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10 Easy Crafts to Brighten Any Thanksgiving Table

Easy to make, and a joy to have on the table.

Give Thanks Centerpiece
You’ll Need:
Rectangular vase or planter
Green floral foam (approximately 1.5 bricks)
Black river rocks
White lollipop sticks
Chipboard letters
Decorative gourds (real or artificial)
Artificial orchid leaves or other greenery
Satin ribbon (1.5 – 2′ wide)
Hot glue gun
Tape and/or craft glue

What to Do
1. Fill the vase with floral foam, trimming the foam as necessary to fit. Make sure to leave at least 1′ of space between the top of the foam and the rim of the vase. Cover the foam with river rocks.

2. Insert the artificial orchid leaves (or other greenery) at an angle on one side of the vase, and place the decorative gourds around it.

3. Embellish the vase with a band of satin ribbon.

4. Using the chipboard letters and craft of hot glue, add the word ‘thanks’ to the ribbon on the front side of the vase.

5. Using a hot glue gun, secure each letter in the word ‘give’ onto its own lollipop stick. Let dry, then insert the 4 sticks through the rock layer and into the floral foam so that the centerpiece reads ‘give thanks’!

Gourd Place Card Holders
You’ll Need:
Small artificial gourd
Cardstock or pre-cut place card
1/8′ hole punch

What to Do
Punch a 1/8” hole into a small piece of cardstock or pre-cut place card. Use ribbon to secure the place card to the neck of the artificial gourd. Display on top of a ribbon-embellished dinner napkin.

Easy Autumn ‘Napkin Rings’
You’ll Need:
Autumn-themed scrapbook paper and decorative wooden or chipboard tags, such as the ‘Autumn Splendor’ collection from Making Memories that’s used here.
Clear craft glue and scissors
Ribbon (optional)
Paper cutter (optional)

What to Do
1. Cut a 1.5′ strip of paper and wrap it around the napkin, securing with glue on the back.

2. Use tags & other embellishments to create decorative accents for the paper napkin rings. Secure the embellishments with ribbon or craft glue.

Glitzy Pillar Candles
You’ll Need:
Large white pillar candle – approximately 6-10′
Satin ribbon (in 2 colors that match your Thanksgiving tablescape)
Decorative paper (solid or patterned)
Faux glittered leaves and stickers (optional)
Hot glue gun

What to Do
1. Starting at the bottom of the candle, add a wide strip of decorative paper all the way around the candle. Next, add one band of each color of ribbon directly above the paper strip for a “rainbow” look.

2. Use hot glue to secure small pieces of glittered leaves to the front of the candle. Use pre-glittered artificial leaves (available at craft stores during the holiday season) or create your own using fine craft glitter.

Optional: Display the candle on a small plate decorated with a leaf-shaped glittery sticker.

Autumn Burst Napkin Ring
You’ll Need:
Artificial flowers in colors that match your Thanksgiving tablescape
Satin ribbon
Pre-cut paper leaves (or decorative paper + scissors to create your own)
Wire cutters
Hot glue gun

What to Do
1. Wrap each napkin with the wide satin ribbon.

2. Using wire cutters, remove stems from the artificial flowers so that the flower lies flat on the napkin.

3. Hot glue the flower bloom to the napkin. Tuck 2 paper leaves under the bloom, securing onto the ribbon with glue.

Autumn Leaf Drink Charms
You’ll Need:
Pre-cut paper leaves (or decorative paper + scissors to create your own)
1/8′ hole punch
Small jewelry rings

What to Do
Use the small 1/8′ punch to create a hole in the paper leaf for the jewelry ring. Slide the leaf onto the ring, then fasten the ring around the stem of a cocktail or wine glass.

Modern Harvest Centerpiece
You’ll Need:
3-Tier Serving Dish (Pictured here: 3-Tier Pastry Dish by Target Home)
Decorative pumpkins & gourds in various colors
Matching flower blooms
Clear floral tubes (optional)

What to Do
1. Arrange the decorative gourds onto each level of the 3-tier server. Use warm shades of yellow, orange, and plum for a rich, autumn feel.

2. Tuck a few large flower blooms into each level of gourds right before the party starts. For a longer-lasting centerpiece, first insert the flowers into small floral tubes filled with water.

Simple Contemporary Autumn Trio
No need to get elaborate with your Thanksgiving centerpiece! This look only takes a couple minutes and still looks fantastic on the table. Add a few tea lights or votive candles on either side of the arrangement, or increase the amount of bud vases to 5-9 for a long table.

You’ll Need:
Yellow and orange flowers (real or artificial) with full blooms (mums or dahlias are great options)
Tall grass filler (real or artificial, which is available online or at craft stores like Michaels)
Contemporary white bud vases

What to Do
Insert 1 yellow flower, 1 orange flower and a small bunch of grass filler/greenery into separate bud vases. If using a white tablecloth, set the trio on a colorful table runner or 12×12′ sheet of scrapbook paper.

Raffia-Tied Autumn Stemware
You’ll Need:
Small, autumn-themed chipboard coasters or tags (available at scrapbooking stores or the scrapbook aisle of your favorite craft store)
1/8′ hole punch
Raffia ribbon

What to Do
The mini coasters are made of chipboard and ready to go as-is, so all you need to do is punch a small hole at the top of each one using a 1/16? hole punch. Thread the tag onto a strand of raffia, then tie the raffia onto the glass, wrapping it around the stem a few times before tying it into a knot. Super quick & easy – and you can tailor this idea to any holiday or party theme!

Modern Elegance Centerpiece
What to Do
1. Instead of fresh flowers, feature interesting, exotic-looking dried florals for your centerpieces – such as these cool cream-colored bell cups and autumn-hued fans.

2. Drape bunches of large, artificial grapes over the edge of the vases. If the grapes are heavy and cause the vase tip over, add rocks or vase filler inside to weigh it down and keep it steady. Place smaller grape bunches on the table, near the base of the centerpiece.

3. Embellish the centerpiece vases with bands of ribbon. Try layering a contemporary-patterened ribbon over a wider band of solid ribbon.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest