Ask the grumpies: Thanksgiving garage decorations?

kt asks:

Any decor ideas for Garage Thanksgiving?

I love this question!  We’re not really into decorating, so we won’t be doing anything… but….the idea is lovely.

Definitely cinnamon brooms.  I’d probably go for some potpourri action too, or if you have an induction stove I’d put a big pot of heavily spiced apple cider on it to add to the fall fragrance.  Things to make the garage smell less garage-like and more holiday-like.

I asked one of my friends who loves home decor.  Here’s her advice:

I’d set up a table and decorate it like an inside table.  I’d probably get old throw rugs for the ground.  I’d light candles.  Pumpkins.  Mums.

Here’s a google image search on the topic.

Here’s some suggestions for repurposing things that are already in your garage (assuming you don’t just like, keep cars in there).

Someone made a video (the end result is impressive, I think):

Grumpy Nation, I am sure most if not all of you are better at this than we are.  What suggestions do you have for decorating a garage for Thanksgiving or just keeping the air flowing while you eat with loved ones that don’t live with you?  (If we do Thanksgiving with my sister it will be on the deck or in the patio, depending on the weather.)

10 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Thanksgiving garage decorations?”

  1. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    Lap blankets for all!

    Also a ridiculous festive centerpiece of some kind if possible. We have a ludicrous stuffed turkey like this one (

  2. Jessica Says:

    Maybe have kids make some decorations if they’re the right age? Garage Thanksgiving isn’t gonna be fancy, but it can be cute and sweet!

  3. Alice Says:

    After the obvious stuff (removal of bicycles and spiderwebs, etc.), I’d take curtains from the rest of the house to cover the walls (our garage walls are not lovely). I’d leave the floors as-is beyond cleaning. The concrete isn’t beautiful, but it would be okay enough.

    I’d set up single-household card tables, spaced out as far as possible, with placecards to discourage mixing. Depending on your county health department recommendations (ours is currently a max of 10 people for personal outdoor gatherings, max of 5 for indoor ones), I would expect it to be 2, maybe 3 tables. I would make sure that all tablecloths, napkins, and table decor was weighted or tied down so as to not blow around if it got windy. I think that even a slightly windy day could wreak havoc on your set-up–it just takes one gust in the wrong direction to send everything that isn’t tacked down flying. I wouldn’t do a buffet line set-up, but would maybe have serving platters with bits of everything at each table.

    And I would think about the kind of mood I’d want to create and what you’d want to do to make it happen. We had a good time with our household-only Halloween because we leaned into the silliness. For our household-only Thanksgiving, I’m looking less for silly and more for slightly dressed-up comfort. So there’ll be candles and the dining room table, and my daughter will most likely put on her dressy dress, but my husband will probably stick to pajamas all day. And I will make dip because I love dip and I think of it as a holiday thing, even though we won’t have company. I’m looking forward to it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I swear those cobwebs are just leftover from Halloween…(maybe)

      For us we have two plans– if my sister comes with her serious boyfriend and we do the outdoor thing we’re going to make all our midwestern family stuff– turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole with pecans, champagne salad (this is a frozen coolwhip thing with strawberries, bananas, walnuts, and pineapple, but DH and I make it with actual whipped cream and it’s better), various pies, cranberry sauce, spiced nuts, whatever vegetable my sister brings, and DH’s grandma’s rolls. If she *doesn’t* come, then DC1 has suggested that we make turkey sushi and I have menu for that– turkey and cranberry chutney sushi, cranberry milkshakes (DH’s suggestion), roasted sweet potato wedges, roasted brussels sprouts, baked apples, and beet and orange salad with spiced nuts.

      Dip is yummy!

    • Angela Says:

      My in-laws hosted a graduation party for my SIL in their garage (in the before-COVID-times) and hung disposable tablecloths on the walls to make it feel less like a garage, so that might be an easier option than curtains.

  4. bogart Says:

    Garage Thanksgiving (porch Thanksgiving, etc.) seems somewhat in keeping with the (mythical) origins of the holiday. Assuming cold is an issue, I think in addition to the decor I might offer heat-point sources of warmth — fire pit, or space heater (particularly if already available/owned). And maybe warm beverages — tea, coffee, mulled wine or cider? Would have to think about how to serve safely, but presumably with a small group this could be done.

  5. teresa Says:

    I feel like strands of fairy lights/LED lights make everything feel more festive- either on the walls or along the middle of the table. Or both. We got some autumn maple leaf LED strands from amazon that feel very thanksgiving-ish (although they’re for decorating the 12 foot halloween skeleton that’s apparently staying up in our front yard indefinitely. He also got a goofy stuffed turkey hat.)

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