When it comes to Thanksgiving, you want to save your cash for gas, tolls, heirloom turkey, and Klonopin (or maybe that’s just my family). The so-simple Pilgrims wouldn’t approve of overspending on décor. Of course, they probably wouldn’t be too pleased with marshmallows in the sweet potatoes, either, but let’s not split hairs.
If you’ve done all you can with the stuff in your backyard and you’re hoping for a little autumn cheer (without endangering the Christmas budget), here are some not-too-spendy options for Thanksgiving decorations on the cheap.
I am all over this amazing DIY decoration from Kalleen at At Second Street. It’s so much prettier than the commercial kind, and you can print it yourself -- and personalize it with your own choice of ribbon and card-stock color. Download the PDF and follow her instructions (this is a great excuse for sitting around and watching Anderson in the afternoon). Hang it over the buffet table, the couch, or -- oh, come on. You know your house better than I do, hang it wherever the heck you want.
You can easily spend $50 or $100 on silk flowers or ready-made wreaths. That, my friends, is not going to help your Christmas present budget. I adore this how-to wreath guide from a 13-year-old (!!!) using paint-chips and a cardboard cutout. Make the cutout bigger, use more rows of flowers, and (obviously) change the color scheme to fit your holiday theme -- oranges, browns, yellows, and just a little green. I’d also add a button to the middle of each flower, but I have nine billion brassy buttons and way too much time on my hands.
Mini Pumpkin Votives
I have a plethora of mini-pumpkins left over from Thanksgiving. Seriously, my kids came home from every party with one of these things and have been carrying them from room to room ever since. Your local supermarket will have a huge bin of them, too. Of course, they make a pretty accent just on their own (hence their ubiquitous presence), but the Internets have been abuzz with the idea to hollow out the top and stick a votive candle in there. So cute, right?
I was amazed to find that I could get cinnamon sticks in bulk from my local Smart & Final. (I always thought they were fancy, but apparently not!) They are the perfect rustic accent for just about any decoration, with the added bonus that they smell lovely. Similarly, whole cloves are shaped like little golf tees and are easy to add to stuff. Use this tutorial to wrap a pillar candle in cinnamon; poke the cloves into the mini-pumpkins I mentioned above. Use your imagination and think what else you can add them to.
Quick, Temporary Window and Wall Treatments
I have a bad habit of haunting my local fabric store for leftovers and sale items. But what to do with it all? Rather than hanging crepe paper -- which never looks good and takes too much effort to get right -- hang swags of sheer fabric in orange and brown instead. Drape them over curtain rods (pin or clip them in place whenever necessary) or in front of the mantel (gathering every now and then with a raffia or ribbon bow).
Thanksgiving Tree (Gratitude Tree)
I’ve seen this as a banner, too, and I think it’s a terrific idea -- corny, but isn’t that what the holidays are about? The idea is that you give your family an opportunity to write down what they are thankful for and add it to a group project. The simplest way would be to string a simple ribbon or vine along a wall and provide cutout leaves (I’ve seen super-cute ones using everyone’s hands as a template!) for each person to write on, securing each with a festively-decorated clothespin (say, with gingham contact paper). Depending on your skill level, you can make branches into a tree affixed to the wall or stick a tree-shaped branch into a pebble-filled pot. You can save the best leaves, seal them with clear contact paper, and put them up next year. Like I said, corny -- but you can bet we’ll be doing this one around my casa.
How do you decorate your home for Thanksgiving?