Let’s be honest: Grandma’s 15-year-old plastic cornucopia and cinnamon scented potpourri centerpiece getup is a little tired.
The potpourri smells more like tree bark than cinnamon, and the plastic maize is missing half its kernels. Additionally, there are spider webs around the base of the shredded cornucopia and the thought of ingesting spiders and attic dust with your turkey and stuffing isn’t the most appetizing thought.
Instead of staring at the same withering décor this year, gently tell Grandma that you’re starting new Thanksgiving tradition: DIY Centerpieces and Placemats. The entire family can get involved and you’ll have a fresh new table each year.
First things first, the cornucopia has to go. You don’t need to spend much money, or any, to have an amazing centerpiece ready in no time. Instead of running out to the store and purchasing plastic gourds or stringy hay, try to incorporate autumn’s natural gifts or the foods you’ll be eating into a creative centerpiece. A bowl of pinecones, fall leaves dried or fresh, berries and twigs can be an eye-pleasing choice. Choose a decorative bowl, and paint some of the pinecones white or sprinkle in cranberries to help break up the monotonous brown tones.
If you have younger kids in your family, you likely don’t want to spend a lot of time or money on placemats that could be ruined with one wayward spoonful of stuffing or an intercepted forkful of cranberry sauce. This video provides a cheap, simple, and creative spin on a traditional placemat.
All you need is a few brown paper bags, scissors or a paper cutter, and decorative hole punches. The whole family, kids included, can get in on the placemat fun. All you need to do is cut out a placemat-sized square, adorn with hole punches and use the handles to create silverware ties. They’re easily customized, so everyone can make his/her own placemat unique or incorporate just the right amount of flair. These can also be saved as keepsakes or even re-used next year if they survive the Thanksgiving Feast Gauntlet.
If you’re running a larger Thanksgiving dinner production, you might want to have a little fun with the seating. Attach numbers to each place setting silverware bundle, or as a set up card itself. Have people draw a number and sit in the corresponding spot. It’s a great opportunity to talk to family members you don’t see often and catch up with your crazy cousins.
If you prefer pre-arranged seating, making simple name cards out of your extra grocery bag material adds an elegant touch to a unique design.
In the same way that we never get tired of looking at a beautiful landscape, a gorgeous Thanksgiving tablescape is sure to put everyone at ease and set the mood for good food and conversation. With a one-of-a-kind centerpiece and unique place mats, you’ll already have a leg up. Don’t be afraid to whip out candles of different shapes and sizes, but not too many. Disperse the candles throughout the table, but keep them away from the little ones. Use household or kitchen items as platforms if possible to elevate main dishes. Sprinkle fresh fruit or nuts in the remaining space that can serve as additional decoration, plus snacks. Don’t crowd the table too much, as you’ll need plenty of room to maneuver food and drinks.
With a beautiful tablescape, great food, and gorgeous centerpieces and placemats, you’ll have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season. Don’t underestimate the importance of spending time with your family and friends this year and giving thanks for the many blessings in your life.