We’ve all made the handprint turkey. But if your little ones are in search of a slightly more challenging project this year, why not try using your recyclables to adorn the Thanksgiving table? An added bonus to these five recycled crafts: You won’t have to hide them behind the centerpiece when company comes over.
1. Thankful tree
Every year, Vanessa Coppola’s family takes turns saying what they’re thankful for at the Thanksgiving table. The tradition inspired the Craftzine.com contributor to create this cute (and surprisingly chic) centerpiece – a “tree” sprouting gratitude leaves.
Use Coppola’s detailed tutorial to turn a pumpkin, fallen tree branches and an old cereal box into a tree-like focal point. Once your tree is assembled, have the kids write things they are thankful for – like family, friends or the great outdoors – on homemade leaves for a friendly reminder of everyday blessings.
2. Pinecone turkeys
As you’re dumping yard trimmings into the compost pile, set a few pinecones aside for use in a cute Thanksgiving craft. Craft maven, foodie and A Pumpkin and a Princess blogger Crystal dreamed up this idea to keep the kids busy while waiting for the big meal.
In a few easy steps, Crystal turns those homely pinecones into adorable turkeys that are bound to put a smile on any guest’s face. Don’t want to use real feathers? Use junk mail, food boxes and other paper waste to create recycled “faux feathers” instead.
3. Mayflower napkin clip
This quick and easy craft from Better Homes and Gardens reminds the kids of their latest history lesson and adds a touch of fun to any Thanksgiving spread.
Use a tutorial and pattern to assemble the Mayflower out of recycled paper, mount it on an ice-pop stick and adhere a clothespin to transform the paper craft into a festive napkin holder. Clip your mini-ship to a blue cloth napkin to resemble the rolling seas.
4. Waste-not pilgrim
Our founding fathers touted the premise of “waste not, want not.” Now you can bring the idea to life with this cute pilgrim craft made from an empty condiment bottle. Familycorner.com contributor Amanda Formaro just added a film canister lid and some paint to create this fun and functional focal point.
To make good use of your craft on the dinner table, pour in a homemade vinaigrette for your Thanksgiving salads or turn it into an entertaining alternative to the gravy boat.
5. Turkey place cards
Place cards are a great way to add a personal touch to each guest’s seat. To up the “aww” factor at your dinner party this year, why not have the kids make place cards by hand? These cute turkey cards fit the season perfectly, and you’d never guess they’re made from trash.
Alphamom.com contributor Ellen Luckett Baker uses junk mail and old cereal boxes to create eye-catching 3D place cards. If you really want to get the family smiling, have your little darlings write messages to each guest inside.