Thursday, October 20, 2011

Get Ready For the Holidays: Inexpensive Ways to Have Great Thanksgiving Decor

I know. It's not even Halloween yet and I'm talking about Thanksgiving. But as my November magazines and catalogues began to arrive last week it was kind of hard not to get the creative juices flowing. Just for the record: I don't have the Thanksgiving holiday—Christmas is mine, all mine—but I do like to make the house look a little bit autumn-ish thus making the transition to Christmas a bit easier. Last year I put some of my saved glass vases to use holding acorns, pine cones and cranberries (The Daily Suse, October 21, 2010) that worked well for both holidays lasting through the winter months as part,  it only cost pennies.

This year as I perused magazines, the Internet and catalogues I came up with a few more. For sure there are lots of things out there depending on the amount of money you want to spend, but I like the cheap ideas and that's what you'll see here in my pictorial review. Full disclosure: these photos are not mine but they are sourced to HGTV, Martha Stewart (check out Martha Stewart Living, November 2011 available now. There are so many great ideas in the issue), Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel. I'll have some of my own as the holiday approaches but until then, hope you get some great ideas!

Candle Ideas
Wrap leftover corn husks around a votive holder and tie with coordinating ribbon.
Wrap clear or translucent cylinders with strips of fall-colored tissue paper for a romantic effect.
This turkey tea light holder is available from Crate and Barrel for less than four dollars.
Don't like candles but have lots of candle holders? 
Use tiny pumpkins or miniature gourds on top instead.

Purchase some of those tiny pumpkins, carve out a 1-inch deep circle and place a real or battery powered tea lights to set the mood for your Thanksgiving table, fireplace mantle or entryway.

Place cards and Napkin Holders
Lots of ideas here. If you eat a lot of whole chickens, save the wishbones, dry them out and spray paint to use as napkin holders. Or visit the website where you can purchase some gold ones three for a dollar! Scroll and click on the trinket section. 

Next, use whole walnuts and make small name cards for your guests.

Even cheaper, collect some of the balls (I call them itchy balls) that fall from trees around this time of the year (pine cones would work as well). Use them in their natural state or spray them gold, or orange. Add a name tag and tie with a coordinating bow at top.

Fruit works well too and tastes great especially after a big meal—pears, apples or gourds are suggested. Add a simple name tag tied with string.

For the Kids
Personalized Indian hats can be pre-made with construction paper or felt and feathers purchased at local craft stores. Great for family photos too!

Cake pops or cut-out cookies are fun desserts for undeveloped pumpkin pie palates. Check out my daughter's website for some great ideas. The pumpkin cookie cutters are from Crate and Barrel for $2.95.

Miscellaneous Ideas
Don't underestimate the power of gold spray paint. It makes the most ordinary or old decoration look like you broke the bank!

Tiered cake plate? Not a problem if you use some chunky tree trunk slices in various widths separated by silver cans. Glaze the wood and cover or disguise the cans with ribbons, flowers or just leave as is.

If you've scored an unusual looking pumpkin, just go with that as a centerpiece surrounded by mosses or grasses from a craft store.

For a seasonal entryway, take an old frame, spray it gold, cut a board to fit and paint it with blackboard paint available in most paint stores. Lean it against the wall surrounded by a combination of miscellaneous vases, pumpkins, gourds and branches. Write a welcoming message or post the menu on your homemade blackboard. 

Lastly, tie some shimmery fabric onto your chairs to give your dining room a custom look. Your guests will love it!

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