If you’re the usual host for Thanksgiving, you probably have a stockpile of entertaining pieces already. (If you need some tips on which things to get, check out my rundown of all the staples). But you may be looking for some ways to switch up every year without blowing out the budget. So I’m gonna give you some easy, budget-friendly thanksgiving accent pieces.
These things are small and affordable enough to buy for a one-off event and donate or sell after. They’re small, but they make a big impact.
Don’t feel the need to totally restock all of your platters, glassware, etc. every year that you want to switch up the theme. These items will give you the perfect amount of flavor without breaking the budget. So let’s get right into it.
here are the best, budget-friendly Thanksgiving accent pieces
I included links to some great product recs in each category, but feel free to put your own spin on each idea instead if you feel inspired! And as always, to make it truly budget-friendly, I would recommend scoping out your local thrift store before ordering online!
accent piece #1: napkins
When you think of a nice, formal dinner, napkins likely come to mind. Even if you have a really simplistic tablescape, throwing a nice napkin into your place setting immediately makes it look like you put some love into it.
It’s a great way to introduce a different pattern, color, or texture into your tablescape. Such an easy way to change up the vibe.
A great way to make this even more budget-friendly is to get some disposable napkins instead of cloth napkins. You’d be surprised at how nice of paper napkins you can find online. I included one option below.
accent piece #2: colored candlesticks
This might be the most budget-friendly Thanksgiving accent piece on the whole list. I mentioned in my Thanksgiving staple pieces post that you should always have some solid candle holders on hand. Throwing a different colored candle is such a great and simple way to adapt these candle holders to the theme you have that year.
If you want to go for a really dark and moody theme for your tablescape, throw in some black candlesticks. If you want to go fun and whimsical, pick up some of a couple different bright colors.
The possibilities are almost endless. Even if this is the single thing that you switch from year to year, it really makes a big impact.
accent piece #3: napkin rings
In kinda the same vein as napkins, napkins rings are a great, budget-friendly Thanksgiving accent piece. Like napkins, this simple little ring holding them together just shows a little extra intention.
A nice, simple gold ring is never a bad choice, but there are also tons of different options to fit the vibe you want. Go funky with a fun color or design, or go natural and grab a nature-inspired holder.
accent piece #4: tablecloth
Tablecloths are one of my favorite event design hacks. They’re helpful for so many reasons: easier cleanup, protecting your tables, hiding the ugly plastic folding tables if you have a large group.
But aside from the practical benefits, they also give you a really easy way to totally change up the vibe. Simply throw on a patterned or colored tablecloth, and boom. You have a completely different theme to your tablescape – I feel like a broken record here – even if that’s the only thing you change.
accent piece #5: dessert/salad plates
This is a slightly more splurge-y item, but still more budget-friendly than buying a whole new place setting.
And this is why I always recommend getting neutral plates for the staple pieces. That way, you can just throw one of these plates on top of the place setting and you have a whole new look.
This is a great opportunity to play with pattern or color. But if you want to keep it neutral, try switching up the texture, finish, or shape to contrast with the dinner plates you have beneath.
accent piece #6: vases
This is probably the most thrift-able piece on this list. Every time I go to a thrift store, there are tons of cool vases on the shelves to choose from. So it’s a really easy and cheap way to change it up every single year.
Just adding in a different kind of vase (or vases) into your centerpiece really makes a huge difference. You could do a large one in the middle and a couple small, bottle-shaped vases spread throughout. Immediate vibe switch.
If you really wanna get crafty, you could even use the same vase and just paint it different colors or patterns every year.
accent piece #7: gravy boat
This may seem a little random, but hear me out. I recommend having some pretty simplistic serving dishes on hand so that you can reuse them every year no matter what the theme is. That will help you save money. But if you change up one small serving dish – like a gravy bowl – every year, your pockets won’t hurt and you’ll create some more interest on your table.
You may even be able to find some really unique vintage ones at the thrift store.
now you’re armed with 7 budget-friendly Thanksgiving accent pieces – go design!
Now that I’ve reassured you that there are so many easy ways to change up the design in small but impactful ways, hopefully you’re feeling prepared to go put together the perfect Thanksgiving tablescape.
Want some more inspiration to get you going? Check out my other Thanksgiving hosting tip/inspo posts below!
Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an LA-based designer, writer, and content strategist. I’m passionate about the intersection of productivity and creativity. I love talking about creative habits, technology, processes, and everything in between that helps me blend the Type A and Type B parts of my brain.
This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a small commission. But this doesn’t affect any prices you pay, it comes out of the pocket of the seller.