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Create a Rustic Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Using a unique vessel like this old cheese box was an instant conversation starter at a recent party I co-hosted, and it immediately provided a rustic and organic vibe - perfect for any fall dinner party or cozy Thanksgiving meal.

When hosting a large dinner party, I typically think about the table design first and what type of tone I want my guests to experience once they sit down. I start by brainstorming creative ideas for the centerpiece as a focal point and then base the rest of the table around that.

I love upcycling old containers to create decorations because it adds a creative charm to my décor while cutting costs at the same time. If you don’t have any old wooden vessels laying around, follow our step-by-step guide for creating your own rustic wooden box which you can reuse over and over again! Simply fill it with appropriate accessories and foliage to suit your décor and theme.

Follow these steps in order to create your own rustic centerpiece to wow guests.


  • An old wooden shallow box like the one pictured above.
  • Plastic vase liners or aluminum baking pans
  • Tape
  • Flowers/pinecones/gourds (The fall offers many great options such as astilbe, dahlias, kale, spires. Let yourself get creative by experimenting with anything that looks interesting.)

Step 1: Place the vase liner into the wooden box to prevent water from seeping through.



Step 2: Cut tape into strips and create individual spaces across top of box, approximately 3 inches in width and length.

Step 3: Place water in the liner.



Step 4: Add the largest flowers first – dahlias/kale head, etc. as “anchors” in the centerpiece.

Step 5: Add in flowers that are medium in size such as astilbe, followed by the smaller flowers like dahlias.

Step 6: Get creative by adding in something unique for texture on the top such as a gourd or pinecone.

Find more party planning inspirations for Thanksgiving Decorations

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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