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Thanksgiving is a special holiday, but we often gloss over some of the fuss other holidays get. Instead, we consume ourselves with the feast, maybe a minute or two about what we are thankful for, maybe an NFL game or two for taking a nap after lunch.

However, spending some time decorating for Thanksgiving can make the meal and day all the more memorable. A nice setting, including place settings on the table, creates an atmosphere for celebration, so it only makes sense that we garnish our home as well as our plates.

But, that doesn’t mean we need to run out and drop a bomb on another collection of ornaments to store in the attic for 11 or more months of the year. Instead, we can use what we have around the house and yard for simple crafts that’ll have the house looking the part.

1. Decorative Pumpkins

Odds are that a few pumpkins are hanging around after Halloween. These can easily be repurposed to make Thanksgiving decorations. Rather than making them spooky, they can be adorned with ribbons and seasonal words like “thankful” or “harvest”. Or, they can be set amongst autumn leaves and dried flowers in a display.

2. Repurposed Wood Serving/Carving Board

For those who do a little woodworking or occasional carpentry projects, there might be some old wood tucked away somewhere. A nice piece of old barn wood or hardwood board can be easily transformed into a robust serving/carving board for hors d’oeuvres and whatnot. Sand it smooth, and a coat of olive oil will bring out the grain and give it a luster.

Source: AtHomeWithZane R./YouTube

3. Jar of Beans Candle Holder

Many of us have held on to a collection of glass jars for far too long, waiting and hoping for a day when we have something to do with them. Well, fill them with a collection of mixed dried beans of all different colors, and set a tea light atop the beans to make a nice candle display. Then, the beans can be used for vegan chili in the winter.

4. Gratitude Cornucopia Box

This is a great one for the kids. They can take an old box and cover it with some appropriate type of wrapping. Paper bags with pictures drawn on them work wonders here. The box gets a slot in the top, and the kids can cut out some leaf-shaped pieces of paper. Folks can write down different things they are thankful for and put them in the cornucopia box.

5. Basket of Wild Things

Most of us have empty baskets hidden away somewhere in the house. If not, they are wicked cheap and plentiful at thrift stores. A nice Thanksgiving/autumn decoration is to fill a basket with natural stuff like dried leaves, pretty twigs, dried flowers, acorns, pine cones, and squashes. This looks great on a coffee table or side table.

6. Thankful Photo Tree

Another way to incorporate some of the outside with the inside is to use a pretty branch to create a thankful photo tree. Use old photo albums, school pictures, and so on to make a family (and friends) tree to display the people we are thankful to have in our lives. This is a great one for the kids to do, and something the grandparents might enjoy, too.

Source: White Cottage Company/YouTube

7. Natural Wreath

For some reason, it seems that Christmas gets the lion’s share on wreaths, but that’s just crazy. Autumn wreaths constructed with dried wheat (or grass), twigs, vines, berries, corn husks, and so on can be enduring and endearing. What a nice thing for guests to see hanging on the door as they arrive. Boom! In the mood for Thanksgiving.

8. Tin Can Pumpkins

Often Thanksgiving can cause a gluttony of tin cans (pumpkin pie filling, cranberry sauce, green beans for green bean casserole, etc.), and those cans emptied ahead of time can be repurposed into Thanksgiving tin can pumpkins. Use some old paint from school supplies, add a wine cork for a stem, and get creative with other embellishments.

Then, there are all sorts of other fun stuff that help create a good atmosphere: place settings on the table, name cards for each setting, a nice centerpiece, crafty napkin rings (are possible), and so on. This is the perfect stuff for getting others, those who aren’t necessarily kitchen-friendly, involved in making the day special.

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