Thanksgiving often gets a lot of fanfare for the food and a little attention for the sentiment, but rarely do we see folks going all out on the decoration. Sandwiched between Halloween’s spooky spiderwebs and Christmas’s light displays, Thanksgiving seemingly settles for special place settings on fold out tables and ultimate feels like leftovers when it comes to adornments.

But, why miss the opportunity to enjoy the Thanksgiving season on a different level? (Just as important, we could delay the ever-expanding Christmas season as well!) While the supermarkets and megastores aren’t replete with Thanksgiving décor, there are all sorts of decorations we can make at home to create the mood for America’s favorite meal.

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In other words, not only can we set the scene, we can do it with stuff that might already be around the house.

Autumn Leaf Candle Holders

Source: Cottage Life/Youtube

For those of us seeking to reduce our household refuse and plastic, an inevitable stream of glass jars starts to parade through the house. While recycling is an option here, reusing and repurposing these jars is a better option. Surplus jars can be covered with colorful autumn leaves to create candle holders to dot around the house.

Canning Jar Band Pumpkins

Source: monszbella/Youtube

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While mason jars can be reused year after year, the lids and bands cannot. Consequently, those of us who can food from the garden acquire great collections of spent canning bands and lids. Fear not, there are crafts! Use some twine to tie a dozen (or two) canning bands together to create a spherical pumpkin. Lodge a cinnamon stick in the middle for a stem.

Thankful Tree & Handwritten Ornaments

Source: Do It On A Dime/Youtube

There is no rule that Christmas gets to be the only holiday with a tree. Stiff autumn breezes tend to provide an abundance of branches in the yard. Save an attractive one, no leaves necessary, and make a thankful tree (use a wine bottle or a plant pot full of leaves as a stand). The family and/or guests can make handwritten ornaments to declare what they are thankful for.

Make Bundles of Bundles

Source: Flower Joos /Youtube

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Acting as a festival for the fall harvest, Thanksgiving invites us to have bundles of freshly gathered stuff. While wheat might be what comes to mind, lots of things can be bundled to make attractive decorations: cinnamon sticks, strips of fabric, twigs, rosemary, sage, dried flowers, dried grass, corn stalks…

Edible Harvest Display

Source: MissStateExtension /Youtube

Thanksgiving and autumn, of course, marks the end of the growing season for most (though winter gardens are possible!), and we have lots of foods associated with the fall. Displays of pumpkins, squashes and corn husks are already common in the autumn. To them, we can add fresh springs of rosemary, dried citrus fruits, various nuts (walnuts, acorns, pecans, etc.), root vegetables and more. Just be sure to use the edible display for food when all is said and done.

Wood Slice Characters & Crafts

Source: DIY Inspiration/Youtube

As autumn rounds the corner into winter, firewood starts to be a trendy thing. After all, we want to stay warm. Well, with short pieces of firewood or oversized pieces (or fallen branches in the lawn), there is the potential to cut round wood slices, and those are great for crafts. These can be used to make rustic coasters, ornaments, table displays, name cards, trivets and more.

Thanksgiving Simmer Pots

Source: Home Made Lovely/Youtube

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One of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner is the wonderful aromas wafting through the house as it cooks. We tend to only get that for a day or two, but we could get several courses of scent appetizers before and seconds the week after if we make our own Thanksgiving simmer pots. Just add the ingredients we associate with Thanksgiving dinner—cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, apples, etc.—to a crockpot or simmering pot of water on the stove. While not a visual decoration, it’ll fill the house with the right kind of feeling, and that’s the point.

Setting the scene is half the fun of any holiday or party, so don’t let Thanksgiving get overlooked. It can be much more stimulating than TV trays around the football games or kids’ tables stuffed in the corner somewhere. Have some fun this year making the most of what we do have and can do.

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