gord and small pumpkins in glass vase

By Irene Nelo – Making your own Thanksgiving decorations can be amazingly easy and fun, especially when you and your family make them together. Here are some easy and fun thanksgiving decorations to make:

Pumpkin Table Centerpieces: These natural centerpieces are quick to make and certain to be a topic of conversation at Thanksgiving dinner. Supplies needed:

  • Assortment of small gourds and pumpkins,
  • Faux autumn leaves from a craft store or some real ones from your yard if they are in good shape,
  • One, two or three (depending on the length of your table) tall clear vases cylindrical or square work best.

Fill each vase with an assortment of  gourds and pumpkins and place your autumn leaves sporadically throughout the arrangement. Place your vases on the table, and voila! A beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece that took merely minutes to make!

Pumpkin Candle Holders: Turn small pumpkins into Thanksgiving candle holders. You will need:

  • Newspaper
  • Serrated Knife
  • A few smaller pumpkins (however many you desire)
  • A larger scoop or spoon
  • An equal number of candles (approx 6 in height and 1-2 in diameter)

After spreading out your newspaper, cut a hole into your pumpkins that is just slightly smaller than the diameter of the candle. Scoop out as much of the seeds as possible. If the hole is too small to get all of the seeds, cut another hole in the bottom of equal size and scoop more from the bottom. Rinse out your pumpkin once it is free of seeds and repeat this step for each of your pumpkins. Once all of your pumpkins are carved out, place your candle inside of the hole. The candle’s should stick out about 2 inches or more. If you find them to be too short, place a votive holder upside down inside of the pumpkin and stand the candle on top of it. This should allow more of your candle to stick out from the pumpkin. Place your new candle holders as centrepieces on your table, on your fireplace mantle, or even on the window sill especially if you have a nice deep bay window.

turkey made out of gourd

Paper and Gourd Turkey Craft: This particular decoration is fun for the whole family to make. You will need:

  • Brown, red, orange and yellow tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Orange and red piper cleaner
  • A drill
  • A few dried gourds (available at most markets this time of year)
  • Black headed sewing pins
  • Hammer

With your children, fold all of your tissue paper together like an accordion.  Using scissors, cut a rounded edge on each coloured accordion, making sure to cut each colour slightly shorter than the last. Unfold each sheet of paper and place them all together again. Refold them into an accordion and secure the centre with a piece of orange pipe cleaner. Fan out your paper on each end to make a bow-tie shape, separating each colour to make them all visible. Fold your bow-tie in half like a V shape so that the sides of your accordion meet. Set aside.

Using your drill (this part is for the parents to do), drill 5 holes into your gourd one at the back where the turkey tail will go, two on the bottom for feet, one in the front about an inch and a half from the top for the beak, and another slightly below that for the wattle. Using your orange pipe cleaner, cut into smaller pieces and twist together to make two feet and a beak. Cut another smaller red piece and twist it to make a wattle. Insert each of these parts into their proper drilled holes. Using the folded tail from earlier, insert the twisted pipe cleaner ends into the back of the gourd. Fluff up the tail to show all the colours. Finally hammer in two black headed sewing pins above the beak for eyes. And there you have it, a fun, dried gourd turkey that even your kids can enjoy!

napkin holder twine and fall decorationFestive Fall Napkin Ties and Name Cards: This is another easy, ready in minutes decoration idea to help bring the Thanksgiving feel to your dinner table. All you need is some:

  • twine,
  • single hole punch
  • natural brown card stock
  • dried baby corn cobs that are available in markets and at craft stores everywhere.

Using the card stock, cut out a number of circles (or leaf shapes if you are more artistic) and write the name of each guest on each piece. Punch a hole at the top of each tag. String each tag onto a longer piece of twine. Take your napkin and fold it into a rectangle. Place a baby dried corn cob in the centre of the napkin. Wrap your twine around the napkin and the baby corn, securing it in place. Tie off the twine in a nice bow and bring the name tag forward so it is easily seen. Now you have a natural, easy and festive napkin tie to add that special touch to your thanksgiving table.

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