How to Create I Miss Mom Thanksgiving Tablescape


I would love to be able to pretend everything is okay over the holidays, but it’s just not possible, especially as a menopausal emotional redhead. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and of course my sweet family will understand. I’m still grieving over my mother’s death, rightfully so, and each day brings tears. Sometimes, it gets so painful I just want to curl up and get into bed. However, at other times, all I want to do is make my mom proud, and show her how much I love her. I know she’s close by, and I’m thinking she may have planted the pumpkin seed for this “I Miss Mom Thanksgiving Tablescape”. Let’s get to the story, and sources, so you’ll see what I mean…


Why is there a Scarf on the Thanksgiving Table?

There I was with my mom & dad sledding in the 70’s at a place called Beaver Island State Park in my home town of Grand Island, New York. I remember my brother (also deceased) taking the photo. My Mom wasn’t a huge crafter or anything like that, but once in a while she would dip her hand into something she never tried. She was very proud of knitting this one and only scarf she wore that day, and I don’t blame her. I inherited the creamy ribbed scarf many years ago, but it sat buried in our snow clothes, and I don’t think I’ve ever wore it.

Well, while we were cleaning everything out for our big move, I came across the scarf and had to decide if I wanted to keep it. This was before my mom had passed, and I was crazy busy with purging many things I normally would keep. Luckily, I kept the scarf πŸ™ŒπŸ» and recently washed it after we had settled. Of course now after she has passed it has become a work of art, so I treated it with the respect it deserved. When I took it out of the dryer it was so fluffy, and beautiful it struck me then to use it this holiday season in my decorating. Boom…the “I Miss Mom Table” was born.

Think Outside the Box When Decorating in Memory of a Loved One

Many of us have lost our mom, including my sweet husband. We both now walk together down the “other side” of that hill, and I can honestly say I didn’t know how unprepared I was. I mean, how do you prepare for the loss of a parent? I thought I said everything, I thought I shared everything I could, I thought I knew everything I wanted to know. I was so wrong. So, what do I do to ease those frustrations? For me, keeping busy with my husband, our children, and my work helps tremendously. That’s where you come in my friends, so thank you.

Decorating this table with my mom’s scarf felt so incredibly therapeutic. It was like she was with me every step of the way, sometimes telling me, “No, Julie that looks silly, move that apple over”. All kidding aside…when you’re thinking about decorating a Thanksgiving table, Christmas tree, or whatever it might be, think about adding your missed loved one’s memory to the decor. It doesn’t have to be a scarf, it can be a photo, a letter, a piece of jewelry, or even a piece of clothing. Think outside the box when decorating in memory of a loved one, forget trends, and I promise you it will turn out beautiful.

Because of the timing of our move in early September, and the approaching holidays, you are going to get your first look at our dining/living area in our new temporary apartment with it dressed for Thanksgiving 😊. I’ll focus on the Thanksgiving table, but will also share a few updates we have done to the apartment since moving in approximately 2 months ago.

Welcome to our cozy (and even a little moody) 4 person family Thanksgiving table…

We switched out the track lighting for this hanging chandelier for $99!
We decided on sheer black curtains to frame our large door & windows together. I just ordered a rug for under the table, stay tuned!

How to Create I Miss Mom Thanksgiving Tablescape

We realized that our quite large, and old dining room table that we had down in our basement living area at the house, looked great with our new modern chairs. The table fit like a glove in-between our apartment kitchen bar and the living area (you’ll see the kitchen and entire apartment soon in our Christmas Holiday Housewalk 12/1/22). We absolutely love the cozy vibe we have going on in here. It’s smaller, but there’s just the 2 of us so we are like 2 pigs in a blanket.

After you get your table cleaned off and ready to set, you can create a runner with any roll of paper. I use paint paper which is extremely inexpensive for a huge roll. It also doubles as wrapping paper 😊. I didn’t even tape the paper down this time, I just cut it extra long and hung it over the edge. It seemed happy and looked pretty, so I just left it that way. I should also note that if you have wrapping paper that doesn’t match, just turn it over, fold it to the desired size, and use the white side.

Our table turns modern with NEW CHAIRS HERE.

When you have your runner, running πŸ˜†, it’s time to set the mood with your candles. I’m addicted to battery operated remote controlled candles. I love how you can leave the tapered candles unattended while you have a cocktail, or heck even leave the house. The candles I found flicker, so they look authentic and really give off that cozy vibe. I scattered mine without measuring or worrying about them being perfectly lined up.

The next layer is my favorite dollar store leaf garland, and then my mom’s precious scarf. It took a little practice, but I curled the scarf up with my hands like a coiled ribbon and then tried to recreate the twirls on the table. After that came of course the photo of my mom with her sweet scarf on (and a couple more photos), and fresh apples we just picked last month (I love using fresh food in tablescapes).

To finish off the decorations and add more natural elements, I tucked in real dried pampas grass & dried wheat. It was actually quite pleasurable placing the grass in where things were bare πŸ˜€. I totally recommend trying it (it even smelled good).

I never got to carving our big pumpkin this year…so I added it under our table. I may carve it along side carving the turkey this year πŸ˜†

By the way…the white plates are from the dollar store (many years ago), and the tapered candle holders are from the thrift store.

This little burlap pumpkin stood out at the thrift store for $1. I love how my mom’s scarf almost seems to hug him.

Finishing Touches for Your I Miss Mom Thanksgiving Table

You’re not going to believe this one. There I was at the thrift store with my son and this pillow said, “Hey there, Pumpkin!” I grabbed that little lumbar guy so fast he didn’t even get a response. Don’t worry, I sprayed him with Lysol and put him in the dryer on HOT. I’m going to wash him as well.

Yes…wash thrift store pillows before use!

After spotting that cute lumbar pillow, I ran into these vintage amber glass dessert cups. There were only 3, but they hitched a ride back with me, too. Since I only had 3 to go with the 4 red wine goblets, I used a red glass I had as a substitute and plan on telling who ever sits there that they win an extra turkey leg πŸ˜†. I mean I don’t want them to feel left out!

The orange in the thrift store dessert glasses and the dollar store leaf bowls match πŸ˜€. I think my mom had something to do with the entire table…including the Werther’s.

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I hope you have a little more time because here’s the remaining projects from the Thrifty Style Team this month…check out those gorgeous Thanksgiving table ideas and unique recipes ❀️

Redhead Can Decorate –How to Create I Miss Mom Tablescape

Our Crafty Mom –Thanksgiving Hostess Gift Idea

I Should Be Mopping the Floor –Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece

The How to Home-Fresh Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoess

DIY Beautify –Pleated DIY Paper Table Runner for Thanksgiving

2 Bees in a Pod –Olive Thanksgiving Tablescape

The Tattered Pew –Free Thanksgiving Place Cards

Cottage on Bunker Hill –Make Ahead Holiday Breakfast Baked Goods

Amy Sadler Designs –Heirloom Pumpkin Kitchen Dish Towel

Simple Nature Decor –Pine Cone Napkin Ring for Rustic Thanksgiving Tablescape

Zucchini Sisters – Thanksgiving Door Hanger Dollar Tree DIY

Sonya Burgess – Styling a Simple Thrifted Thanksgiving Table

Stuffed Celery Recipe

Where I Bought Ruby Red Glass Christmas Tree Ornaments

Holiday Housewalk Tour

Holiday Housewalk Tour

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33 Responses

  1. […] Can Decorate – How to Create I Miss Mom Thanksgiving TablescapeDIY Beautify – Pleated DIY Paper Table Runner for Thanksgiving2 Bees in a Pod – […]

  2. […] big thank you to Julie from Redhead Can Decorate for hosting this monthly event. It is something I look forward to each month and I’m sure you […]

  3. Julie – this is such a beautiful tribute to your sweet mom. Walking the path of grief is difficult, and everyone’s journey is different. Take all of the time that you need and be sure to nurture yourself. Much love to you friend.

  4. Ce Ce says:

    Thanks for sharing your special times with your parents at Thanksgiving. We shared Thanksgiving with grandparents. I can think back to the special things they done. As I was looking at your table it brought me to thinking of Christmas l have the table cloth that was on the dining table at my parents home. My mom gave it to me several years ago. I use it all most every year. My mom is still living and I have helped her several years in decorating for Christmas. Before my dad die we would decorate the fence together and how my husband and I do it just for dad. Again thanks for sharing and stop me today to day dream of memories. Have a great day. Ce Ce

  5. […] Redhead Can Decorate –How to Create I Miss My Mom Tablescape […]

  6. […] Redhead Can Decorate –How to Create I Miss My Mom Tablescape […]

  7. maria says:

    Your table brought tears, what a beautiful way to cherish her memory for the holidays. It made me think of my mom as well and how I cherished her things I kept to keep her close to me. It’s an honor to participate in the Thrifty Style team.

  8. […] Redhead Can Decorate –How to Create I Miss My Mom Tablescape […]

  9. Sonya says:

    Your Thanksgiving table is not only beautiful but such a sweet honor of your mother. I know the holidays are going to be hard this season and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I enjoyed hearing about your special family memories, they are some great ones to hold tight to. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. Such nice memories!!! I love your new place. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  11. Vicki says:

    What a beautiful way to honor your mom’s memory! I love the updates you have made to your apartment, thanks for sharing!

  12. Suzi says:

    Beautiful nest, beautiful mama tribute!

  13. Julie thank you for sharing this beautiful table and your beautiful memories of your mom. Such a special post, hugs and Happy early Thanksgiving!

  14. Taryn Minarczyk says:

    Hi Julie. Your mom would be so proud. My children are grown and have their own families and I hope that when my time here in earth is through that they remember me with such love.I have hosted all sides of the family and a few stragglers for all the holidays. Many family traditions. I only hope they carry them forward and remember me when they do, with love.

    • Julie says:

      I bet they will, Taryn! That’s one of the things I wish I had assured my mom, but I’m pretty sure she knew. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Gere Walker says:

    Looks awesome. What a great Idea to honor your mom. Will you give me the info for.the dining room chairs?

  16. Oh, Julie- this table and all of the precious sentiments behind it make my eyes leak. Your mom would LOVE it. I love that you used her scarf…that worked out beautifully! And the addition of the pampas grass is one of my favorite touches…such great texture! I know this will be the first of many precious events without your mom, but I have no doubt she’s watching down on you and super proud. xoxo, kristi

  17. Julie, your Thanksgiving tablescape is just lovely. Using your Mom’s scarf was so sweet and brought tears to my eyes. She will be right there with you enjoying Thanksgiving in your new apartment. You found some great thrift store finds. I love the amber glasses. I look forward to seeing your Holiday Housewalk tour. Happy Thanksgiving!Mic

  18. Cindy says:

    This is such a memorable table Julie, and such a sweet way to honor your mom! She’ll be right there with you at the table!

  19. Mary Beth says:

    Oh, Julie! What a beautiful post. Sending you love and hugs. xo

  20. Debbie says:

    Julie, my Mom “crossed over”; as she put it, in August. I understand what you are going through. Now, my husband and I have lost both parents. This loss has been the most profound for me. I am truly missing her these days.
    For our Thanksgiving table I placed my black and white buffalo checked tablecloth on our table. Topped it with matching fall placemats and runner that I had given my mom years ago. These were in muted Autumn colors. As a centerpiece, I placed a cream colored, farmhouse pitcher and bowl. I placed flowers from her funeral that I had dried, along with a sprinkling of fall leaves. It was simple, far from lavish, but one of favorite so far. Each piece held a memorable.

  21. […] Redhead Can Decorate –How to Create I Miss My Mom Tablescape […]

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