Thanksgiving ideas for table decorations

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photo of turkey on table
Guests may come for the turkey but they also will be observing your holiday table decorations.
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Save money with these thanksgiving ideas for table decorations.

A grand holiday banquet is the result of planning ahead for the Thanksgiving meal. Groceries are expensive. Wines and other beverages are enough to give any wallet an autumn chill. A big, juicy turkey costs a pretty penny. But when it comes to thanksgiving ideas for table decorations, a splendid effect can be had for hardly any dough at all.


Look around the house for suitable materials.


Think about what is available that's pretty and handy. Do you have some woven place mats made of orange or red fabric? How many candles are on hand? Do you have a beautiful glass vase that would add some crystalline elegance to a freshly cut spray of evergreens mixed with small branches bearing autumn leaves? Imagination already is at work. And the job of coming up with some unique thanksgiving ideas for table decorations is underway.


Things to consider include the number of guests, the ages of your guests and whether or not any pets will be present that day. A good-sized crowd may preclude using precious table space for decorations. Empty space on the table well may be usurped for serving dishes, gravy boats and bread baskets. If young children, large dogs or pet monkeys will be on site that evening, candles probably should be eliminated from the list of decorative items used for the occasion.


Elegant touches of color are easy to attain by using satin or velvet bows. A quartet of beautiful bows pinned one each to the corners of the table or to a table runner adds color and flair. In addition, they serve to secure the tablecloth so that—as seen in comedies and cartoons—none of your guests will get up from their chairs and walk away with the table cloth instead of their napkins tucked into their waistbands. Bows with decorative name tags also can be tied to each chair as a way of indicating the seating arrangement. See if you have some craft supplies that can help to add even more impact.



Look outdoors for decorations from nature


Ask Mother Nature to lend you some of her jewelry—pine cones, acorns, river rocks and dried seed pods. These items can be used as centerpieces with very little adaptation. They are easy to fashion into unique conversation pieces your guests will remember. Thanksgiving ideas for table decorations abound in nature. Take a walk in the woods and see what you discover.


Try making a wreath by securing with heavy thread or thin wire a circle of pine cones. Instead of using your creation in the traditional manner—as a decoration for a door or window—position the wreath flat on your table and set into its open center that crystalline vase filled of evergreens. Surrounding the base of the vase in such a manner not only adds elegance; it adds bulk and may offer just enough resistance to prevent a spill if someone bumps the vase as they're reaching for the candied yams.


Acorns have many uses. You can string onto gold thread a length of acorns after piercing them with a knitting needle or other sharp implement. A length of acorn garland artistically meandering around serving dishes gives a feeling of bounty and a sense of the abundance of nature. A quick spray with furniture polish will give them a lovely sheen.


Go for the gold to ensure an elegant presentation


If you feel a more glamorous effect is in order, spray the acorns with gold paint. String them, or not. All by themselves, they are beautiful. Handfuls of golden acorns scattered at random across your table—or clustered here and there in small mounds—makes for a beautiful display. And your guests can take some home as souvenirs.


River rocks and large, smooth pebbles make beautiful decorations. On the day you collect them—or sometime before the dinner—wash them in warm water to which a small amount of chlorine bleach has been added. Rinse and dry each one to make sure no trace of bleach remains that might discolor your holiday tablecloth. A spray of furniture polish—or gold paint—may bring out more beauty.


The rocks and pebbles can be used in many ways. If you opt to use candles, try encircling the candle holders with these rounded wonders. Their lustrous reflective quality will make the candles' flickering flames even more beautiful.


Rocks that are flat enough to write a guest's name upon can be used as place markers in front of each guest's dinner plate. In addition, larger flat rocks might be inscribed with a felt-tip pen and placed at random around the table. Some inscriptions: thanks; love; welcome; happiness; abundance. Best of all: Happy Thanksgiving.


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