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9 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Make Your Thanksgiving Table Look Better

For those of us who don't have a special set of autumnal China.

1. Spray Paint Leaves

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Collect different shapes and sizes of leaves and spray paint them all gold. Scatter or arrange them around a centerpiece to add a bit of nature and glam to your Thanksgiving tablescape.

2. Use Extra Herbs to Make a Centerpiece

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Arrange fresh sage in a vase or milk jug for a fragrant, beautiful, and even edible centerpiece.

3. Pick Up Sticks

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Gather fallen branches of a similar length and girth. Sand them if they’re rough, then add a festive pop by painting a few of them white or gold. Arrange horizontally around a centerpiece or upright in a vase.

4. Pair Up Mismatched Dishes

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While it may seem logical to pair like with like, you actually want to evenly distribute dishes that match while alternating other patterns and colors around those pieces. Tie everything together with matching napkins.

5. Dress Up Paper Towels

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No fancy linens? Wrap up silverware in a paper towel folded lengthwise, tie it with twine and, if you’re assigning seats, use a gift tag as a place card.

6. Make Dinner Roll Place Card Holders

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Wrap up dinner rolls in strips of kraft paper, tie them up with twine, and use them as a place cards. The bread will feel like a present!

7. Make a Kraft Paper Table Cloth

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Roll out kraft paper for a neutral table “cloth.” Decorate it with stamps or paint, or invite guests to write messages or draw inappropriate hand turkeys after a few glasses of wine. This is also a great way to keep kids entertained.

8. Or, Make Paper Bag Place Mats

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Upcycle paper grocery bags into customizable placemats by cutting out the two biggest sides. Assign seats, doodle, or create a place for people to write what they’re thankful for. You can get two placemats out of each bag.

9. Use Decorative Gourds as Serving Bowls

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Decorative gourd season only lasts a few more weeks! Scoop out the insides and use them as bowls for sides and sauces. If you want to get really crafty, paint the outsides.

All photographs and styling by Emily Farris.

Emily Farris is a food and prop stylist, writer, and partner/creative director at Feed Me Creative. Follow her work Twitter and Instagram at @eefarris.