Thrifty Texas Thanksgiving Table

goodwill thanksgiving succulents


By Melissa Massello for Austin Goodwill

Maybe it's because I'm originally from Boston, just a stone's throw from Plymoth Rock, but when I think of Thanksgiving, I think of simplicity and timeless traditions - celebrating nature's bounty and showing gratitude for the year's good fortune. For me, the holidays in general are about paring down the clutter, both physical and mental, that collects in our modern world and creating experiences where we recognize and remember just how blessed we are. The season is about less being so much more, and sentiment being more important than “stuff.”

Guess it only made sense, then, that I would combine my New England roots with a celebration of the Austin vibe, and all the wonderful things Austin has to give, in my Thrifty Texas Thanksgiving Table!

I love the new trend of hosting "Friendsgiving" parties the week before Thanksgiving, especially for people like us who are transplants from other parts of the state, all around the country, and even abroad. But even if you're a native Austinite and have family nearby, it's never a bad time to show your friends how much you appreciate them and are grateful for their fellowship, right? Right! The best part is that a Thanksgiving party doesn't have to be complicated or cost a much money.

Gathering inspiration and aesthetic aspiration from some of the best local party planners, along with some amazing DIY tutorials from Pinterest, I put together this elegant, organic and stunningly upcycled Texas Thanksgiving table that both inspires “Goodwill” and resourcefulness, and the gratitude we all share for being blessed enough to live the good life here in Austin.

Here’s my shopping list for pulling off this holiday table for 6, on a budget of less than $85!


Bentwood chairs: $6.99 each, South Lamar Goodwill
Glass & pewter vase: $2.99, Oak Hill Goodwill
Plates: $1.99-$2.99 each, Lake Austin Blvd Goodwill
Book of sheet music for table runner: $3.99, South Lamar Goodwill
Slate coasters: $2.99/4, Lake Austin Blvd Goodwill
Green tealight candleholders: $0.50 each, South Lamar Goodwill
Pewter taper candleholders: $0.99 each, South Lamar Goodwill
Vintage etched glass water glasses: $1.89/lb, Blue Hanger Outlet
Vintage crystal Champagne coupes: $1/stem, Lake Austin Blvd (Big, Big, Big Sale)
Silverware: $0.29/piece, 10th & Lamar Goodwill
Crochet runner + mismatched cloth napkins: $1.89/lb, Blue Hanger Outlet
Glass votive holders for succulent table markers: $0.50 each, South Lamar Goodwill
Vintage plastic hairpins for table markers: $1.89/lb, Blue Hanger Outlet Craft/pinking shears: $1.89/lb, the Blue Hanger Outlet
Pewter goblets: $2.99/pair, Goodwill Boston


Succulents: $1.99 each (small), $6.99 each (large), Great Outdoors South Congress
Paper white flowers & leather leaf: $12.99, Central Market
Berry branches: FREE, foraged on Barton Creek Greenbelt while walking my dog

goodwill thanksgiving floral arrangements


Table Runner

To anchor the table, I wanted to celebrate one of my favorite things about Austin: the local music scene! Taking inspiration from a steampunk wedding idea I saw on Pinterest, I took at $3.99 vintage book of sheet music from the South Lamar Goodwill and tore out a few pages, then used a glue stick to secure them together into an asymmetrical table runner.


Mismatched but coordinating items are always in style, and make a table setting in particular feel much more custom and personalized than matching sets. I loved collecting all different patterns of white cloth napkins, handkerchiefs, crochet, and small scarves then dyeing them in black tea to get that antiqued, heirloom look.

tea dyed goodwill linens


Especially because some of our family is making it to Austin for Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to show off one of the things I love most about my Texas garden: succulents! Repotting them in Goodwill glassware and pewter goblets took them from traditional to trendy, and took no time at all. I used craft/pinking shears from the Blue Hanger Outlet to cut brown craft paper into place cards and secured on plastic hairpins, also from the Outlet, with pewter-colored labels/stickers.

goodwill thanksgiving succulent tablemarkers

For hundreds more DIY ideas using Goodwill items, check out the Thrifty Thanksgiving board I put together on Austin Goodwill’s Pinterest – and stay tuned for more buffet DIY and décor ideas next week! In the meantime, check out all my Thanksgiving recipes and meal planners for hosting 4 to 6 people under $75 (including gluten-free and vegetarians!) over on



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