Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if we’re being honest, not everyone really cares. We’re so close to the wintry holiday season that a lot of people can’t help but let Thanksgiving fall to the wayside. I’ll admit it: I’m 100% one of those people. I’ve had Britney’s “My Only Wish (This Year)” on rotation since mid-October, and ordered a peppermint hot chocolate on Halloween. Go on, prepare your torches and pitchforks. I’ll be patiently waiting for you in my Rudolph onesie, because you know I need to go out in style. I digress.
Whether you skip merrily towards Christmas like me, or tend to be more of a holiday purist, there’s no denying that time flies and Thanksgiving—and all of your relatives—seem to appear almost out of nowhere each year. For a lot of us, this means flying around town and trying to get last minute details in order with minimal time. People who really have their shit together will give you a lot tips about time management and how to optimize your Thanksgiving grocery list, and so on. I am far from one of those people. However, what I do have is a way to get your house and table looking super festive in no time—and for almost no money at all. Let’s get down to business.
Idea #1: Use the Thankful Tree as your centerpiece.
Bonus: If you’re super crunched on time, you can use the leaves from the thankful tree as your placeholders. Just write the names on each leaf, and leave a leaf with the name side up at each plate. This craft is super easy and also requires your guests to interact and appreciate one another.
Idea #2: Acorn Votives
This one is mind-numbingly simple. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mediums sized glass jars
- Tea light candles
This is pretty much self-explanatory from the picture, but just in case, here goes nothing:
Step 1: Go outside and collect a bunch of acorns! Befriend some squirrels!
Step 2: Put the acorns into the bottom of the jars
Step 3: Nestle one tea light candle into each jar of acorns and light the candle.
Good work! Now you’ve got a quick, cute, and festive addition to your Thanksgiving table. The little flames add a nice warmness to the setting and the acorns are perfect for the season. Even better: this is super duper cheap at the last minute.
Idea #2: Turkey Talk Placeholders
For this craft, you will need:
- Cardstock or construction paper in a variety of fall colors, including red, orange, yellow, and tan/brown. Get creative! I tend to recommend patterned scrapbook paper, because it can give you a homier look.
- A picture of each Thanksgiving guest
- The printable template/stencil for turkey bodies
Step 1: Print out the turkey body template and a picture of each guest. I did the hardest part of this for you. You’re welcome and I’d better get a shout out on your Thankful Tree. If possible, try to print the template onto your brown cardstock. If not, you can cut out one sample shape and trace it onto your cardstock.
Click to download Turkey Talk Template: turkey_template
Step 2: Cut out your turkey bodies and the faces of each guest from the photos set them aside.
Step 3: Cut out feather shapes on the various other colors of cardstock. Take four or five “feathers” and glue them together at one end, so the tops of each look fanned out (like a turkey, duh).
Step 4: Glue one the section labeled “A” for each turkey body to each set of feathers. Keep section “B” of the body separate for the time being.
Step 5: Glue your guests’ faces (the printed ones, not the real ones) to the top of the turkey’s “neck”.
Step 6: Take section “B” of each body template and cut along the dotted line. Push the two pieces together at the dotted lines to form a stand. The two pieces of cardstock should form a cross shape when looked at from the bottom.
Once you’ve put together all of your Turkey Talk Placeholders, set them out on the plates at the table. These come together pretty quickly–the most time consuming aspect is honestly finding the photos of each guest. If you’re really crunched on time, you can turn this into a first-thing activity for the little ones at your Thanksgiving feast. They’ll spend the first part of the party occupied, and you’ll get to focus on the million other things that you need to do.