As you finalize plans for Thanksgiving table decor, try not to forget the table of your tiniest guests. The kids table often is plain-looking, so we suggest getting the little ones in on the decorating action this year (with your help) by having them adorn their own table.
The following DIY projects are not only easy to make, but they are guaranteed to add some much-needed fun to your children’s Thanksgiving meal. (Note: All materials were found at Target, Kroger and Michaels.)
Turn over a new leaf
Add some Thanksgiving pizzazz to the kids table with decor that can withstand spills and messes. Made from burlap, a painted leaf table runner is a great way to set the stage for sharing great food and conversation with friends and family.
What you’ll need:
• Craft paints in fall colors
• Foam paintbrush
• Assortment of real leaves
1. To begin, measure out your burlap and cut it to fit the dimensions of the table. (Tip: For those wanting to save time and work, head to Michaels. We found precut, laminated burlap that was the perfect size for a table runner.)
2. Once you have cut the burlap, lay it out on a flat, covered surface. Next, pour out one of the craft paints and, with a paintbrush, begin carefully applying paint to one of the leaves. When you’ve finished applying paint to one side of the leaf, carefully place it, paint side down, on the burlap. Press down on the leaf to ensure that it leaves behind a clean imprint. When done, peel the leaf off the burlap and let the paint dry.
3. Repeat the steps until the table runner is covered with as many painted-on leaves as you’d like. Remember to switch out different paint colors. To finish, let the paint dry and then place the runner on the table with the rest of the decor.
Gobble, gobble, drink
Who said turkey was just for the main course? These turkey-inspired bottled drinks are quick to create and make for a cute and tasty addition to the look of the table.
What you’ll need:
• Yellow construction paper
• Red pipe cleaner
• Bottled drink
• Glue gun
• Colorful craft feathers
• Googly eyes
1. Before you begin assembling the turkey, start by making its beak and snood. Cut a small triangle for the turkey’s beak in yellow construction paper. Cut off a 1-inch piece of red pipe cleaner. Bend it so that it looks curly.
2. On one side of the bottled drink, glue 5-6 feathers using the glue gun. (Parents should help young children whenever hot glue guns are involved.) This will be the turkey’s plumage. When gluing the feathers, make sure that they are spaced in a way that makes them appear fanned out.
3. When done, turn the bottle around and, on the other side, begin gluing on the turkey’s face. First glue on the googly eyes, then finish with its beak and snood. Place on table.
A bounty of treats
Traditional place cards are far too boring for a table that should be fun and colorful. Instead, we suggest trying an edible version (like these waffle cone cornucopias) that can both act as a party favor and provide a way for children to know where they should sit.
What you’ll need:
• Waffle cone
• Plastic wrap
• Decorative tag
1. Dip about 1 inch of the tip of the waffle cone into a cup of water for 20 seconds. Remove the cone from the water and immediately place it in the microwave for 20 seconds.
2. Once time has elapsed, remove the waffle cone from the microwave and wrap its tip around a pencil so it curves up like a cornucopia. Hold for 20 seconds, then remove the pencil and let the waffle cone cool.
3. Once cooled, fill the cornucopia with your choice of candy.
4. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening of the cornucopia. Tie a piece of ribbon (with tag) around the cornucopia to secure the plastic wrap.
5. To finish, write the child’s name on the tag, using a Sharpie. Place one at each child’s spot at the table.
The giving tree
A fun way to teach children the true meaning of the holiday, this Thanksgiving tree centerpiece gives little ones the chance to share the things they are thankful for by writing them on leaves that can later be stapled onto the tree’s empty branches. The result is a colorful representation of what it means to be thankful.
What you’ll need:
• Brown paper grocery sack
• Beige rubber band
• Construction paper in fall colors
1. To begin, turn the brown paper sack inside out so that no store logos or graphics are showing. Next, flatten the bag, and begin cutting 1-inch-wide strips all around the bag. The strips should run from the bag’s opening to about 2/3 of the way down.
2. When finished cutting, open up the bag and grab right around the middle of it. Clutching the bag in your hand, begin twisting it to create the tree trunk. When done, secure with the rubber band.
3. Once you’ve finished the trunk, pick up the individual strips and begin twisting them into branches. Continue until you have twisted all of the strips.
4. When you’ve finished the tree, begin making leaves. Draw a simple leaf shape on a piece of construction paper. Cut that leaf out and then use it as a stencil to draw as many leaves as you think you will need.
5. To finish, write with a Sharpie on each leaf one thing you are grateful for. Staple the leaves onto the tree and place in the middle of the table to enjoy.
A sweet occasion
Served as dessert or as a pre-meal snack, these easy-to-assemble treats will be enjoyed by kids of all ages.
• Chocolate icing
• Hershey’s Kisses
• Mini Nilla wafers
1. To begin, place the icing in a sandwich or pastry bag with a small tip. (Tip: For convenience, we purchased icing that was prepackaged in a pouch with a pastry tip.) Next, remove the Kisses from their wrappers. When finished, place the Wafers on a tray or plate flat side up.
2. Squeeze a small amount of icing onto the bottom of a Hershey’s Kiss, then press it down onto a vanilla wafer. Repeat as needed. To finish acorns, pipe a small dollop of icing on top of the vanilla wafer. Let icing set.
• Yellow or orange icing
• Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
• Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies
• Reese’s Pieces
1. To begin, place the icing in a sandwich or pastry bag with a small tip. (Tip: For convenience, we purchased icing that was prepackaged in a pouch with a pastry tip.) Next, open Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and remove the wrappers. Place Fudge Stripe cookies, chocolate side up, on a tray or plate.
2. Squeeze a dollop of icing onto the top of a peanut butter cup, then press it down onto one of the cookies. Repeat with as many as you’d like to make. To finish Pilgrim hats, adhere a Reese’s Pieces candy to the front of every hat, using icing. Let icing set.