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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 15, 2019

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

      Listen carefully:

      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

      1. Pray Daily

      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

      3. Smile Often

      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

      4. Organize Your Working Desk

      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

      How do you do that? This is my formula:

      First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

      8. Go Exercise

      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

      The Bottom Line

      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

      More Resources About Mindfulness

      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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