3 Simple Autumn Table Settings

“What are some things you and Martin want to do before you become parents?” a good friend asked me earlier this month.

I paused and thought about what our friends with kids always miss. “I’d like a couple of quiet, slow dinners at home,” I said.

Her face began to glow as she pulled open our pantry door. “Let’s make them extra special, then!”

“I don’t have a lot of fun little knickknacks,” I objected. “We keep it simple, so I don’t….”

“It’s a myth that you need a bunch of stuff!” she interupted. “Work with what you have.”

Autumn Table Setting No. 1

simple thanksgiving table

simple autumn date

We threw a scarf across the table. She added a candle and a pie pumpkin to the center of the table. Then she stacked the plates we use every day and topped them with ceramic owls. (They’re actually salt and pepper shakers!) We used this yellow washi tape on mini tags and tied the napkins with string. Too easy!

Autumn Table Setting No. 2

thanksgiving for two ideas

autumn dinner date

We kept the scarf, pumpkin, and our everyday dishes again. I was starting to get the hang of this! We used mini wooden clothespins to pin yellow name tags from Gadanke onto paper napkins. Thinking about Thanksgiving, I wrote on his tag, “Martin: I’m so thankful for your warm smiles.”

Autumn Table Setting No. 3

quick place setting

thanksgiving date

This setting is my favorite. The centerpiece consists of two vases I made in high school pottery class. They’re stuffed with dried grass and placed in a shallow bowl with nuts and clementines. “Think of the things you have and how they could feel autumn-like,” my friend said. That’s why I added our mugs. We’re drinking a lot of tea as temperatures drop.


You don’t need all-white dishes. You don’t need a whole house full of table decor. Heck, you don’t even need fabric napkins! You just need to look at the things you have in the cupboards and think, “How can I decorate our table with this?”

I want to make simple, festive table settings a habit. It really makes the meal feel a little more exciting… even if it’s just spaghetti as you nurse a baby!