The leaves have changed colors, the air has a crisp chill, and pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menu. That can only mean one thing – Thanksgiving is right around the corner! This beloved American holiday is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on what we’re grateful for, watch some football, and of course, eat copious amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes, pie and all the other tasty trimmings.
While the food is certainly a huge part of the fun, setting the scene with festive fall decor really gets everyone into the Thanksgiving spirit. And one of the best ways to spread some seasonal cheer is by decorating your front door, mantel, and other entryways with beautiful Thanksgiving decorations. Read on for some ideas and inspiration for dressing up your home’s doorways for Turkey Day using Thanksgiving string lights and other decorative touches.
Entryway Décor Sets the Tone
Your home’s entryway makes one of the biggest impressions on guests as they arrive for Thanksgiving dinner. So take some time to decorate this space in a way that evokes warm feelings of the season. Not only will it immediately put a smile on visitors’ faces, but it also sets the tone for the whole house.
String lights are one of the easiest ways to infuse joyful ambience into any entryway or mantel. Available in warm white, multicolor, or even the traditional orange glowing “flame” style, string lights instantly say “welcome” and “come on in.” Drape them along railings, weave them through garlands, or outline windows and doors. Wherever you put them, Thanksgiving string lights add a magical glow!
Beyond lighting, wreaths, flowers, mini pumpkins, gourds, pinecones, and other natural elements make classic Thanksgiving decorations. Display them in galvanized buckets, woven baskets, or vintage crates for a rustic farmhouse vibe. And don’t forget the pilgrims, turkeys, autumn leaves, and “Give Thanks” signs that communicate the heart of the holiday. When it comes to dressing up your door for Thanksgiving, anything goes!
Fully Embrace the Fall Season
Since Thanksgiving kicks off the full swing of fall, don’t be afraid to layer up the autumnal accents. Pile on the plaid, flannel, and buffalo check prints. Incorporate organic textures like burlap, jute, and wood. Display harvested veggies like mini pumpkins, squash, onions, apples, and ears of dried corn.
Use raffia, twine, and cotton ribbon to make DIY wreaths, garlands, and bows for your front door. Stack old books and crates on the porch or mantel. Toss some fallen leaves around the steps and entryway. Hang an old sled, wagon wheel, or pail to evoke pastoral nostalgia.
The colors of the season also help convey the essence of Thanksgiving. Incorporate hues like burgundy, mustard, olive green, and russet orange. Mix in metallics like bronze, copper, and pewter for an elegant touch. Even black makes a classic contrast. Whatever you do, go all out with the autumnal flair!
Mantels Made Festive
The mantel above the fireplace is prime real estate for showing off your best Thanksgiving style. This focal point sets the ambience for the whole living room and beyond. Plus, it provides ample space to get creative with vignettes that may be tough to pull off on an entry door.
For traditional charm, decorate the mantel with a harvest garland made from faux leaves, mini gourds, and dried stalks of wheat or corn. Accent with candlesticks, ceramic turkeys, and other Thanksgiving figurines. Lean an old wooden ladder against the side for a place to hang woven baskets overflowing with apples, mini pumpkins, and burlap ribbons.
Or take a more contemporary approach with a neutral colored mantel dressed in sophisticated silver and white accents. Metallic mercury glass vases and Thanksgiving plaques make classic focal points. Mix in some fuzzy pillows, natural elements like birch logs, and fresh flowers or eucalyptus sprigs. The clean modern scheme feels fresh yet still captures the spirit of the season.
No matter your personal style, there are endless possibilities for decorating the mantel for Thanksgiving. The layout provides both vertical and horizontal space to get creative with vignettes. So don’t be afraid to pile it on!
Light Up Doorways and Entry Arches
Welcome guests under a glowing archway or doorway decorated with Thanksgiving string lights. Outline front doors and side arches with warm white strings of incandescent bulbs. Or wrap pillars, columns, and verandas with lights. This brilliant beacon both illuminates the path and makes a joyful first impression.
For a more natural touch, hang strands of amber “flame” lights, evoking the cozy glow of candlelight. Or opt for multicolored strings and customize the palette to match your overall aesthetic. Program them to slowly fade in and out for a magical ambience.
Incorporate greenery, vines, fall flowers, or a “Happy Thanksgiving” sign into the mix. This draws the eye upward and adds warm texture. Extend the string light magic indoors by wrapping a banister, fireplace mantel or window inside the entryway. This impresses guests as they step into the glowing home.
Dress Up Windows, Railings, and Staircases
Beyond the front door, use string lights to illuminate and accent architectural elements like windows, side doors, railings, and exterior staircases. Outline the frames of floor-to-ceiling windows or glass-paneled doors. Wrap porch railings and front steps to both illuminate for safety and impress guests.
Encircle concrete columns and bannisters with strings of lights. Adorn wrought iron exterior stair railings to cast a magical glow on visitors’ path inside. Wrap lights through the spokes of an Edison bulb chandelier hung above an outdoor dining space. Wherever you have the opportunity to add a glow, take it!
For a cohesive feel, use the same lights on both indoor and outdoor spaces. Decks, patios, screen porches, and three-season rooms all present great places to creatively incorporate string lighting. Doing so makes these spaces feel like natural extensions of the warm, welcoming interior.
Infuse Indoor Spaces with Cheery Glow
While you’re decorating outdoors, don’t forget to dress up interior entryways, hallways, and communal rooms with strings of lights. Continue the dazzling display by wrapping bannisters, stair rails, fireplace mantels, and window frames indoors. Drape them over doorways, hang them above dining tables, or rear light fixtures.
Mini twinkle lights add brilliant sparkle when wrapped on indoor wreaths, garlands and table centerpieces. Incorporate them into any floral arrangement. Outline buffets, hutches, bookshelves or entertainment centers. Accent shelf edges, headboards, bed frames, and wall art. Anywhere you want to infuse an extra dose of twinkle, string lights do the trick!
Embrace Eclectic, Organic Style
The beauty of Thanksgiving decor is that it’s inherently eclectic and doesn’t have to adhere to a specific “look.” This is the time to embrace your inner free spirit! Gather an assortment of meaningful fall accents and organically incorporate them into inviting vignettes.
Display natural objects like dried corn, mini pumpkins, acorns, pine cones, leaves, branches, and seed pods in vintage boxes, buckets, and crates. Layer in burlap, raffia, jute, wool, and other organic textures. Include timeworn objects with patina like galvanized tin, aged wood crates, and cast iron. The resulting harvest style feels curated yet casually thrown together.
Scour flea markets and antique shops to find unique Thanksgiving décor items with charm and character. Work in anything that evokes cozy nostalgia of the season. The more variety, the better! Mismatched heirlooms tell the richest stories.
Infuse Your Own Sentimental Touches
While adhering to traditional holiday hues and symbols is always a solid choice, the most meaningful decor includes personal details and handmade elements. Display favorite old family photos from past Thanksgiving gatherings. Incorporate homemade crafts and any antiques passed down. Showcase collections that reflect your unique loves and interests.
If your family loves to go hiking in autumn, decorate with trail maps, hiking boots, and framed scenic photos. For avid football fans, layer in team colors and memorabilia. Showcase any hand-sewn or embroidered linens. Display timeworn recipe cards of treasured family dishes.
Even the kids can get involved with creating decorations like construction paper turkeys, clothespin apples, and paper leaf garlands. These special personal touches say “welcome” in a much more meaningful way than any generic store-bought item ever could. They immediately make guests feel at home.
Light Up Pathways and Gardens
As guests arrive, make sure walkways and gardens are aglow to light the path with a warm welcome. Outline garden beds, shrubbery, and trees by wrapping trunks with string lights. Stake miniature votives along pathways, stairs, and driveways. Display luminaries by lining paths with paper bags glowingly lit from within.
Nestle battery-powered candles in the garden for a magical twinkle. Wrap porch columns in garlands of cedar or magnolia leaves studded with fairy lights. Suspend a hanging lantern from a towering tree. The goal is to make your home as bright and welcoming as possible against the evening darkness.
Crank Up the Holiday Music
What’s a festive atmosphere without some catchy Thanksgiving tunes? Create playlists of upbeat instrumental holiday music and more modern hits to play as guests arrive. Think lively piano, strings, and even jazz renditions of classics like “Over the River and Through the Woods.”
Add in some Adam Sandler “Thanksgiving Song,” Jose Feliciano “Feliz Navidad,” or Arlo Guthrie “Alice’s Restaurant” for some humorous beats. Of course, no lineup is complete without the wholesome, cheery vocals of Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole crooning beloved hits.
Place speakers outdoors to greet guests as they walk up. Let the sounds of the season wash over your home! Slow it down with some peaceful instrumental tracks during dinner, then crank up a dance-worthy mix during post-meal festivities. Music instantly infuses spaces with nostalgic warmth.
Infuse Dining Areas with Seasonal Style
Thanksgiving is obviously centered around food, family and gratitude. So take time to infuse your dining room and other communal dining spaces with special seasonal touches. Scatter mini pumpkins, gourds, pinecones, and acorns down the center of the table for organic texture.
Incorporate pops of black for dramatic contrast with elements like black taper candles, ironstone dinnerware, or macrame placemats. Accent with brass, pewter, and silver serving pieces for metallic shimmer. Display a vintage platter, cake stand, or decanter as the table centerpiece. Fancy glassware also helps elevate the overall tablespace.
Wrap garlands around chandeliers for an overhead forest canopy effect. Adorn sideboard buffets with mini vignettes, autumn botanicals, and candlelight. Place quilted maple leaf patches under each setting. Roll silverware in cloth napkins tied with raffia. Every detail sets the seasonal scene.
First Impressions Count
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why dressing up your home’s exterior doorways and entry spaces for Thanksgiving is such a great way to immediately evoke the spirit of the season for arriving friends and family. Nothing says “welcome” like a front door and mantel beautifully decorated with lights, wreaths, and other festive touches.
So embrace the essence of autumn and get in the holiday spirit with some creative decorating. After all, Thanksgiving only comes around once a year. Why not pull out all the stops to set a dazzling seasonal scene? The glow of Thanksgiving string lights and bounty of natural textures transform homes into cozy autumn oases.
As the holidays approach, take time to thoughtfully dress up your doorways, inside and out. Then get ready to sit back, relax, and let the festivities begin surrounded by the ones you love. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some quick and easy ways to decorate a front door for Thanksgiving?
Some quick door decor ideas include hanging a fall wreath, attaching a Thanksgiving sign or banner, displaying a mini pumpkin or potted mums, and wrapping the columns with garlands or string lights.
What colors and materials evoke Thanksgiving decor?
Classic Thanksgiving colors include orange, brown, red, burgundy, mustard yellow, olive green, and natural neutral tones. Rustic materials like burlap, jute, wood, galvanized metal, and organic textures give a farmhouse feel.
How can I make my mantel look festive for Thanksgiving?
Decorate your mantel with candles, garlands, harvest signs, plaid linens, mini pumpkins or gourds, and vignettes with figurines, flowers, and natural elements. Accent with string lights for a magical glow.
What are some clever ways to use string lights for Thanksgiving decor?
You can wrap string lights on railings, doorway arches, stair banisters, fireplace mantels, window frames, wreaths, garlands and centerpieces. Use them both indoors and outside.
Should my Thanksgiving decor match my everyday home decor style?
Not necessarily – Thanksgiving decor can be eclectic! Feel free to go bold and embrace touches like plaid and bright harvest colors that you may not use the rest of the year.
Thanksgiving provides the perfect opportunity to infuse your home with extra holiday cheer and welcome guests in festive fall style. While the food and family time are the heart of the occasion, decorative touches like wreaths, garlands, string lights, and themed vignettes set a joyful, celebratory mood. Focus on front door, entryway, porch, and mantel decor to make a dazzling first impression.
Incorporate organic autumn textures and natural elements like mini gourds, dried foliage and seasonal botanicals. Display sentimental handmade accents and family heirlooms for personal touches. Thanksgiving table runners: A warm embrace of autumn hues, weaving a tapestry of seasonal richness on your dining surface. And of course, generously deck everything with twinkling Thanksgiving string lights to give doorways and spaces a magical glow. However you choose to dress up your home, let your decorations reflect the warmth, gratitude, and cozy nostalgia that make Thanksgiving such a beloved holiday tradition.