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Cotton on our Thanksgiving Table

by Jane Windham on November 7, 2012

cotton centerpiece

When planning our Thanksgiving tablescape, I knew that I had to use cotton in some way. After the huge response of interest in cotton after my post called “It’s Cotton Pickin’ Time,”  I decided to center my whole table around cotton.

cotton centerpiece on table

The base of the tablescape is this cottony white, vintage linen tablecloth that I found at a local consignment shop. I thought it was a perfect choice for a table and a holiday steeped in family and traditions. I also decided to use my mother’s Lenox Eternal china since she will be one of the family members seated at the table. Even though she’s already handed down the china to me, she loves it when I set the table with her china.

overhead view of the table

On the table, I decided to mix the old with the new,  rustic items with  metallics, and items found in nature such as the cotton and the leaves, with a few turkeys thrown in because it is, after all, Thanksgiving.

burlap runner with a turkey candleholder.

I think it’s important when decorating with neutrals that you have a variety of textures.  So to bring in some additional texture, I used a wide piece of burlap ribbon in the middle of the table to serve as a mini-table runner. I also like the juxtaposition of the linen and burlap, mixing formal with casual.  I found the little turkey bowls at Walmart, and they really aren’t meant to be candle holders, but that’s how I used them.  The two turkeys will be the only ones on our table, because we don’t eat turkey at Thanksgiving! Leo is allergic to all fowl so we have some non-traditional food on our table along with some traditional foods such as sweet potatoes and Leo’s famous collards.

bronze charger and plaster of paris leafThe bronze chargers are new, and I found them at World Market. They have the iconic symbol of fall on them-leaves! So I decided to make some leaves to place on top of the napkins using Plaster of Paris and some gold Rub n’ Buff. Tomorrow I’ll do a post on how to make them because they were so easy.

plaster of paris leaf in centerpieceI even put a few of the leaves into my centerpiece. Since the stems of cotton branches are rather flimsy, I glued the cotton bolls onto some branches from the yard. Some of the branches are from a pear tree that have some bronze berries on them, so I think they added another interesting element to the centerpiece.

table and pine corner cabinet

This nature-inspired table is all set now, so it’s all about the food at this point. Who doesn’t love a holiday that centered around good food, family traditions, and a spirit of gratitude?

I’m joining:

Tablescape Thursday@Between Naps on the Porch

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at flickr

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda@Coastal Charm November 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

WOW!!! It’s so PRETTY!!! Luv that beautiful fluffy Southern cotton…it makes the tablescape for sure. Thanks for all the tips about Charleston:)



Dolly Sarrio November 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Beautiful! I love your leaves, great job!


FineHouse November 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Your table looks beautiful. I love both the tablecloth, and your mothers dishes – extra special.


Paulette Dorn November 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Thats the most beautiful Thankgiving table I’ve seen in a long time. I love it. The cotton arrangement is so neat!! Also like the chargers very much. You did good Jane, but you always do.


Mary November 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I sure do cotton :) to your Thanksgiving table Jane! I love the blend of old and new~ I picked up those same chargers at World Market but haven’t decided how to use them yet. I read that Leo couldn’t eat chicken but I didn’t realize it applied to turkey too! To be honest, it’s all about the sides for me at Thanksgiving, I could easily give up turkey, sacrilege I know :) Your leaves look wonderful on your napkins~ I look forward to your post :!


Gina November 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm

This table is stunning, Jane! I love it! It’s rustic, yet elegant.

I told Ann that you are going to start a mad frenzy of cotton boll decorating throughout blogland! lol I’d never seen cotton bolls until Ann showed them on her blog. They are really pretty!


Susan in SC November 8, 2012 at 6:14 am

Very pretty Jane. I love the leaves and can’t wait to see how you made them.


Danni Baird November 8, 2012 at 6:26 am

How lovely! We travel every year at Thanksgiving, but I always admire a beautiful table set for a feast. Yours is gorgeous! I’m looking forward to your tutorial on those pretty napkin leaves tomorrow!


Keeping it Cozy November 8, 2012 at 6:42 am

Jane, your table is BEAUTIFUL! I love the cotton centerpiece and the warm colors.


dawn November 8, 2012 at 7:03 am

It’s all so pretty, and I like your turkey candle holder. I forgot about the turkey allergy until you mentioned this year. My hubby has a pork allergy. I love seeing you use the cotton, it is just stunning on your table, you put together a beautiful space for Thanksgiving.


Ann November 8, 2012 at 8:43 am

What a lovely post…everything is so welcoming. The family and friends who gather at your table are truly in for a special treat. Great idea to run the burlap down the middle of the table too. I have my table done in my head but still need to make it come to life…hopefully soon!


Sanghamitra November 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

Beautiful autumn tablescape with gorgeous fall colors.
Thanks for sharing.
Hope to see you on my blog:)


Dannyelle @ November 8, 2012 at 10:11 am

I love the cotton, and the plaster leaves. I tried to make some too, but mine were a disaster! I hope I can find some cotton up here in Canada for some of my Christmas decorating, yours sure looks great. Thanks for sharing.


Carol November 8, 2012 at 10:12 am

It is so pretty, Jane! I love the mix of formal and informal, and the centerpiece couldn’t be more perfect.


joanne nixon November 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

love the cotton, jane! you inspired me to run (or drive, really) to the nearest cotton field and take a few pictures and snatch a few bolls. you brought the inspiration (and the dawning) of what a huge presence the cotton fields are out here in az and throughout the south. whodda thunk? what i once took for granted as just another “crop” inspired me to do some of my own decorating with the fluffy heads. since copying is the true complement to your ideas, i am currently incorporating the lovely white stuff into my christmas wreath. thanks again, jane… are an inspiration!


Barbara F. November 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Beautiful table. Glad you were able to get that precious cotton. ;-) xo


Joy2Journey November 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm


Your table is so lovely! I am thinking I may have to get busy and get some new things to make my table more pleasing to the eye :)


Jen November 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm

So pretty love it all!!


Melanie November 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm



Shannon Fox November 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Lovely. Lovely!! I have some pretty cotton now too :) Yay. It’s so neat to see it in person!!


Kathy November 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Your table is fabulous! Can’t wait to see how to do the leaves. Beautiful tablescape!


Kathleen November 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm

What a beautiful tablescape! Love the simple elegance of it! You forgot to link up. :(


Jean Windham November 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Very pretty Jane. I think the charger plates with your Mother’s china is lovely and makes a beautiful tablescape. The application of the different textures cotton, burlap with the linen is quite nice. My thought has always been if things look pretty the food will taste better. Great job. Jean


Heidi @ Decor & More November 12, 2012 at 7:09 am

Beautiful, Jane! I was in South Georgia last weekend and the fields were FULL of cotton waiting to be picked! I just wanted to pull off the road and gather some, but my driver/husband wouldn’t oblige. :)
Enjoy your day!


Diane Whiting ~ The Library Lady November 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Just beautiful. I love all of the textures. The cotton is just gorgeous. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. Thanks again for “my” cotton. I guess I’m just going to have to borrow your theme also.

The Library Lady


Laurel Stephens October 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm

What a pretty table! I especially love the white and gold color scheme and the burlap runner over your white table cloth. It’s a beautiful combination of elegant and rustic.


Jeanwindham November 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I absolutely love the bronze charger plates with your Mother’s china. This really sets the stage for a fall and or Thanksgiving tablescape. Love it! Jean


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