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Top 10 Thanksgiving Decorations to Make, Part 1

By: Caley Walsh

Though often downplayed because of its proximity to Christmas, Thanksgiving can be a very special holiday. As someone who lived abroad for several years and could not often make it home for Thanksgiving, I especially cherish this uniquely American holiday. Because I am a craft editor who loves Thanksgiving, I've been gathering the best Thankgiving decorations to make this holiday.

Thanksgiving is a time when we get together with family and friends, share a giant meal and remember what is really important in life. By sharing food and words of gratitude with one another, we remind ourselves to be thankful and cherish the good stuff each and every day. With that in mind, let’s decorate for Thanksgiving with the same enthusiasm that we devote to the other end-of-year holidays.

Here are my recommendations for the best thanksgiving decorations to make:

Pilgrims and Native Americans- Too often, we do not remember the original story of Thanksgiving nor why do we celebrate Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation in 1565 brought together the pilgrims and Native Americans in a three-day feast. The feast gave thanks to God and the Native Americans who helped the pilgrims harvest food in their new land.

With such a wonderful story behind Thanksgiving, honor these Pilgrims and Native Americans with decorations in that theme. Create a Pilgrim and Indian Set by painting papier-mache box shapes or a Wobbly Pilgrim with foam shapes and felt. Pilgrims and Indians can also be made from toilet paper tubes, clay pots and other household materials.

Doing pilgrim and Indians crafts with kids is a great way to teach them about American history. For an easy craft, use construction paper to create Indian headbands. Measure around the kids’ heads and cut out a band of construction paper to fit snuggly. Cut out feathers from orange and red construction paper and glue to the band. Staple the ends of the headband together.


Paper Words- Decorating with words such as “Give Thanks” or “Be Thankful” can be done in a fun and understated way. Create “Give Thanks” place cards for your Thanksgiving table with cardstock and stamps. Thanksgiving place cards will welcome your guests to the table and can be taken home as favors. You can hang larger “Give Thanks” tags from the backs of chairs too. Stencil “Be Thankful” onto a wood sign and add paper embellishments such as leaves, acorns, birds or pumpkins.


Cornucopia- A cornucopia is the classic symbol of plenty, dating back to Ancient Greece. You could certainly buy a cornucopia basket at the craft store, but why not make your own? You will need chicken wire or other wire netting, aluminum foil, burlap and a glue mixture (2 parts glue to one part water).  This craft is similar to papier-mache. Shape the wire into a cone shape and twist upward at the end to resemble a cornucopia. Cover the wire form with foil. Then, cut the burlap into strips. Dip each of the burlap strips into the glue, remove excess glue with your fingers and place on your foil form. Repeat until the foil is completely covered with burlap. Let dry overnight and then carefully cut out the wire and foil from the form. Voila!


Check back soon for Part 2 of thankgsiving decorations to make.


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