willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs


We are entering into that time of year when Traditions in our house become front and center and the foundation of many of our days. I recently read a beautiful definition of the word in my “Heart of the Home” calendar by Susan Branch that I feel encapsulates the heart of what traditions are all about.

Tradition: A lovely word that brings up childhood memories and feelings of security~ something steady and dependable in an ever-changing world. You can make them for people and they don’t have to be big. It’s the over and over again that gives a tradition a place of honor in your family lore.

Today, I begin with the tradition of setting the table for the family gatherings that take place during this season. Not only is the tradition that of a gathering at a family or friends table, but many of the pieces you utilize can be those given to you by your grandmother, mother or other cherished family members.


They can be carefully blended with your own pieces that you have collected over the years. You do not need to go out and purchase something special but I did score these blue and white china plates with a turkey on them years back at TJ Maxx in their clearance section!

IMG_7258For this year’s tablescape, I was inspired by an article in Country Living Magazine where they used simple Kraft paper as the placemats. I took liberty with this idea and created the tablsescape below with Kraft paper and a white paint pen…

IMG_7262Seasonal branches and dried blooms from the outdoors…

IMG_7270baby white pumpkins…

IMG_7278upholstery tape…and the clearance dishes from T. J. Maxx.

IMG_7287I started out by rolling  a piece of the Kraft paper across the table from one place setting to another.


I then placed a handful of the dried grasses at the center of the table and took out a corresponding napkin that worked with the color scheme that I have had for years.

IMG_7297Carefully seperating seed pods and other dried goodies, I tucked them around the flowers of two almost spent  ornamental cabbage heads.

IMG_7301If you use a neutral palette, you can easily switch up the dishware to incorporate what you already have. Here I changed out the blue plate for brown transferware that I have collected over the years, piece by piece. I rolled up the napkin and tucked it into a napkin ring to hide the navy initial.

IMG_7314Here is the finished tablescape. To finish out the table, I would set the other side across from this setting identically and then drape another piece of Kraft paper across the table where I needed another setting.

IMG_7330-1I love setting the table with little favors! Here I used small jars of mint jelly that I canned with my oldest son at the end of this summer. A simple tag tied on with jute string creates a place for the guest’s name.

IMG_7339Taking the concept of Kraft paper one step further, I bought this banner at Target in their dollar section. Using the white paint pen, I penned the word AMEN on it and tacked it between the no longer mirror clad top of a dresser piece that I found when barn picking.


A little sanding was all it needed and it even stood up by itself.

IMG_7438I love using  unexpected and cast offs to create atmosphere in decor.

IMG_7433-1If you do not have  uphostery tape, feel free to take that off and use the handy paint pen to make “placemats” right on the Kraft paper.

IMG_7439Here I made an outline, a frame so to speak, that incorporated the name of the guest. You could do this for each guest.


IMG_7459-1Look number one with the brown transfer ware…

IMG_7472-1Look number two with cream dishes ware.

IMG_7469To add a little pizzaz and some sentiment to a buffet table in the Dining room, I took an old window frame and wrote the saying from the beggining of my post onto it with the paint pen.

IMG_7396I tucked huge handfuls of the dried grasses into an urn and with a few baby pumpkins, you have an instant tableua.


Please share any of your traditional table setting ideas with us, for we always love your interpretations! May your table be set with love, understanding and lots of hope this Thanksgiving!

~May much love be yours this Thanksgiving!


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  1. Mo says:

    Beautiful and inspiring! Happy thsnksgiving to you and your entire family!!!