Fall is one of the best times of the year. As the trees begin to turn, leaves start to fall and we experience a return to nature with an abundance of warm and rustic colours. This year, instead of buying decorations to bring the outdoors in, and to add bit of festive décor to your Thanksgiving gathering, why not try your hand at a little DIY project? Whether you’re an experienced DIYer looking to make a masterpiece, or a young family trying to get the kids in on the fun, we’ve compiled some DIY decoration projects you’ll definitely fall for.
Table runners can make any dining area look more elegant. This is a great project to get the kids involved with, and it’s recyclable to boot!
• Craft paper (long enough to drape off the table)
• Foam paint brushes
• Stencils (optional)
Cut a piece of craft paper long enough for your table, and use a pencil to mark where the edges will drape off the table. Lay the paper flat on a bed of newspapers to protect the floor, then use your stencils and paint to create a unique design that suits your style. If you don’t have stencils, you can always just freehand your masterpiece. There are no rules when it comes to DIY! Once you’re done with your table runner, odds are it’ll be a bit dirty from dinner. Toss it in the recycling bin and start planning your next themed runner! Halloween, anyone?
A thankfulness tree
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in day-to-day life that we forget to pause and give thanks for everything we have. A thankfulness tree not only looks lovely on the table, but it also adds a sentimental component to your dining room. It’s also a great activity for the whole family to get involved in.
• Sticks (real or fake, your choice)
• A vase
• Coloured construction paper
• A hole punch
Place all of your sticks in a vase to create a tree-like shape, and make sure the branches are spread out so you have room to hang your cards. Cut your construction paper into leaves or circles and fill out each sheet with things you’re thankful for. These could range anywhere from your health to your favourite snack. Punch a hole in the top of the paper leaves and use string to hang them from the branches. When you sit around the table for Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll all be reminded of all the blessings you have!
You could also make this an interactive activity. Leave two or three “leaves” at everyone’s table setting, fill them in before dinner, then hang them as a group on your thankfulness tree.
Falling leaves garland
Garland isn’t just for Christmas! Take advantage of the stunning fall foliage by stringing it along your walls.
• Lots of leaves in varying colours! If you can’t find real leaves, fake leaves will also work.
• A book, or something else heavy
• Ribbon or string (sisal looks great)
• Clear acrylic paint spray (optional)
This project requires a bit of planning, but you can get the kids involved to help hunt for leaves! You’ll want a variety of healthy leaves in an array of colours. It’s important for the leaves to still have some moisture in them, otherwise they’ll crumble. Place your leaves under a book overnight to flatten them. The next morning, spray the leaves with clear acrylic paint to make them last longer. This step is optional, but your garland won’t be as shiny (or as durable) without it. Once your leaves have dried, attach them to the string or ribbon using glue, tape, or even clothespins! Voila! Falling leaves garland.You can make multiple strands and hang them diagonally across your wall to really make it look like they’re falling from the trees. To make them even shinier, brush lightly here and there with gold paint.
Mini pumpkin succulent planters
Mini pumpkin succulent planters are a cute and fun way to add some life to your fall décor.
• Mini pumpkins (real or fake)
• Sheet moss and soil
Since succulents are so easy to care for, the steps to this project are pretty straightforward. Carve out the inside of your mini pumpkin, pop in the succulent, then top it with soil and sheet moss. That’s it! You now have a mini pumpkin succulent planter. Keep in mind the planter itself won’t last forever, and will eventually start to deteriorate as time goes on. You can always transfer the succulent to a new pot, or you can use fake pumpkins for a long-lasting craft. If you do opt for the artificial pumpkins, be sure they’re hollow to make things easier!
A leaf bowl
Découpage is a classic craft that has stood the test of time. The satisfaction and life-like results that come from a completed découpage project are like no other! Create your own leaf bowl and use it as a centrepiece, key holder or candy bowl!
• Artificial leaves (real leaves won’t give you the same results)
• Plastic bowl or balloon
• Plastic wrap
• Mod Podge Stiffy
Completely cover a plastic bowl with plastic wrap. You can also use an inflated balloon for this step, but the shape will be different. Apply Mod Podge onto the leaves as you go, then lay them on the bowl until it’s covered. The leaves should overlap so there are no holes or empty spaces! Make sure you press down on the leaves as you apply them to ensure they’re stuck together. Continue this process until the bowl is at your desired height. Place the bowl in a sunny area for at least four hours, or until the leaves are completely dry. Then, coat the outside of the bowl in triple thick glaze. Once the glaze is completely dry, carefully remove your leaf bowl from the plastic bowl and peel off the inside plastic wrap. This bowl is still delicate and can’t hold too much weight, but it’s a stunning addition to any table and can hold plastic pinecones, napkins or wrapped candy.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the good things we have in our lives, and yes, some of those things are crafts! These DIY projects will leave you feeling extra grateful this year.