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17 Thanksgiving Crafts Ideas You Need To Try This Year

17 Thanksgiving Crafts Ideas You Need To Try This Year

Thanksgiving is a really homely kind of holiday, and it’s a great time to craft things for your home—whether they be table arrangements for your family dinner, or other decorations. Try these great Thanksgiving crafts to bring a little extra festive spirit to your home.

1. Bring Nature into Your Centerpiece

Celebrate the bounty of fall with a simple centerpiece straight from nature. Grab a basket or a platter and collect pine cones, acorns, chestnuts and fallen leaves. Or if you prefer to go the store-bought route, look for Indian corn and small pumpkins and gourds. Mound them up on the table for a reminder of the natural beauty we ought to be thankful for.

2. Thankful Placemats

It may be the easiest Thanksgiving craft around, but it’s also meaningful. Get some butcher paper or brown paper and cut out placemat-sized rectangles (at least 12 by 18 inches). Write “I’m thankful for” at the top of one side with a marker. You can make a numbered list or draw lines for your guests to write on. Leave a pen at each place setting, give people time to write and share your answers at the end of the meal.

3. Easy Napkin Rings

There are tons of crafty ways to jazz up your napkin presentation, whether you have store-bought napkin rings or craft your own. The easiest way to make a napkin ring is with a cut-down section of paper towel tube. Paint it whatever color you like, then you can add patterns, glue on little purchased autumn decorations, cut shapes out of felt and glue them on, print out tiny pictures of things you’re thankful for and glue them to the rings … the choices are nearly endless!

Or you can just glue burlap, pretty ribbon or fabric onto the tube and have simple, elegant napkin rings in no time at all.

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4. Turn Your Napkin into a Turkey

There are all sorts of fun napkin folds you can bring out for Thanksgiving, but this turkey fold (which is an accordion fold with a little twist) is really cute when you add a gourd to the plate to be the turkey’s body.

5. Crafty Seating Cards

Most of the time life is not so formal that you need place cards, and Thanksgiving probably need not be that formal, either, but these little cards directing people to their seats are another fun and easy way to get crafty. Many of the ideas for napkin rings can also be used on place cards, such as gluing on little shapes. You could also use fall-themed stickers or stamps for an easy way to decorate cards that the kids can help with, too.

6. Burlap Utensil Holder

Keep your forks, knives and spoons corralled in a pretty way on the plate by making little pouches out of burlap or another pretty fabric. Just cut a piece about 10 inches long and 6 inches wide, then fold in half lengthwise. Sew or use fabric glue to make into a pouch. Embellish with ribbon or other decorations as you like.

When getting ready for the meal, slip all the utensils in the pouch and place it on top of the plate.

7. Stamping Fabric

Add a little more personality to your napkins or table runner by printing on them with fall shapes. Use leaves, a cut apple or even shapes cut out of a potato or sponge as your stamps, and use fall-colored acrylic paint (let dry overnight then run in a hot dryer for 30 minutes) or fabric paint (follow manufacturer’s suggestions for heat-setting) to make your marks.

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8. A Yarn-Wrapped Wreath

sweater wreath lizzy ford

    There are a lot of different ways to decorate with wreaths for the fall, but there’s just something really cozy—and easy—about yarn. Use a foam ring from the floral department and wrap it tightly with yarn in whatever colors you would like. Use a little bit of glue every now and then as you work around to help keep the yarn secure.

    An even easier alternative is to cut a circular wreath form, cut the sleeves off a knit sweater and slip the sleeves onto the ring. Glue the ends down and wrap any remaining exposed wreath with a contrasting yarn. (Here are instructions for the wreath shown by Lizzy Ford.)

    You can also add a bow (or yarn pom poms) or any other decorations you might like to the wreath.

    9. Festive Luminaries

    Lining the walk with luminaries builds anticipation if you’re having Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. It’s really easy to jazz up a plain brown paper lunch sack by cutting out a bit and covering up the hole with a piece or pieces of tissue paper.

    Keep it simple by cutting out leaf shapes and covering them with fall colors, or check out this tutorial from Family Fun magazine that turns a cut out circle into a colorful turkey.

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    10. Make a Leaf Swag

    Use real leaves—which you can preserve with a clear sealant—or cut leaves out of card stock, construction paper, felt, fabric or old book pages. Tie or glue them at intervals to fishing line, yarn or ribbon. Drape over the fireplace, hang from the ceiling or from light fixtures, or put anywhere else you want to add some fall flair.

    11. Apple or Pumpkin Candles

    It’s easy to make an apple or a pumpkin into a candle. Just cut off the top and hollow out a portion big enough for a tea light to fit in.

    If necessary, cut the bottom of the apple or pumpkin to ensure that it will sit straight before you light the candle. These are cute as a centerpiece, or put one at each place setting.

    12. Fall Fabric Bunting

    Cut pieces of fall-colored felt or fabric into triangles. Use stitching or fabric glue to attach them to ribbon (I love to use folded bias tape for buntings, because you can hide the raw edge inside the fold). Add the word “thankful” to the triangles, if you like, for extra cuteness and holiday charm.

    13. Mason Jar Decor

    Nothing says homey like decorating with Mason jars. Add a bit of burlap, ribbon and little acorns to make a perfect candle holder or a place to keep utensils if you’re doing a buffet.

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    You can also paint the jars to go with your decor, or use decoupage medium to stick tissue paper to the glass for a stained-glass effect (that one’s fun for the kids, too).

    14. Indian Corn Swag

    Tie a few pieces of Indian corn together with twine and you’ve got a really simple piece to hang on the door or place on the mantel that will bring a bit of Thanksgiving and fall flair with no fuss.

    15. Goofy Gourds

    If you’ve got kids in the house for Thanksgiving, or even if you don’t, buy some little pumpkins and gourds to decorate in silly ways. Have googly eyes, pipe cleaners, feather and leaf shapes and whatever else you’d like on hand, as well as some glue, and let people go to town making their own crazy creatures. You could even have a competition to see whose creation is the kookiest.

    16. Nutter Butter Turkeys

    nutter butter turkeys

      Did you know a Nutter Butter looks just like the body of a turkey? I didn’t either until I saw this awesome tutorial from Mommy Savers. Grab some cookies, candy corn and a few other supplies for tasty turkeys everyone will love.

      17. Handprint Turkeys, of Course!

      Regardless of whether you’re having kids at your holiday table, busting out some construction paper and markers to make handprint turkeys in something everyone can get into. Again, have a contest for the goofiest gobbler or hang a wire over the fireplace and let guests display theirs while others guess which turkey belongs to which artist.

      Don’t miss Lifehack’s Guide to Gratitude as you plan your Thanksgiving holiday events.

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      Sarah White

      Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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