8 Easy DIY Thanksgiving Table Decorations

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Brighten Up Your Thanksgiving Table

Whether you’ll be dining with just a few people or having the entire family over, you’ll want your Thanksgiving table decorations to look as festive as possible. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or be a professional stylist to have dazzling decorations. In fact, here are eight simple Thanksgiving table ideas to dress up your table for a fabulous Thanksgiving decor.

To ensure your projects turn out picture-perfect, we’ve included a list of the supplies, step-by-step instructions, and a video for each one. We recommend reading the instructions and watching the video before you begin a project to be fully prepared.

Paint Decorative Pumpkin Plates

List of Supplies:

1. Find a message online or create your own and print it out. To center your message on the plate, trace the perimeter of the plate over your message. Turn the paper over and use a pencil to color over the back of the message. Cover it thoroughly with graphite. Turn the paper over and place the message in the center of the plate. Using the pencil, trace over the message to transfer it onto the plate.

2. Place the A112 paint on a palette and mix with a little water (3:2 paint-to-water ratio). Keep the brush wet and use a tissue or paper towel to make sure the paint doesn’t build up on the brush. Slowly and carefully outline your message with a thin line of paint. By resting your hand on the table, you’ll be able to make straight, fine lines. Let the paint dry and then add another layer.

TIP: If you make a mistake, simply wipe off the paint quickly with a wet tissue before the paint dries.

3. Place the A202 paint on the palette. Apply it as is, without mixing with water. Paint the pumpkins and leaves. Let dry completely.

4. Even though this paint is non-toxic, we recommend using an eco-friendly varnish made especially for items that will be used for food. Cover the plate entirely in this varnish and let dry before using.

By using a smaller plate, you can create a matching set of Thanksgiving dinner and salad plates. That’s what we’ve done in this version, which only has decorative pumpkin elements without any text.

Decorate a Napkin with Fabric Markers

List of Supplies:

1. Fold the napkin into a rectangle. It is important to use an all-cotton napkin with a high thread count to ensure the marker lines will be precise and legible.

2. Find a message online or create your own message and print it out. Turn the paper over and use a pencil to color over the back of the message. Cover it thoroughly. Turn the paper back over and place the message in the center of the napkin. Using the pencil, trace over the message to transfer the letters to the napkin.

HINT: It’s important to note that fabric markers do not dry instantly, so you don’t want to rush this step. To keep from smearing your work, draw over the lines slowly and carefully and wait for them to dry before proceeding.

3. Before starting, place cardboard or thick paper underneath the napkin to keep the marker from bleeding through the fabric. Begin with the finer tip end of the fabric marker for the lettering, as this will help you initially place everything correctly. Use the other end of the marker with the slightly larger tip to build up the wider areas on the letters.

4. Once you’ve completed your drawing, let your artwork dry for at least 6 hours. After it is completely dry, iron the back of the napkin to set your design.

Try using this technique on different colored napkins or give each person at the table their own unique message or picture!

Create Cute Place Card Holders

List of Supplies:

1. Paint each twig, making sure to get all sides and the ends thoroughly covered. Let dry.

2. Tie the two twigs together, side by side, with twine. Cut off the ends for a neat finish.

3. Write the name of your dinner guest on the smooth side of the card with the marker.

4. Place the card in the center of the stand between the twigs.

Make a Painted Leaf Garland

List of Supplies:

  • Arteza Acrylic Paint (A127, A128, A129, A201, A202, A203)
  • PVA glue
  • Soft, synthetic paint brush
  • Palette
  • Small cup of water
  • Assorted leaves, washed and dried
  • Thread
  • Small branch ⅔” or 1.5 cm in diameter and long enough for leaf spacing of 4” or 10 cm apart, cleaned and free of bark

1. Use paper towels to cover the inside pages of a heavy book and lay the leaves between the paper towels. Close the book and lay something heavy on top to firmly press the leaves. Keep the book in a dry, warm place and don’t open for 24 hours.

2. Remove the leaves from the book. Gather together the paint brush, palette, water, branch, and thread.

3. Cover one side of each leaf with a single layer of paint, alternating between all the colors. Dilute the paint with a little water to get a thin, smooth coat. Use each color as is or create your own colors by mixing paints on the palette. Let leaves dry for 5-10 minutes. Turn over and paint the other side. Let that side dry. Add 1 or 2 more layers of paint to each side. To make your leaves more interesting, apply different shades of paint randomly on the leaves.

4. Arrange leaves on a flat surface until they are completely dry. As they dry, the leaves may curl a little, which will give them a more natural appearance. If you prefer flat leaves, you can press them again.

5. To paint the thread that will hold the leaves on the branch, dip the tip of a thread into the paint that matches the leaf and then press it on the paper with the brush, sticking it to the surface. Pull the thread through the bristles of the brush. Repeat this step with each color. Hang colored threads until they are completely dry.

6. Cover the peeled branch with PVA glue and leave it for a couple of hours to dry completely. Then, cover the branch with one coat of paint. After it dries, softly rub paint of different colors to random areas of the branch.

7. Tie painted threads to the branch approximately 4 inches apart. Tie the other end of the thread to the stem of each leaf or attach it with a glue gun. Use this garland as a table runner or hang from the ceiling above the table.

Paint a Bronze Pumpkin

List of Supplies:

1. Wash the pumpkin, cleaning off any dust and dirt. Dry it well.

2. Paint the stem, top, and sides with Bronze paint. Make sure to get good enough coverage so that you can’t see any of the orange pumpkin skin showing through the paint . If you use the paint straight from the tube, without mixing it with water, one coat should be sufficient. If you thin the paint with water, let it dry thoroughly and then add another coat. Let the paint dry for 4-5 hours.

3. For the bottom of the pumpkin, repeat Step 2.

You can use one large bronze pumpkin for your centerpiece or paint several in various sizes to scatter down the middle of your table for an interesting display.

Create a Glittering Candle Holder

List of Supplies:

NOTE: We recommend wearing a respirator mask when working with glitter.

1. Apply masking tape so that it covers ⅔ of the jar.

2. Mark the jar at equal intervals all the way around to ensure the drawing will connect seamlessly.

3. Draw the vine and leaves (above and below the vine) around the jar using the marks to connect them.

4. Cut and peel away the tape from all the areas that will be covered in glitter — the bottom leaves and all the tape around the leaves above the vine.

5. Squeeze a little glue on the jar and use a brush to paint in those areas. If the surface is broad, as is the case here, it is better to divide this process into a few steps to make sure the glue doesn’t dry before adding the glitter.

6. Pour a generous amount of the Brilliant Silver glitter over the glue. Use a piece of scrap paper to lightly tamp the glue down to secure it on the glue. Shake off the excess glitter. It may require up to three layers to get complete coverage. Apply each new layer only after the previous one has dried.

7. Use the black marker to draw the outlines of the bottom leaves before removing the rest of the masking tape on the jar. Peel the tape carefully to avoid tearing the connections between the leaves and the vine.

8. Using a very fine paint brush, paint the glue onto the outline of the leaves and along the vine. Pour the Chocolate glitter over these areas, tamp with the tissue, and shake off excess. As with Step 6, you will need to add three layers of glitter, applied after each separate layer has dried.

TIP: Place a piece of paper under the jar to catch the glitter. Once you shake off the unnecessary glitter, use the paper to funnel what’s leftover back into the jar. Use a separate sheet of paper every time you change glitter colors to avoid mixing them.

9. Once the last layer of glitter is dry, sweep around the vine and leaves with a paint brush to clean the surface of any leftover glitter.

10. Add your votive candles for a sparkling addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Dress Up Wood Slices with Glitter

List of Supplies:

NOTE: We recommend wearing a respirator mask when working with glitter.

1. Draw a vine and leaves on the wood slice with a pencil.

2. Apply a thick layer of glue with a brush to one side of the vine, painting around the outline of the leaves.

3. Pour a generous amount of the Brilliant Silver glitter over the glue. Press it with soft tissue for better adhesion. Shake off excess glitter and pour remaining amount back into the jar.

4. Paint a line of glue over the outline of the vine and leaves. Sprinkle a good portion of Chocolate glitter over the glue. Pat down with the tissue. Shake off the excess.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning some easy ways to create a stunning decor for your Thanksgiving Day table. Whether you use one of these ideas or all of them, you’re sure to have fun with each project and delight in all the compliments on your decorating you’ll receive!

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1 comment

Love these ideas especially bronze pumpkin. Colors are amazing.

Margaret Scheer

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