7 Thank-worthy DIY Thanksgiving Decoration Projects

Thanksgiving table decorations. Glitter acorn.
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The theme of Thanksgiving is gratitude. Living in a state of gratitude for the natural world is what has given many of us a yearning to protect our planet. And, what better way to protect our planet than by reducing waste through repurposing common household items.  These seven easy DIY projects are sure to liven up the Thanksgiving season.

Edible Centerpiece or Appetizer 

Turkey appetizer tray

What better way is there to reuse a Thanksgiving decoration than to eat it? Many  fruits and vegetables fit the color palette of the holiday, including apples, oranges, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers.

Simply layer vegetables on a plate forming a turkey image, by placing carrots, celery, and red pepper slices for tail feathers and sliced peppers, and cucumbers for a body, with an oval shaped vegetable for a head. For a desert plate, use a mixture of yellow, orange or red fruits, with sweet treats such as chocolate or candy.

Make a Gratitude Tree

This project sets the stage for a gratitude activity for fall visitors or Thanksgiving guests. Collect small fallen branches from outside and place them in a vase or jar. Cut out little paper leaves or shapes from repurposed paper, and attach a piece of string to hang them on the tree like ornaments. Encourage guests to write a gratitude statement on a leaf, then take turns reading them out loud.

Pine Cone Place Cards

DIY pine cone name tagsTo add a rustic look to the dinner table, collect pine cones for this fun project. Write guest names on a small piece of paper and attach them to each pine cone.

Recruit Junior Artists

If there will be children at your Thanksgiving celebration, why not set-up a kids’s craft table with repurposed materials? Toilet paper rolls, scraps of fabric, egg cartons, cereal boxes, fall leaves, and bottle corks all make great materials.

Thanksgiving Lantern 

By attaching a wire, your candle holders can turn into lanterns. A lantern walk is a fun activity after a Thanksgiving meal, especially if there are children at your gathering. It is ideal to use a Mason jar or jar with a decent lip to attach the wire.

Pull 20-gauge wire around under the lip of the jar, form a hook, and pull the wire tight. Twist the short end of the wire, so the wire loop around the lip is taut against the jar, forming a knot. Save a 10-inch section of wire to form the handle, using a couple inches to twist it around the opposite side of the first knot.

Fall Colors Jar Candles

This fun DIY project will add a warm candlelight glow to your Thanksgiving celebration.

  • Venture outside to collect vibrantly colored fall leaves. Thin, malleable leaves will stick best to your jar.
  • Press and dry the leaves before getting started if time allows. Make sure your jar is clean, as grease on the outside will make it difficult to get the leaves to stick.
  • Coat the outside of the jar in diluted glue, either using your fingers, a sponge, or a sponge brush.
  • Apply a layer of leaves and allow it to dry. You can continue adding layers of leaves or tissue paper if desired, and top it off with another thin layer of diluted glue.
  • Once dry, place a tealight candle inside.

DIY leaf jars

Festive Squash Bowls

This is a delightful way to serve appetizers, ideally using locally-harvested squash. Merely cut off the top of the squash and remove the seeds. Fill bowls with cheese slices, olives, fresh veggies, or dip. Peel and repurpose the squash bowls afterward to make your favorite squash dish.

Have other DIY projects you’d like to share with readers?  Leave your comment below!  Looking for other great DIY project ideas?

Feature image courtesy of Les Howard

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Sarah Lozanova
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Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova is a renewable energy and sustainability journalist and communications professional with an MBA in sustainable management. She is a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Mother Earth Living, Earth911, Home Power, Triple Pundit, CleanTechnica, The Ecologist, GreenBiz, Renewable Energy World and Windpower Engineering. Lozanova also works with several corporate clients as a public relations writer to gain visibility for renewable energy and sustainability achievements.
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