert and I were walking through our neighborhood with the girls on Halloween night, I saw Christmas trees up in windows.

No hate on Christmas decor in November (bring it on, baby), and honestly I normally have my trees up by November 5th. But I’ve thought all these years it’s just because we have a weird job that requires holiday deadlines to be finished early.

how to make a cheap DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece that looks high end

What happened to fall Thanksgiving decor? Are we no longer the odd balls with Christmas decor at Thanksgiving?

Just because I love cozy fall Thanksgiving decor (and in case you’re Team Fall on Thanksgiving Day), I rummaged through my thrift stash and hit the dollar store to give you a cheap DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece idea, if you’re ever stumped on how to style table decor before your guests show up.

Cheap Thanksgiving Table Decor Tips

Before we dive in, be sure to check out more Thanksgiving table setting tips here.

cheap Thanksgiving table decor with a throw blanket repurposed as a tablecloth

Thanksgiving can already be a little pricey to pay for the big grocery food to cook the big meal. But add in Thanksgiving decor, and it can put your budget over the top.

So I hope this quick DIY helps, and I’ll bet you already have all of the items to make it yourself.

Inexpensive DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece Idea

This Thanksgiving centerpiece took me all of 5 minutes and cost me zero dollars with the exception of the candles themselves.

(You can see more DIY fall centerpiece ideas here whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or some other fall gathering.)

Cheap Thanksgiving table decor with thrifted and repurposed items


The items I used are old and/or thrifted, so I’ve included similar items below so you can recreate the look.

Repurpose a Scarf or Blanket as a Table Runner

Check your closet for a pretty scarf or pashmina already in your wardrobe. You can make all kinds of color palettes work for fall; it doesn’t have to be traditional rust, burgundy, or gold. Pastels work beautifully for Thanksgiving decor as well.

Alternatively, you can use a throw blanket as a makeshift tablecloth like I did on this inexpensive Thanksgiving table if you don’t have a scarf.

Spread the scarf in the center of the table and shape it as you’d like. It’s okay if the scarf is lumpy and a little messy looking. That’s part of the beauty.

plaid scarf used as a Thanksgiving centerpiece table runner

Spread Out Mismatched Candlesticks

I find candlesticks of different shapes and sizes every time I visit the thrift store, and I’ve picked up several over the years. By using a variety of them together in the middle of the table, they look eclectic and cozy.

Walk around your house to see if you have any candles or candle holders already on shelves and tabletops that you can repurpose into your DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Place them haphazardly. They don’t have to be space apart perfectly or in any kind of order. I just try to separate any candlesticks with similar heights or matching pairs.

Add Dollar Store Candles

The dollar store pretty much always has taper candles and pillar candles in stock. My local Dollar Tree had these taper candles in a 2 pack for $1.25.

If possible, try to get unscented since you probably don’t want a punch of artificial vanilla scent wafting up your nose as you try to eat roasted turkey.

The only thing I spent on this centerpiece were the ivory candles which cost a total of $13.75.

thrifted candlesticks as a cheap Thanksgiving centerpiece

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Snip Leafy Stems for Greenery

Walk around your yard to see what trees or bushes you could use to steal a few stems. (Or ask a friend or neighbor if your yard doesn’t have much vegetation.)

A little goes a long way. Disperse the leafy stems around the candlesticks.

Add pine cones, mini pumpkins, or fall flowers if you choose, but I just used what I had on hand.

DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece with plaid scarf runner

Fold Card Stock to Make Interactive Place Cards

If you have some card stock or construction paper, cut and fold them into little place cards. Even pieces cut from grocery store paper bags or chip board from cereal boxes could work.

Write “I’m Thankful For…” on the front of the place card and provide a pencil at the place setting.

DIY Thanksgiving place cards with pencil for writing things people are thankful for

Guests can write down some of the things they’re thankful for, and your group can share answers over dinner.

It creates a pretty place setting while also encouraging conversation starters.

Thanksgiving place setting made using card stock place cards

The Finished DIY Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece

That’s it! So simple!

This is one of those situations where I really lean into the capsule decor concept I use as a guide when decorating to save money long term. You can never go wrong with classic white dishes, brass candlesticks, and simple cream candles.

cheap Thanksgiving centerpiece idea using a scarf, candlesticks, dollar store candles, and cut stems

Bring on the Turkey! Even though the Christmas decor is coming out later this week, Thanksgiving is still in our hearts. Who made the rules for Thanksgiving home decorating anyway? Celebrate in whatever way brings you joy.

However your table is decorated, it’s the people around it that matter most of all.

Dining Room Sources

navy blue dining room with Thanksgiving decor

Do you have any inexpensive Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas or table decoration ideas you’ve created in the past? Share ALL of the tips! We can never have too many.

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  1. Throw blankets are pricy! I’ve been using scarves and blanket scarves for years! They are much cheaper than blankets and I drape them over the backs of my living room chairs as decor. They are the perfect size! I’ve also got several silky type scarves that I use throughout the year to decorate with. I love scarves and use them in the winter for myself but I have so many that I’ll never use them all, so why not use them for other things. I even tie them around chairs sometimes just to dress up the dinner table. Your table looks very welcoming! I’ve used them on the table too and you are so right, some are big enough to use on the whole table. I love all the candles and candleholders. They look very pretty in your dining room and great with your table and chairs.

    1. Really?! I usually find throw blankets for around the same price as scarves, especially in the TJ Maxx and HomeGoods clearance. I’ve gotten them at IKEA even for around $15-20. But I’d only suggest using a throw blanket if you already have one; definitely don’t go out to buy one for the purpose of using it on your table. Just an idea to use what is in your stash and think outside the box. 🙂 Thanks so much, Shirley!