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 Thanksgiving's bounty with these colorful decorating touches borrowed from Mother Nature.
Mum's the word when dressing up a pumpkin. To make these bright orbs, cut a lid and remove the seeds and pulp. Using a drill or nail, make holes just wide enough for the flower stems to poke through and insert the flowers.
Anchor cattails with nuts in tall brown vases for vertical interest and rich, earthy tones.
This year, instead of carving pumpkins, paint them with colorful, harvest-inspired designs that will last all season.
Bright gold and crimson leaves shimmer beneath a tide of water in this easy-to-make centerpiece. Simply fill a shallow bowl with water and add a few freshly fallen leaves. Complete the look with floating candles.
Editor's Tip: Replace water and/or leaves as needed to keep the centerpiece looking fresh.
Autumn touches of bittersweet, leaves, and gourds grace this pretty Thanksgiving table. Start by arranging fall-color pillar candles on a wooden plank in the center of the table, then encircle them with gourds, berries, and vines. Let Mother Nature carry through to the place settings of golden yellow dishes by wrapping linen napkins in ribbon and dried leaves.
Surround plain name tags with tidbits from nature, such as nut-decorated candies (for dessert), acorns, or leaves.
Adding touches of fall to an existing display makes decorating for Thanksgiving a snap. Fill favorite bowls and urns with leaves, berries, and small gourds. Once the holiday is over, simply toss the faded natural elements -- no packing or storing of seasonal items required.
Thanksgiving marks the passing of fall into winter. Add pinecones to your decorating repertoire for an element that spans both seasons. For this arrangement, fill a large glass vase with pinecones and clear glass ball ornaments. Stand sturdy branches in the vase. Hot-glue loops of clear fishing line to the tops of pinecones and hang them from the branches.
Editor's Tip: For Thanksgiving, insert fall leaves into the glass ornaments. Once December arrives, replace the leaves with evergreen sprigs and add snowflake ornaments to the branches.
The natural look often is best left untamed and offbeat. This bouquet mixes faux greenery, ornamental grasses, and pheasant feathers with birdseed as filler.
Pay homage to autumn by creating a tabletop vignette for guests to admire. Simply arrange branches with colorful leaves in textured containers to create a relaxed, homey atmosphere.
Such a lush arrangement of fall leaves would be overwhelming on a dining table. But oversize branches make a bold Thanksgiving decorating statement. Fill a tall bucket with large fallen branches. Place the arrangement on a table near the front door to set the harvest mood as soon as guests arrive. Simple containers of small gourds and mini pumpkins add additional color without distracting from the main event.
Tie a few branches together with a bright satin bow and hang on your front door for a new take on wreaths. Lay sticks flat and arrange in a fan shape, crisscrossing the ends. Tie them together with wire, winding it around the branches as needed to keep them stable. Tie a ribbon over the wire, or simply attach a bow with wire or hot glue. Change the ribbon color to transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Copper pipe fittings can add subtle shimmer to a Thanksgiving table. Gather ornamental grasses in a bunch and cut the ends flush. Slip a copper fitting around the bouquet to create a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Arrange sprigs of grass in smaller pipe fittings and add a name tag to make place cards.
Editor's Tip: If your bouquet will not stand, slip another copper fitting over the cut end of the arrangement to add weight and stability.
A pear-and-berries cluster secured with satin ribbon makes an enchanting chair-back place card for the Thanksgiving feast.
Wide bowls (or even trays or platters) can make creating a Thanksgiving centerpiece an easy task. Line the bottom with greenery, then fill with larger items, such as pinecones or ornaments. Finally, garnish with a different texture. We used magnolia leaves, golden pinecones, matte gold ornaments, and a sprinkling of red berries.
Rustic name tags are beautiful when paired with bright berries. Write each guest's name on a rectangle of handmade paper (available with scrapbooking supplies), punch a hole in the top, and tie to a berry sprig or greenery branch using raffia.
Scout the backyard for some shapely branches with character to create a charming tabletop arrangement. Fill a large glass vase halfway with oranges and water to hold the branches in place.