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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 November 11, 2019

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

      4. Feed Your Brain

      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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      6. Write it Down

      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

      7. Listen to Music

      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

      8. Visual Concepts

      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

      9. Teach Someone Else

      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

      More About Boosting Memory

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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