Thanksgiving decorations -- have your own decorating party

by Julie Snyder

Thanksgiving DecorationsAre you welcoming guests for Thanksgiving? We know you've planned the menu, organized places for everyone to stay and ordered the turkey. What's left?

Oh yes! Decorating the house!

Let these ideas help get your home ready for the festivities!

Better yet, invite friends over to join in the pre-holiday fun as you each make your own Thanksgiving decorations. The memories will be cherished for years to come!

Thanksgiving decorations you can make

Fall holiday banner

Welcome your guests with a glowing fall wall hanging or create a thankfulness banner for to build as folks arrive. Paint a winding, bare branch on a 2-foot by 5-foot piece of tan felt and allow to. Cut fall leaves from felt. Use a variety of colors and shapes. Arrange the leaves those randomly on your branch. At your entry way, have fine tip markers and a set of bright paper leaf shapes. Encourage each guest this month to add one or more thankful leaves to the tree. Pin each leaf to the banner or attach with a bit of glue.

Paint a pumpkin

Instead of carving a pumpkin for Halloween, paint a pumpkin for Thanksgiving. Use a real pumpkin or purchase one at a craft store. If it's a real pumpkin, wash and dry the surface. With acrylic or sparkle paint, brush on a simple or a repetitive geometric design. For your rest of the Thanksgiving table, use Native American design elements.

If you're artistic, paint a fall scene that goes all the way around the pumpkin. Got kids? Give them a pumpkin, some paint, a brush and just watch them be creative!

First Thanksgiving decorations

Cover a 2-inch Styrofoam® head covered with cotton batting and a piece of nylon stocking. Attach it to an empty jar lid. A few stitches make a nose -- adjust the size with the amount of batting you catch in the stitches. Paint the faces and glue yarn on for hair. Screw the head onto its jar.

Form arms with pipe cleaners and stocking-over-batting hands. Glue fabric in place to cover the pipe cleaners. Fabric and ribbon glued to the bottles make the pilgrims' clothing and accessories. Turn your creativity lose!

Centerpieces

Mother Nature centerpiece: Put the kids to creating a one-of-a-kind centerpiece. Gather an assortment of leaves, twigs, cones and berries from the yard. Arrange them around a candle on in a shallow bowl or a tray.

Fall leaf cornucopia: Using fine fire, bunch sets of fall leaves. Secure to the edge of a wicker cornucopia horn. Fill the horn with small gourds and cones or fresh fruit. Insert a few fall flowers or boughs randomly through the leaves.

Decorate the table

Napkin rings and place cards

Indian corn napkin rings: Cut tissue tubes into 2 1/2-inch sections. Add a small amount of yellow, blue and red acrylic paint to plastic or paper plate. Swirl gentle. Using an eraser, practice stamping corn kernel shapes. Now, print rows of kernels on the top half of each ring, mixing up the colors. Set aside to dry. Repeat to paint the bottom half. An alternative: Dip bubble plastic in the paint and roll the tubes across it. Set aside to dry.

Wrapped napkin rings: Create rings from 1 1/2-inch by 6-inch card stock strips. Overlap and glue the ends together. Clamp with a clothespin and allow to dry. Apply two bands of glue at opposite sides of the ring. Wrap random length of fall-colored yarn around the ring, making sure the yarn starts and ends in a glue band. Set aside to dry.

Quotation place cards: Write or print gratefulness quotes and place in small envelopes with vellum windows. Write a guest's name on other side. Stamp a "corn" border around the name or tie with matching yarn. Read the quotes aloud at dinner.

Flowers, fall cornucopia or food -- which holiday decorations will hold center stage at your gathering?

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.