Overwhelmed with Thanksgiving dinner preparations? Get a head start by making delicious and easy appetizer recipes now. By doing a little cooking ahead of time, you can avoid the hassle on Thanksgiving Day. Our make-ahead appetizers include recipes that can be prepared the day before or up to six months ahead of the holiday.View Slideshow
Celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving with these quick harvest-theme crafts.
Place your favorite harvest-scented candles inside glass votive cups and wrap the vessels with tamale-making husks (available at grocery stores). Soak husks in warm water for a minute to make them flexible. Tightly wrap a husk around a votive cup and hold in place with a rubber band. Trim excess husk at the top and bottom. Twist a thin length of husk and tie it around the center of the candleholder; remove rubber band.
Turn a Thanksgiving dinner table into something special with these ideas that take only a few minutes to make.
-- Hot-glue cloves, star anise, and leaves to a small pumpkin or gourd to make a fragrant place card.
-- Fill a white container with white and yellow mini pumpkins resting on a bed of colorful fall leaves.
-- Top a pale green pumpkin with a bright gingham bow. Beneath the bow, crisscross thin ribbon in colorful rows down the pumpkin.
Mimic an expensive antique botanical with this affordable DIY version. Lay a dry (but not brittle) fern branch in between layers of newspaper and place inside a heavy book. Top the book with one or two more heavy books. Glue photocopies of pages from old books or newspapers to a picture frame backing. Once the branch is pressed, decoupage it to the mat, place in the picture frame, and hang.
Protect your furniture with these festive fall coasters, perfect for guests to use while enjoying Thanksgiving drinks in the living room. Tear yellow tissue paper into small pieces and adhere to a plain ceramic tile using decoupage medium. Let the glue dry slightly before adding border, leaf, and acorn stickers. When the glue is completely dry, coat the piece with acrylic glaze. Add adhesive felt circles to the bottom of the tile to prevent it from scratching surfaces.
Say "thank you" to your guests with a favor of a tree planted in their honor. (Arborday.org offers the service.) Present the certificate tied to a fallen or dried leaf twig wrapped in burlap.
Drill holes through dried gourds and English walnuts (with husks still attached), and alternately string them on heavy-duty twine for a harvest swag. Tuck a spray of vibrant leaves in each corner to add a pop of color and hang the swag indoor or out. See next slide for a detail shot.
Add a homey touch to your holiday table with these fall-theme tabletop accessories. Thanks to purchased press-on lettering and crafts clay, no special skills or equipment are required.
Add some shimmer to your Thanksgiving table by coating ordinary rocks with gold, silver, and copper leaf (available at crafts stores). Give the rocks a rustic look by leaving some of the surface exposed.
Decorate a buffet table with this simple garland. Use heavy-gauge, gold wire to attach pinecones to rope. Tie a bow made from coarsely woven hemp or cotton ribbon around the rope at the top of each pinecone to hide the wire. (Optional: Add a little glitter to the pinecones before assembling the garland to catch the light.)
Editor's Tip: Reuse this garland for Christmas by swapping out the neutral bows for red or green ones.
Welcome guests with an easy-to-make leaf wreath. Using small scissors or a utility knife, cut slits in the centers of fresh leaves or pliable dried ones from a crafts store. String the leaves onto a wire wreath form until full. Hang from a pretty ribbon.
Turn miniature pumpkins into tabletop topiaries accented with raffia bows.
Rimmed with pinecones and casuarina pods, this bentwood basket is ready to hold the fruits of your harvest. Golden pecan stain gives the inexpensive container a rich patina.
Create a special keepsake journal filled with family recipes. Ask guests to bring old photos of themselves and a favorite holiday recipe to Thanksgiving dinner. Fill the pages with their offerings, then use the book year after year to create personal meals.