Instead of settling for run-of-the-mill, store-bought decor this Thanksgiving season, embellish your home with unique, do-it-yourself creations instead. Light up your tablescape with handmade pumpkin and apple candle holders, or dress up the dining room with festive branch and autumn leaf adornments.
Natural Candle Creations
Apples, miniature pumpkins and buttercup squash come into play for an assortment of all-natural candle holders. Select flat-bottomed apples, pumpkins and squash in assorted colors for an eye-catching display; pumpkins and squash without their stems are ideal. Trace the bottom of a tealight candle on top of each apple or mini pumpkin, and carve out the area inside the traced line so a tealight fits perfectly inside. For a buttercup squash, use a larger votive candle instead. Arrange your creations on a platter for a Thanksgiving table centerpiece that also catches any spilled wax. Sprinkle a smattering of candy corn or turkey-shaped candies onto the tray for added, edible effect.
Kids enjoy making decorations too — ask the children to round up a collection of colorful, fallen leaves to make their own place mats for Thanksgiving dinner. If you don’t have access to real leaves, use faux autumn leaves made of silk, or ask the children to draw their own leaf, turkey or cornucopia designs on construction paper, cutting the shapes out with scissors afterward. Cut sheets of clear contact paper to the desired place mat size with the backing paper still in place. Remove the backing paper from one sheet; place it sticky-side up; and allow the kids to arrange their leaves or paper creations. Remove the backing paper from the other piece of contact paper, and then smooth it down over the arrangement so the pieces of contact paper line up perfectly. Smooth out all the bubbles and trim uneven edges, if necessary.
Collect twigs and narrow fallen branches to create a series of fall-ready decorative items. Select branches that have a number of twig offshoots, and then hot-glue colorful silk autumn leaves onto them. Hang large branches horizontally atop curtain rods, securing them with floral wire; you can even hang them from a cafe curtain rod for a kitchen window display. Arrange other branches in vases wrapped with orange, yellow or brown jute or raffia for a Thanksgiving theme. Hide a tiny turkey figurine or two, poking out from among the leaves, to add a little fun for the kiddos.
Miniature pumpkins and gourds serve as Thanksgiving decor that lasts the entire season. Dip the bottoms of white mini pumpkins in gold paint, or paint gold glittered stripes on them – create a striped pattern by painting between strips of painters tape. When the paint dries, brush the painted areas with decoupage medium and sprinkle fine gold glitter over the wet paint. Tape turkey – or cornucopia-shaped stencils onto plain small pumpkins, and then dab gold or red paint through the stencils. For a fresh take on a topiary, stack consecutively smaller foam pumpkins on a stake set into a sturdy planter. Paint the pumpkins gold, or paint each a different Thanksgiving color, such as brown, orange and yellow.
About the Author
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer that specializes in innovative ways to update and upcycle existing furniture, fashions and decor into new, exciting pieces. She also coordinates wardrobes as well as dressing-room and music-studio decor for musicians.