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Thanksgiving Centerpieces - 3 Easy Craft Projects
Hoping to make your own Thanksgiving centerpieces this November? Do you often use center pieces? I do. In fact, I keep them on my dining room table and on my breakfast room table all year. I usually change my center pieces with the seasons, and I always change them for major holidays and special occasions. Sometimes I purchase readymade centerpieces, but I often create my own. They can be very expensive to buy, but they can be amazingly inexpensive to make yourself. In fact, you can find almost everything you need at your local dollar stores. Also, you probably have some things just lying around the house that you can use, too. Fall centerpieces are fun and easy to make, and you can use the same one for months – from September through the end of November. I’ve been really inspired lately to be creative and crafty, while not breaking my budget. That’s probably why I enjoy fall craft projects so much – I feel like they’re good investments of both time and money. Really, there’s no other time of year or specific holiday when you can get this much mileage from table décor and other decorations! If you want to make your own Thanksgiving centerpieces this year, I have three easy craft projects that might interest you.
I’m going to share some centerpiece ideas with you here, especially for fall centerpieces. Before you buy or make a centerpiece, make a few important decisions beforehand. One of the main aspects you should be concerned with have to do with size and shape. How large is the table? What’s the shape of the table? For a round table, round or square centerpieces often work best. A round centerpiece looks nice on a square table, too. If your table is long, whether it’s rectangle-shaped or an elongated oval, you’ll probably prefer a piece that’s long, with a base in the shape of a football, an oval, or a rectangle. You’ll also need to consider the height. You want it to be tall enough to be easily visible, but you don’t want it to be so tall that it prevents your family members or guests to see one another across the table.
With center pieces, size matters. The overall size of your table should have a big influence on the size of your piece. A very small centerpiece on a sprawling table will get lost and won’t be noticed. On the other hand, a huge centerpiece on a small or moderately sized table won’t leave much room for plates, napkins, glasses, and silverware.
I like centerpieces that are on a stable, sturdy base. If I want to move the piece, I want to be able to do so with all the elements of the piece to be held together in some fashion. That way, I can stick the entire centerpiece in a plastic bag and store it in my holiday closet. Next year, if I want to use the same centerpieces, all I have to do is to pull them out of the plastic bag, and they’re ready to be displayed for yet another season or given away.
I have tons of Thanksgiving decorations! Every fall, we decorate the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, and the breakfast room. We also decorate the front porch, the main flower bed, the mail box, and the sign post. We hang Thanksgiving decorations on the front door, the back door, and the columns, too.
What sorts of things do we use for Thanksgiving decorations? We pretty much stick to tradition and include real and plastic pumpkins, different squashes, colorful gourds, scarecrows, real and silk chrysanthemums, apples, Indian corn, acorns, bales of hay, garlands, and individual autumn leaves. I also like to use candles, especially the ones that are scented with my favorite fall aromas – cinnamon, pumpkin pie, and apple.
Of course, part of my Thanksgiving decorations are centerpieces. As I’ve already mentioned, I use Thanksgiving centerpieces on my dining room table and kitchen table, but I use them in other places, too. Sometimes I might place one on a fireplace mantel, as part of a larger theme. I might also use fall centerpieces on side tables, coffee tables, accent tables, or the buffet. Once I have my holiday buffet set up on my long breakfast room counter, I use a couple of Thanksgiving centerpieces there, too.
I’ve been to a couple of seminars in order to learn to make floral arrangements, but I wasn’t overjoyed with my results. We used real cut flowers, by the way. I had just about given up on creating my own flower arrangements when I discovered cheap artificial flowers. They’re so much easier to work with! I suppose it’s because with silk flowers, you don’t have to worry so much about uniform size and balance. You can buy fake flowers that are all the same size.
You can also buy cheap silk flowers that are already in bunches, which helps with spacing. Due to the plastic-covered wire branches and the attached leaves, the blooms often remain the “right” distance apart, without need for oasis or floral foam. You probably won’t need floral picks or wires, either.
Floral centerpieces are so simple to throw together that you could just about make a presentable arrangement with your eyes closed! How? Find a container you like, and stick several bunches of silk flowers in it. For fall and Thanksgiving decorations, you’ll probably want to use chrysanthemums, daisies, or sunflowers. Once all the flowers are in the container, step back and look at your results from a distance. If you need to make some adjustments, you can. Most silk flowers are on metal wires that bend.
There’s no telling what I might use as containers for my floral centerpieces! I think I’ve already mentioned that I often like a rustic or primitive look, so I might use a metal pail, a wooden bucket, or a grapevine basket. I might even use a real pumpkin that’s been hollowed out, or I might cut the top out of a plastic pumpkin and use that.
You can spend a small fortune on Thanksgiving centerpieces at florists’ shops, boutiques, and department stores. Even at arts and crafts festivals, centerpieces and other Thanksgiving decorations can be surprisingly expensive. This is one reason I like to make my own. Another reason is because I enjoy working on craft projects. I find them to be therapeutic, and they provide an outlet for my creative juices.
Most of the time, I like Thanksgiving centerpieces with a rustic or “country” look. Also, you need to understand that fall centerpieces don’t have to be “fancy” to be attractive. I’ll give you a quick example. I use a lot of red-and-white spatter ware in my kitchen. I have the plates, bowls, platters, colanders, and other pieces. I love this stuff! I have a neat red-and-white speckled tin bucket that I really like, and I wanted to use it with my Thanksgiving decorations. I purchased a few bunches of cheap silk mums and stuck them in the bucket. I like the way it looks, and how much quicker and easier can it get than that?
Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces
I’m going to show you how to make three easy Thanksgiving centerpieces that are inexpensive and attractive. Notice I said “inexpensive.” Almost all the required items came from our local Dollar Tree, where everything in the store costs just a dollar. My dollar items here include bunches of silk chrysanthemums, dinner plates, plastic serving platters, silk fall leaves, small pumpkins, and miniature gourds. The only items that weren’t just a buck are the large pumpkin, the spray paint, the glue, and the acrylic jewels. I got all those items from Walmart and Kmart.
Actually, I’m just providing you with some basics for making a few easy Thanksgiving centerpieces. Once you have the foundation, you can add any sort of embellishments you like. You can also use your own choices of colors, so you might prefer hues that match or compliment the palette you use in the rooms you want to decorate. Sure, most traditional Thanksgiving decorations include colors like orange, yellow, rust, and burgundy, but there’s no law that says you have to stick to those choices. If the colors I mentioned will “clash” with your other décor, you might prefer using sage green, forest green, bright red, brown, cream, tan, or even metallic copper or gold.
Craft projects can be accomplished by just about anyone, and that includes kids. Of course, some projects require quite an advanced skill level. I complete such crafts from time to time, especially when I have the time to do so and am feeling especially inspired and patient. If you’ve never been a particularly “crafty” or creative person, you might want to begin with a couple of simple craft projects.
Depending on what you create and what materials you might already have on hand, some crafts can get pretty expensive. I occasionally make such arts and crafts, but I make cheaper versions much more often. I get bored with using the same Thanksgiving centerpieces every year, so I’m often making new ones. When I do, I either give the older ones away of tear them apart and reuse the items I like in the new arrangements.
Easy Craft Projects
The following are easy craft projects that anyone can make. They’re so easy that you might want to get the kids in on the action. If you’re being “assisted” by young children, you might want to handle some of these jobs yourself, like spray painting, for instance. If you’re going to be using hot glue, little kids don’t need to handle that, either, due to possible burns. I usually use E6000 glue, which I find at Walmart. It’s not quite as thick as the glue from hot glue guns, but it’s much thicker than some other types of craft glue.
If you decide on E600 for these easy craft projects, it would be okay to let older kids do some of the gluing. In fact, it might be okay for even young children to use the glue if they’re supervised by an adult while doing so. They’ll probably end up with some glue on their hands and fingers, but this glue won’t glue their skin together like super glue will. If you get some stray drops or strands of E6000, which you probably will, you can peel it off once it dries.
Oval Fruit Pyramid
What you’ll need:
Plastic oval platter
6 plastic apples
4 plastic pears
2 votive candles
Instructions: Cover surface of platter with glued leaves. Remove stems from apples. Place six apples in the center of the platter – one apple in the center surrounded by five more. Glue the apples in place once you decide exactly where you want them. Next, glue the apples to each other. Allow to dry.
Center three plastic pairs on top of apple ring. Glue to apples and glue pears to each other. Allow to dry.
Add drops of glue to pears, where the fourth pear will sit. Place top pear in place and hold down firmly with tape. Allow to dry.
Use silk chrysanthemums to fill in large gaps. A small dab of glue will hold the flowers in place. Use silk leaves to fill in small gaps and to add accents.
Once arrangement has dried completely, add two votive candles.
Round Pumpkin and Gourd Thanksgiving Centerpiece
What you’ll need:
Small plastic pumpkin
Small plastic gourds
Silk mums, optional
Instructions: Turn plate upside down. Glue leaves to outer surface of center ring of plate. Glue a small pumpkin to the center. Allow to dry.
Glue silk leaves to pumpkin and to outer edge of plate. Attach gourds to outer ring of plate with glue. Secure with tape until glue dries. Tuck silk mums in here and there, if you wish, or completely surround the pumpkin with silk flowers.
This DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece can have lots of different versions. A gold pumpkin makes a bold decorating statement, and it’s sure to be a focal point, even without any added jewels or stones. When you add some acrylic stones, however, you have a real “glitzed out” jeweled pumpkin!
Acrylic jewels are inexpensive, but after a few years, their brightness might fade. This isn’t a problem with me since I change out my fall centerpieces every year or so, anyway. If you’re planning on putting a lot of effort into your jeweled pumpkin, and if you want it to look great for several years, you might consider using Swarovski rhinestones instead of the acrylic version. They’re much more expensive than the acrylic numbers, but they also provide more sparkle, and they don’t fade with age.
What you’ll need:
1 medium-size pumpkin (real or plastic)
Gold spray paint
Instructions: Clean and dry pumpkin. Working outdoors, spray a light coat of paint on pumpkin. Let dry completely. Spray more coats until pumpkin is completely covered in gold. When all paint is completely dry, move pumpkin indoors to a work table.
Using acrylic jewels, experiment with colors and designs on your work surface. Make any designs that you like, including geometric shapes, squiggles, wavy lines, or random polka-dots. Decide which ones you want to apply to the gilded pumpkin. You can do this two ways: apply a small amount of glue to the backs of the stones with a toothpick, or place dots of glue directly on the pumpkin and then apply the stones.
Crafts for Kids – Five Minute Pumpkin Patch
I didn’t count this among my craft projects because it’s not a craft – it’s too simple. It’s just a matter of arranging the items, but kids seem to love it. My grandkids do, at least. If you have a kids’ table on Turkey Day, you could use it as a Thanksgiving centerpiece there, where it’ll be enjoyed by the little ones. I don’t think that most adults would care for such simple craft projects, but kids aren’t as discriminating in their tastes. They like it because it’s whimsical, and they can put it together themselves in five minutes or less. Even a five year old could do this one, and it costs just a few dollars to make. All you’ll need is a plastic oval platter, a package of floral moss, a scarecrow, and two packs of tiny pumpkins – all from the dollar store and all just $1 each. That’s just $5 – total. If you want to add the hay bales, they were around $4 for three – two small ones and one larger one. If you want to glue everything in place, use hot glue or E6000. The kids can vary this design by adding flowers, candles, or fall leaves.