If your repertoire of Thanksgiving craft ideas starts and stops with making a hand turkey, then it's time to give your creativity a boost. While there's nothing wrong with tracing your hand on a paper plate, there are plenty of unique ways to put your stamp on the holiday, whether you're a novice crafter or an experienced maker.
'In our family, we gather around the table to make quirky little creature place cards and birdhouses as handmade gifts,' says Capucine De Wulf Gooding, author of Together at the Table, whose family celebrates a 'crafternoon' tradition on Thanksgiving Day with the best Thanksgiving decorations.
Thanksgiving craft ideas
1. Wrap up a pumpkin
Looking for a sustainable craft idea? You most likely have everything on hand to make this simple fabric pumpkin.
To craft a wrap-up pumpkin, simply set a small, high-walled cereal or fruit bowl in the center of a fabric napkin or tea towel (or any scrap of fabric). Loosely wrap the towel around the outside of the bowl, gathering the corners of the fabric together above the bowl. Secure the ends together with an elastic. Then, push the ends into the center of the bowl. Finish it off by tucking a small twig into the center.
2. Invite gratitude
A gratitude wall doubles as a fun Thanksgiving party idea. To make your own, place a large sheet of craft paper or poster board inside a poster frame. Decorate around the edges of the paper with stencils or freehand drawings.
Then, on Thanksgiving Day, ask family and dinner guests to write down the things that they're most grateful for this year. Add the frame glass back on when you're done with a decorative keepsake you can bring out year after year.
3. Make your napkin ring a place card, too
For a simple and clever way to add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving table decor, create personalized napkin 'rings' out of Kraft paper. Stencil on the names of your guests (or freehand, if you've got great penmanship), and they'll double as place cards, too.
4. Gather a Thanksgiving table centerpiece
DeWulf Gooding and her family like to bring liven up their Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas during a 'crafternoon' on the day of Thanksgiving.
The family picks up wooden tree houses, tiny pebbles, and bird’s nests at the craft store before Thanksgiving Day, and they embellish the items with feathers, greenery, moss, and pebbles found on a nature walk (a family tradition).
'The little sculptures we make are indeed charming, but they of course have a dash of silliness – especially thanks to their very necessary googly eyes,' she says.
5. Craft a fall wreath with leaves
For a festive and easy Thanksgiving wreath idea, adorn a plain wreath or wreath ring with fall leaves.
The leaves on the version above were made with a Silhouette cutter, but if you don't own a craft cutter, you can purchase faux fall leaves at a craft store or online (opens in new tab). Then, simply affix them to your wreath form with a hot glue gun.
6. String together a garland
A Thanksgiving garland adds a festive touch above a mantle or placed down the center of the dinner table. To make an all-natural one, thread a large yarn needle with a thick piece of twine, then thread together dehydrated oranges with apple, citrus, and pear slices. Alternate with tied-on cinnamon sticks every so often.
7. Get creative with Thanksgiving dinner menus
'Beautiful paper place settings and menus help the table feel like a special occasion,' says Kathryn Duryea, founder of tableware brand Year & Day (opens in new tab), who likes to make her own menu cards to add a personal touch to the table.
To make a simple Thanksgiving dinner menu, use a border stamp (opens in new tab) or edge punch to add flourish to simple white cardstock. If you prefer, print the menu on the cardstock first. Otherwise, practice your best penmanship and write it out for each guest.
8. Put the kids in charge of the kids' table decor
The kid's table is a blank slate for holiday creativity, so why not dress it up with this colorful Thanksgiving centerpiece idea (courtesy of Silhouette (opens in new tab)), made by the table's guests?
To create this fun focal point, trace leave onto construction paper and have kids cut them out. Then, tape floral wire to the back of each leaf, and use floral tape to secure the stems together in a bunch. Make two bunches, and set them on the table in opposite directions.
9. Craft a Thanksgiving door wreath
A Thanksgiving wreath adds a holiday feel to the front door, the tabletop, or above the fireplace. This one is made with a twig wreath base, plus fall-colored foliage, faux florals, and berries tied on with floral wire.
Create one that suits your Thanksgiving decorating scheme by choosing florals and berries in colors that'll be featured on your dinner table.
10. Make a potpourri
This Thanksgiving craft will help set a cozy ambiance in your home all holiday season long. A spiced citrus blend made with oranges, cloves, and cinnamon sticks can either be made dry. Alternatively, combine the ingredients with water and simmer on the stove for a quick-release, more pungent scent.
11. Turn a pumpkin into a planter
Learning how to make a pumpkin planter is one of the easiest ways to create a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece. Simply scoop out the insides of the pumpkin, similar to what you would do if you were carving a Jack-o-lantern. Then, place a small vase into the pumpkin, and add flowers and water.
How do you make Thanksgiving decorations?
Making your Thanksgiving decorations is not only a way to add beauty and personality to your holiday, but it's also a fun way to create tradition during the Thanksgiving season. Good contenders for crafting include Thanksgiving centerpieces, wreaths, and pumpkin planters, along with place cards, napkin rings, and other tabletop decors.
What crafts can you do on Thanksgiving Day?
Planning a few Thanksgiving crafts helps ensure that the holiday is filled with fun. A few fun day-of craft ideas include:
- Enlist your guests to help decorate your table. Make faux (or real!) flower arrangements, diner menus, and beeswax candles, then decorate the table together.
- Decorate sugar cookies. For an edible (and practical) craft, cut out sugar cookies in Thanksgiving shapes, and have each guest decorate a cookie with their name, which can double as a place card for dinner.
- Spruce up your pumpkins. Decorating pumpkins isn't only for Halloween. Skip the jack-o-lanterns and try a no-carve pumpkin idea, like decoupage or paint, instead.
Kaitlin Madden Armon is a writer and editor covering all things home. Her work has appeared in Real Homes, Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, Refinery29, Modern Luxury Interiors, Wayfair, The Design Network, and lots more. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism and currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, three kids, and black lab.
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