Upcycled Thanksgiving banner

The great thing about Thanksgiving is that you can still use some of your Halloween decorations and repurpose them for the entire month of November. Whether you’re serving the Thanksgiving dinner this year or just want to get in the holiday mood, consider using eco-friendly or upcycled decorations. Just look around your house or the local thrift store to find the basics.

Check out these nine upcycled Thanksgiving decorations ideas — along with instructions of course. We wouldn’t leave you hanging.

Upcycled Thanksgiving Decor

  1. Fall leaf mason jar candle: Turn any empty glass jar into a candle holder. Use a little Mod Podge and stick some fall leaves to make a festive candle holder, your guests will never know that it was free!
  2. Leaf art: Take an old canvas, poster board, or piece of wood and paint the background (if needed). Then glue on some fall leaves from your yard. Voilà, you’ve just created a fall-inspired piece of art like what you’d find at the home store.
  3. Thankful napkin rings: Your guests will never know that these were once toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Cut them into one- to two-inch wide rings and stamp a thankful saying on them.
  4. Refresh your folding chairs: You know those old rusty folding chairs you pull out for the holiday guests? Give them a fresh coat of paint and re-cover the seats.
  5. Wine bottle lights: Save your wine bottles! Stuff them with a strand of twinkle lights and light them up when your guests arrive. This is super simple and the lights add to a warm and cheery atmosphere.
  6. Old book pumpkins: Turn that old ratty book on the shelf into a fall-themed pumpkin for your table. We don’t recommend doing this with your good books, but something you’ll never read again will work fine.
  7. Plastic pumpkin makeover: You know your kids are never going to use that plastic pumpkin again; it’s just going to sit in their room and collect trash. Stuff it with some plastic bags, old newspapers, or T-shirts and wrap it in burlap. Or, if you have an old sweater in fall colors that no one will wear anymore, use that instead of burlap.
  8. Painted wine bottles: Another use for wine bottles! Paint them in fall colors. Then, paint the words, “Give Thanks,” or some other Thanksgiving saying on them.
  9. Fall newspaper banner: Decorate your mantle or any wall with a fun fall-themed banner hanging on some jute cord.

Your house is now all decorated and all that’s missing is the Thanksgiving feast! You don’t need our help for that, just ask Grandma to share her favorite secret recipes with you.

Editor’s note: Originally published on November 20, 2015, this article was updated in November 2018.

By Calley Pate

A self-described eco-junkie, Calley Pate is the owner and editor of The Eco Chic blog covering eco-friendly living, cloth diapers, parenting, photography, and life in general. Her passion growing up was the arts and the ocean. After working as an environmental contractor, Calley took the leap into blogging full time in 2011. Calley is also Marketing & Social Media Manager for Kelly’s Closet cloth diaper retailer.