Here are a few more ideas for setting an attractive table this Thanksgiving. My goal is to just show you that by spending almost nothing but a little time and thought you can put together a beautiful and welcoming table that is all YOURS — not someone else’s look that you buy at their price!
Earlier in the week someone sent me a link to a “paper harvest” at The Homeschool Post. I just loved these scrapbook paper pumpkins, and HAD to make try my hand at this simple craft. Here are a few ideas of how to use them.
~Make a kit for each child’s place setting which includes the pre-cut and pre-hole-punched strips, a name tag and the brads needed to assemble their own pumpkin. Be sure to keep the little holes that you punch out–they can be used as colorful confetti to sprinkle on the table if you wish.
~Make individual pumpkins for each place setting to serve as place cards. You can even tuck a little treat inside like a wrapped chocolate or mint.
Don’t go out and spend time and money trying to find just the right combination of scrapbook papers, unless you feel you really want to. I just used what I had on hand–if you look closely the white pumpkin has bulrushes on it–but it works! Some of my other pumpkins were polka dots, but they all look nice together. I will say that I found the full size (12 inch) pumpkin to be a bit floppy without support. Here are quick instructions for making the pumpkins – for more info click on the link to the original post above.
Start with a piece of 12 x 12 inch scrapbook paper. For the large pumpkin, cut the paper into 12 strips 1 inch wide. Punch a hole at each end of each strip. Poke a brad (those prongy things that are used to hold papers together) through the holes (right side up) at one end, and open the brad to hold the papers in place. Fan the papers into a circle, and one by one thread them onto the other brad, so the prongs end up inside the circle. Make sense? For the small pumpkins, I cut each sheet of scrapbook paper in half, then cut each half into 12 strips, each 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Then I put them together the same way. They are a fuller, more closed-in pumpkin this way. I just cut a leaf shape freehand, and tied it to the brad with twine, adding a little stamped name tag. No stamps–no worries–just print names on the computer, or handwrite.
Think of the possibilities! Wrap votive or pillar candles in co-ordinating paper, print out a verse and layer it over top. Make napkin holders by wrapping a toilet paper tube cut in half with scrapbook paper, and again, wrapping a verse around it . . . Lots you can do with this!
Moving on . . . remember my dollar store haul from last week? Here are a few ideas for holding those 50 cent napkins. All were dollar store items, or gleaned from the backyard.
Tied with jute twine, with a leaf and flower scrounged from a thrift store, sad looking fake flower arrangement that I cut apart, and ended up with about 20 flowers and as many leaves.
Here we have a piece of wired ribbon from the dollar store, embellished with a tuft from my dried out pampas grass in the backyard. I was able to get 12 9-inch ties from this $1.00 spool of ribbon.
This one uses the purchased ring (8 for $1.00) and a leaf and berries from a tree in my backyard. The grapes are $1.00 store fakes, but woudn’t real grapes be a tasty treat?
One last photo to illustrate another suggestion: Think white. At yard sales and thrift shops I’m always on the lookout for white serving pieces. They can be decorative, but they’re also very practical, as they can be used for any occasion by just changing inexpensive accessories. Just this week I saw white dishes at Big Lots, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore for not much more than you’d pay for good quality paper and plastic goods. If you don’t want to wash mounds of dishes after Thanksgiving dinner, just scrape the plates and soak them in hot soapy water in your laundry tub or plastic storage tubs until later. Just a thought–it’s a money-saver in the long run!
Not one item in this picture cost more than a dollar or two. Really.