The leaves are changing colors, the air is getting crisper, and pumpkin spice everything is back on the shelves. That can only mean one thing – it’s time to start planning for Friendsgiving decorations! Friendsgiving is a newish holiday that’s quickly gaining popularity. It’s like Thanksgiving, but instead of spending the day with relatives you can barely tolerate, you gather your closest friends and chosen family together to celebrate and give thanks. If you’re hosting a Friendsgiving this season, setting the scene with some festive, thoughtful decor will help make the event feel special and cozy for you and your guests. The right touches can encourage people to relax and bond while setting a nostalgic, holiday mood.
In this article, we’ll explore tons of fun, creative Friendsgiving decor ideas to make your gathering feel warm, inviting, and memorable. Let’s get started!
The entryway sets the tone when guests first arrive, so give your doorway and front hall some autumnal flair.
Start with the front door. Hang a big plaid ribbon wreath or a classic mixed greenery wreath. Prop the door open to let the savory aromas waft out.
Add a hay bale or two on the porch along with some pumpkins. Scatter them with fallen leaves and mini gourds for splashes of natural color. Stick a cute “Welcome Friends!” sign in the bale for some cheerful greeting.
You can also tie burlap bows around the porch columns and hang strands of twinkle lights overhead to make the entry sparkle.
Then create a designated coat and boot check area inside the front hall to keep things tidy. Hang some vintage hooks on the wall for jackets. Arrange a bench or stool for sitting while removing shoes.
Place a large basket filled with cozy slipper socks, so guests can easily kick their shoes off and relax their feet. Top it with a sign that says “Shoes off – socks on!”
Set up a signature drink station right inside the front door to start the mingling and good vibes flowing immediately.
A hot spiced apple cider or cranberry punch are perfect fall options. Add a big ladle, mugs, cinnamon sticks, and festive garnishes so guests can help themselves.
Surround the drink urn with autumn greenery like bare branches or purple kale sprinkled with twinkle lights. The warm drinks and twinkling lights will instantly make your guests feel cozy and cheerful when they walk in.
The dining room is the heart of a Friendsgiving decoration. You’ll want to infuse this space with autumnal warmth and flair using layers of decor.
Start with the table itself. A natural jute or burlap runner adds earthy texture down the center. Top it off with a line of chunky candles for ambiance. Clusters of mini pumpkins and gourds make colorful, festive focal points.
If you have a long table, stagger the height of your decor. Place low floral centerpieces in between tall candle holders for visual interest.
Make a personalized place card for each guest. Simple folded cards labeled with guest names add a nice personal touch. Tie them to the napkins or plates with ribbon, raffia, or a sprig of foliage.
For fun seasonal place cards, you can print guests’ names onto faux autumn leaves, mini pumpkins, or pine cones using temporary printables or paint pens.
Lighting helps make any space feel warm and inviting. Use strings of twinkle lights, paper lanterns, or tableside candles to softly illuminate the dining room.
Turn off overhead fixtures to let the decor shine. The glow of candles and lights will make the room feel extra cozy.
Tie in seasonal details throughout the space. Drape bunches of amber maple leaves down the table. Line the mantel or shelves with gourds and mini pumpkins. Display a pretty fall floral bouquet as the centerpiece.
Set up a hot cocoa bar so guests can top off their mugs with treats like marshmallows, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. The pop of orange and holiday aromas will get everyone feeling merry and bright.
Between courses, guests will need a comfortable place to chat, play games, and digest. Give your living room a dash of autumn charm to help people relax and socialize.
The living room should feel like a big comfy nest. Toss plush blankets and knit throws over the couches and chairs so people can snuggle up.
Set out extra pillows too. Your guests will likely be in a turkey coma by the end of the big meal, so make sure there are plenty of spots to put their feet up.
Display more harvest decor on the fireplace mantel or a blank wall. Arrange gourds, mini pumpkins, and faux fall leaves around candle holders and floral picks.
Or create an autumnal gallery wall with prints and paintings featuring fall colors and seasonal themes like leaves or woodland creatures. The natural motifs will encourage relaxation.
Pull out your best board games and stack them on the coffee table, ready for some friendly competition. Add a cozy throw blanket that guests can wrap up in while playing.
If you have a TV nearby, set up a slideshow displaying photos from past Friendsgivings or other good times with your guests. The nostalgia will spark sweet memories and conversations.
Scent is strongly tied to memory and emotion. The aroma of cinnamon, cloves, and pine will evoke the nostalgia of autumn and the holidays.
Burn a seasonal candle or potpourri, or simmer a homemade aromatherapy mix on the stove. Your guests will keep getting whiffs of cozy fall scent throughout the evening, keeping them in a relaxed, grateful spirit.
If you’re blessed with a backyard, patio, or balcony, bring some of the decor outdoors too. This gives guests more room to lounge and chat in the fresh fall air.
A fire pit or chiminea instantly makes any patio or yard more inviting. The flickering glow helps take the edge off autumn’s chillier temperatures.
Build a crackling fire and place log seats around it for an intimate, camp-like vibe. Provide a stash of fleece blankets so people can stay toasty while swapping stories around the flames.
String lights overhead cast a magical twinkle after dark. Stretch them between trees and fences or across a pergola.
Place lanterns along the deck or steps to help light the way. The glow creates a cozy ambience for stargazing or whipping up s’mores.
Arrange bistro sets, rocking chairs, or benches around the fire so guests have a place to sit, sip, and chat awhile.
Top chairs with plush cushions and have lap blankets at the ready. A big cozy rug can also define a seating area on a deck or patio.
Dot autumnal accents outside to echo your interior decor. Cluster terra cotta pots filled with mums, ornamental kale, wheat grasses, and mini gourds.
Stash extra firewood in a vintage wheelbarrow or wooden crate. Prop cute pumpkin or gratitude signs around for extra festive flair. Everywhere your guests wander, they’ll be surrounded by fall charm.
Adding homemade decorations and personal photos makes your Friendsgiving celebration unique. Take the time to craft a few special touches. Your guests will appreciate the extra thought you put in.
Dig up old photos of past Friendsgiving, holidays, and good times with your guests. Arrange them in pretty frames on shelves or side tables. You can also string photos along a garland, Prop photos in mini pumpkins, or stick them around a fireplace with washi tape.
Seeing all those happy memories on display will get your guests feeling extra grateful and bonded.
Make a “place card tree” to display your unique seating labels. Take a small tree branch and insert the top of each card or leaf nametag into slits in the branch. Sit it in a vase on your table or buffet. Guests can easily find their assigned seat.
Clean out mini gourds and carve faces into the sides – like jack-o-lanterns. Place a tealight inside each gourd, then cluster them on shelves or around your tablescape to add playful pops of candlelight.
Cut squares of colorful linen or cotton napkins. Fold them into fun shapes like bows, leaves, acorns or flowers. Wrap the folded napkin around the dinner napkin as a unique ring. Your guests will be impressed by your origami skills.
Adding personal touches and homemade elements really takes your Friendsgiving decor over the top. The effort shows how much you want to make the event special and meaningful for your nearest and dearest. Even simple crafts add a dose of charm.
When selecting decor, look for pieces in rich fall hues, natural materials, and seasonal shapes. Here are examples of items that quickly evoke autumn’s spirit:
Accent fabrics like cotton, burlap, linen, and wool in reds, browns, yellows, oranges, and neutrals also bring seasonal warmth. Look for textures like knits, plaids, and tweeds.
Embrace bare, exposed wood grains and play up craftsman style accents on things like wooden utensils, woven baskets, and fabric fringing.
Mix-and-match patterns featuring plaid, vintage florals, or woodland creatures like foxes, deer, and owls. The key is blending warmer fall tones and familiar seasonal icons and motifs.
Adding accents, textures, and colors that are unmistakably autumn will create an immersive seasonal atmosphere your guests will adore.
As a final touch, create a Thanksgiving or autumn-themed playlist to provide festive background music all evening. Here are some great songs that will get everyone feeling extra grateful and merry:
Pick songs with lyrics about friendship, thankfulness, home, and connection. Steer clear of anything too fast paced – you want music that enhances the laidback mood.
Share your playlist with guests ahead of time and encourage everyone to suggest songs. Making the playlist collaborative ensures it includes everyone’s favorite tunes. Check out Spotify or Apple Music for ready-made Friendsgiving playlists to get you started.
The decorations provide the backdrop, but your hospitality is what truly makes guests feel welcome and cared for. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your Friendsgiving festivities:
Having guests contribute dishes gets everyone involved. Potlucks naturally foster a sense of community. Assign categories like appetizers, sides, desserts to divide the prep.
Be sure to have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options so all your guests can munch happily. Ask about any food allergies or dietary needs as you plan the menu.
Build in plenty of time and activities for guests to mingle and bond, like ice breaker games, crafts, sangria tasting, or a Gratitude Circle where you share appreciations aloud. Meeting new friends is part of the fun of Friendsgiving.
Encourage guests to minimize screen time and be present with one another. Have them store phones in a basket during dinner for less distraction.
At evening’s end, pack up leftovers and extra desserts for guests to enjoy later. The food and memories will keep the warm feelings lasting beyond your get-together.
With thoughtful hospitality that makes everyone feel included, appreciated, and well fed, your guests will leave feeling the love. That’s the ultimate goal of any great Friendsgiving celebration!
What date is Friendsgiving typically celebrated?
Friendsgiving is usually celebrated 1-2 weeks before the official Thanksgiving holiday, often on a weekend so more friends are available to attend. Most Friendsgiving gatherings take place anywhere from early to mid November.
What time of day works best for Friendsgiving?
Friendsgiving dinners are usually scheduled in the late afternoon or early evening, similar to Thanksgiving dinner. Many hosts serve the meal around 4pm or 5pm. If you want Friendsgiving to be more of an all-day affair with activities and appetizers starting earlier, you can also begin the festivities in the early afternoon.
How do I create the guest list for Friendsgiving?
First determine how many people you have space to host comfortably. Then think about which friends you want to have over to give thanks and spend quality time with. Strike a balance between inviting your closest inner circle while also bringing together different friend groups and connections. You can also let each friend extend an invitation to someone else they think would enjoy the group.
What should I make for a Friendsgiving meal?
Go for comforting, crowd-pleasing dishes similar to a traditional Thanksgiving spread. Turkey or ham as a main protein, with hearty sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted veggies, cranberry sauce, and yeast rolls. Balance out the heavy dishes with lighter options like green salads or fruit plates. And don’t forget dessert – have guests contribute sweet treats! Potlucks are common to divide the cooking.
What are some fun Friendsgiving activities?
Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to slow down and show gratitude for the most important things – connection, community, and mutual care.
Use the occasion as a creative outlet by crafting thoughtful Friendsgiving decorations that welcome guests and spark joyful memories. Keep the energy warm, cozy, and lighthearted.
Thanksgiving Mantel Decor Ideas to Set a Festive Mood: Elevate the warmth of your gathering with creative mantel decor, but remember, most importantly, focus on building bonds and making everyone feel included. Fill the room with family in spirit, if not in blood. The more you and your guests feel cared for, the more there will be room in your hearts for thankfulness.
That’s the real magic of Friendsgiving. So embrace the season in all its nostalgia and coziness. Welcome old and new friends to your table. And raise your mugs – here’s to gratitude shared!