Whether it's a feast for the whole family or a simple Thanksgiving lunch for a few, easy embellishments can turn any meal into a festive holiday affair.
Treat your Thanksgiving table to layers of wool, satin, leaves, and fruit. For the runner, use pinking shears to cut a wide length of wool, and top it with satin ribbons of different widths. Secure the pieces with double-stick tape. Place a cake stand in the center and cover it with an array of leaves, pumpkins, pears, and votive holders filled with bittersweet.
With just a bit of chalkboard paint, you can turn a ho-hum platter into a holiday-ready centerpiece to share what you're thankful for on Thanksgiving.
Present your guests (or host) with a beautifully packaged bottle of cider. Wrap bands of linen around a hermetically-closed bottle. Hot-glue the overlapping edges of the fabric together. Tie the bottle with leather cord and embellish with a shock of wheat.
Tamale-making husks (available at grocery stores) serve a dual purpose as crafting material. To make these wrapped candle holders, 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 wrapped votive. Remove the rubber band.
Editor's Tip: Make a centerpiece by grouping several of these candleholders atop a colorful fall runner.
Hollowed-out butternut and acorn squash make perfect serving pieces for a medley of olives. Cut each squash in half, carve out seeds and strings, and rinse out. Then fill with olives or other small snacks.
Drape a coordinating-color fabric napkin across stacked dishes to dress up place settings. Top with a small pumpkin with a painted monogram, tuck napkin ends under the plate, and set the stock on a woven mat. Add natural touches with snips of bittersweet and wheat.
Let your guests know what's on the buffet with a simple menu typed on the computer and popped into a ready-made frame. Embellish with a few stalks of millet, wheat, or other seasonal grasses tied with ribbon and adhered to the frame.
Satisfy a sweet tooth with these candy favors. Fill clear bags with harvest-color jelly beans and nestle them inside cornhusks (available at specialty grocery stores and most markets in autumn). Tie the ends of the husks with twine and add to place settings at your Thanksgiving table.
For a more modern Thanksgiving table, make over ordinary rocks with gold, silver, and copper leaf (available at crafts stores). Leave some of the rocks' surfaces exposed to create an eye-catching pattern.
This easy craft serves multiple roles: a place card, party favor, and predinner snack. Fill jelly jars with nuts. Top each jar with a square of linen tied with waxed twine. Glue a name tag printed on brown kraft paper to the top. Guests can take their jars home or nibble on the contents while waiting for the big meal.
Make fancy seasonal napkin rings at a fraction of the cost of store-bought options. Tie rolled napkins with decorative ribbon, then tuck in sprigs of bittersweet.
A blaze of autumn color creates sparks in this antique sugar bowl.
A silk ribbon and artificial berries turn this simple napkin fold into something special for your holiday dinner table.
Update the classic cornucopia by using a simple wire basket.
Flag your guests down for dinner with place cards made from ribbon and gourds. Cut wire-edge ribbon into a flag shape, wrap the end around a toothpick, and hot-glue it in place. Write your guests' names with a paint pen.
Use delicate glassware to hold festive leaves and brown berries. These pieces work well to accent a centerpiece or accompany a place card at the Thanksgiving table.