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Modern Thanksgiving Harvest Party Ideas

Get ready to FEAST your eyes on a truly stunning Fall Harvest Party, beautifully orchestrated by Anders Ruff Custom Designs and absolutely overflowing with fabulous inspiration for Thanksgiving celebrations and beyond!  The natural color palette was inspired by the bountiful items actually on display here – from artichokes, wheat bundles, and bosc pears, to green apples, ivory pumpkins, acorns and pine cones….

The cider and wine bar will leaf you in awe, and you’ll fall head-over heels for the clever use of legumes to line the dessert trays, the simple coffee filter and burlap chair decor, the super-easy fabric plate chargers, and the fabulous utilization of sugar cane place card holders!

And if the gingersnap bundt cakes, baked pears with riesling honey glaze, pecan pies with honey tartlets, and spiced pumpkin pie mousse with gingersnap crust aren’t enough inspiration to leave you feeling absolutely stuffed, don’t worry, because it doesn’t stop there!

Keep reading for more lovely photos & details…you’ll be grateful for all the FALL-tastic tips, tricks, & DIY ideas from Anders Ruff!

Ribbon tied cookie bundles

DIY Chair Decor and Table Settings

Fall Harvest Dessert Table

Thankful Banner

Table Settings, Favor Bags and Cider & Wine Bar

Thanksgiving Table Elements

Dessert Table

Favor Table


PARTY DETAILS, as told by Anders Ruff

Every family celebrates fall and the tradition of Thanksgiving in a different way.  We have a host of tips to help our readers orchestrate a beautiful and memorable Fall or Thanksgiving feast.

Natural and handmade elements were our inspiration around the “Fall Harvest Design Collection”.  Our color scheme revolved around the harvest that we would display on our tables.  The colors were tones from artichokes, wheat, bosc pears, green apples, ivory pumpkins, acorns, and pine cones.  A backdrop of rusty orange added a bright contrast to these natural tones.

Pick a few elements to carry out throughout the entire event.  Whether it be a particular harvest or a strict color scheme.  In this setup, we carried through “harvest” tones throughout. Involve the children, young and old.  We wanted to use lots of natural elements in our table setting.  Pine cones, sweet gumseed pods, and acorns are plentiful in our yards.  We gave the children a task to collect as many as they could from the yard.

Use the filled out “I am thankful cards” as part of your display.  We strung them along the dessert table with old fashioned clothespins and natural twine.  Wrapping paper and patterned papers are an excellent and economical embellishment to use on table tops, buffets and box risers (for the dessert table).  We wanted to use antique irish linens to keep with tradition, but created a rustic feel by making a table runner with a textured craft wrapping paper.  The beverage table, favor table and dessert buffet also carried through the craft wrapping paper as a liner.

Shop at local farmers markets for unique harvest.  We found muscadine grapes and natural sugarcane, along with unique gourds.

Think of new ways to display your place cards at the table.  We utilized the sugarcane because it fit within our color and harvest scheme and made the perfect card holder out of the folding label from our collection.

Dressing up your everyday dishes with a custom fabric charger gives a dramatic effect without breaking the bank.  We used cardboard cake rounds to measure perfect circles and placed them on the table to add dimension.

With our theme being harvest, we tied in traditional canning jars (Ball jars or any brand will suffice) as drinking glasses.  We used the drink wrap in our collection to add interest to the jars.

Using your everyday dishes and simple canning jars as beverage glasses are great ways to include children at the adult table without having to use separate table wear.

Start new traditions – The apples we displayed were from a family apple picking outing the weekend before.

Canning jars make perfect favor containers.  We involved the children in making homemade cranberry applesauce from the apples we picked.  To make our favor unique, we layered in cranberry sauce into the jars to create a beautiful layering effect.  We personalized and coordinated the lid with a logo from our collection.

Line your basic white dessert trays with basic pantry items such as coffee beans, split peas, black eyed peas and pinto beans.  We also have used candies and chocolates but at this setting, we wanted a more natural element with harvest colors.  Patterned papers are always a great option as well.

To tie the table together, create something unique to embellish your chairs.  No chair covers needed.  We used strips of brown burlap to create a band on the chair backs.  In thinking outside the box we stitched on ruffled up natural tan coffee filters onto the burlap bands to create a dramatic effect, fitting for the fall feast.  They looked like pilgrim blouses or turkey feathers, and had a bold effect.

Candle holders don’t have to host candles!  We placed apples in an old Mexican candle maker to add a pop of color.

To create dimension, wrap various sized boxes to coordinate.  We can often find leftover boxes that were used in displays at local hardware and grocery stores.

For our rustic table setting, we opted for unpolished silver to add character. Everyone always wants use their grandmother’s antique silverware at their traditional thanksgiving feast, but many times it is tarnished beyond repair.  This is a great way to utilize your heirloom pieces with no fuss.

For keeping your pumpkins and gourds fresh for display, use a tad of bleach when you wash them.  This will keep away the mildew for a longer period.

Mix old and new – we purchased apothecary jars at a local craft store and filled them with the natural elements that we would be carrying out throughout the table.  (Bundle of wheat, green apples and a layered triffle dish with coffee beans, acorns, pine cones, artichokes)

Backdrops are a great way to transform your room for a thanksgiving feast.  Find fabric at a local fabric store and cover a large canvas or duct board (found at any hardware store) to create a dessert or food buffet backdrop.  Tie in colors from your backdrop onto your tabletop.

Take plain cookies (such as gingersnaps) and dress them up by stacking them and tying together with simple twine and patterned paper flags.

Purchase unique baking liners (we used the brown origami liners) and place cupcakes or muffins in the liners with shred and tie them with simple twine.  Cupcake liners can also be used.

To personalize favors, use pretty containers or bags to fill and use a coordinating favor tag.

We used an antique mirror as the backdrop for our cider and wine bar. It included spiced apple cider which you can add a splash of your favorite spritzer or liquor.  Can be served hot or cold. We served the cider in an oversized Ball glass container to keep with the theme. We wrapped patterned paper around the ball glass to coordinate.

We used the Ball Jar glass mugs to serve our drinks in and included a flagged cinnamon stick for extra detail.

We displayed our favors on the bar.  We wrapped a wine wrap around our wine bottles for an extra touch.  Raffia and logos dressed up the bottles to fit within our color scheme and theme.  We tucked a sprig of wheat into the raffia to add a natural touch.

We displayed pine cones in the shaker glass with a logo on it and used tweed ribbon to match the patterns in our printable collection.

A white pumpkin was displayed at the bar to coordinate with the dinner table and dessert table. We displayed muscadine grapes in a martini glass – the color was perfect for our event.

All of our desserts coordinated with our color scheme…
We recommend food tents to personalize each food item at the buffet.
Our menu for the dessert table consisted of:
– Pumpkin Biscotti with white chocolate – a perfect coffee or hot spiced cider dipping cookie.
Spiced Pumpkin Pie Mousse with gingersnap crust – All the taste of pumpkin pie without the traditional crust – served in a martini glass with a piroette cookie
Baked Pears with Riesling Honey Glaze
– Individual Pecan Pies with a Honey Tartlet – We dressed up pumpkin pies with a topper of filo cup filled with cream cheese/honey/cinnamon and a pecan on top.
Carmel Apples Drizzled with White chocolate – We used our patterned papers in our collection to cut out little leafs for our apples that made the simple dessert more interesting.
–  Gingersnap Bundt cakes – Individual sized portions for a wow factor and easy serving.


– Styling, and Desserts: Anders Ruff Custom Designs
– Fall Harvest Printable Decor Set & Invitation: Anders Ruff Shop
– Photography: Becca Bond Photography