Back to the Table: Setting an Attractive Thanksgiving Table

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.

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Family Photography

Photo Treasures—
Don’t you love to look back on those memories?

With today’s digital camera capabilities, we have awesome opportunities to snap those perfect shots of our own families, and often we do—only to have them sit for years—unused or lost somewhere in computer limbo.

It’s time to do something about it!


Smile BIG now . . . this issue’s special feature is:

Family Photography

Molly’s Money-Saving Digest

Whether you long for new ideas for feasting, frolicking, or festooning during the coming months, Molly offers help and insight through this fun and fascinating issue. Keep your camera handy though, and get ready to seize and snap those unforgettable moments.

This month’s Molly’s Digest explores the delights and “how to” of taking great, stress-free family photos and putting them to creative good use, plus a seasonal bouquet of frugal topics for your enjoyment. Take a more detailed look at the many topics you’ll find:

  • Family Photography (November’s feature):Grab your camera and the kids and get ready to make some memories.
    • Take Great Pictures of Your Family: Why pay big bucks when you can do it yourself? Create lasting memories with the who, what, when, where, why, and how of taking pictures of your own kids. You’ll learn practical information and expert advice.
    • Be Your Family’s Best Photographer: Take Great Photos and Do More With Them! Digital photography has revolutionized picture taking in most homes. Here you will find helpful information plus many links to further your photography education. Especially with the holidays approaching, you’ll love the ideas presented to use those perfect family photos.
  • Slice Grocery Spending in Half and Double Your Groceries: Couponing, Part 3— Enjoy saving with coupons . . . when you know where to find them! Have you ever thought to just ask the manufacturer? Amy Howard shares her experience and advice once again to help you enjoy saving with coupon basics.
  • On Sale in November: Thanksgiving items, Halloween candy, and Black Friday sales come to mind, but don’t stop there. What items will you stock up on for the approaching holiday season?
  • Save Money on Scrapbooking: Do you have years of photos stored on your computer? Don’t lose those memories! Scrapbooking is a wonderful hobby and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Learn many things about storing, sorting, and saving photos, as well as how to scrapbook on a limited budget.
  • A Room With a View: Aubrey Lively shows off her creative talents with a lovely room-divider version of the family photo frame. Wow! Check out this functional but priceless treasure, complete with instructions and lots of photos.
  • Favorite Slow-cooker Meals and Desserts: Starting with the recipe for Slow-Cooker Lasagna, you’ll find complete recipes for seven slow-cooker meals and three slow-cooker desserts. Yes! Desserts! Yum!
  • What to Celebrate in November? Thanksgiving of course, but you probably didn’t know that it is Peanut Butter Lovers Month or that the 3rd is Housewife’s Day and the 15th is Clean Your Refrigerator Day. Liven up a few special days and make yours a very interesting November.
  • Smile More—Stress Less: Laugh along with Familyman Todd Wilson’s cartoon in this month’s Parenting That Pays. The holidays can be stressful times when we find ourselves losing our focus on what’s important. Most parents could probably use these tips on smiling when you just don’t feel like it. Enjoy a thoughtful poem and a suggestion for taking that family holiday photo.
  • What to Do About Grandmother’s Curtains: This was Aubrey’s dilemma when two boxes full of old, mismatched curtains didn’t quite meet her window needs. You’ll just have to read the article and see the lovely results for yourself!
  • Goal-Getter Spotlight: It’s a story full of hope and the labor of love her entire family of eight spent making their dream of owning a home come true. Michelle tells the encouraging story of their fixer-upper “palace.”
  • Readers Write In: More photography tips and a frugal craft idea are shared by Molly’s readers.
  • Molly’s Question of the Month: Have you ever made and kept a New Year’s resolution? What was it, and how did you succeed? Molly would love to hear your story!
  • Directory of Links: For those of you who print and bind your Digests, you’ll have easy access to over two dozen fantastic links worth saving in the back of this issue. It makes your Digest easier to use!

Think of all the money you are saving by using a digital camera—no film to buy and process, and no unwanted pictures. It’s worth the small price to come away with fabulous tips and information you can begin to use right away—helping you rescue and hold on to all those treasured photo memories in a very memorable way!

Plus, you get all the rest that Molly’s Digest has to offer—wonderful recipes, creative projects—well just go back and reread all of the above!

Click here to view a sample of this item. 

Project Manager: Eleanor Joyce
Contributing Writers: Eleanor Joyce, Kris Price, Amy Howard, Jennifer Sikora
Publication: 2009
Pages: 40
File Size: 7.3 MB

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