Homemade Decorations for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s time to get your house decorated for the holiday. If you want to save some money on Thanksgiving decorations this year, try making the following DIY decorations.

You can make these yourself, but if you have kids, you should invite them to make it a family project.

Giant Front Door Wood Tags

Greet guests by using these large wooden tags for your front door.

What You Need:

  • 1/2″ plywood (2 pieces 18″ x 7″)
  • Miter saw
  • Drill and 1″ spade or forstner bit
  • Computer printout of lettering
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Jute rope
  • Clear monofilament
  • Clear spray poly (optional)


  1. Cut 1/2″ plywood to size and drill a 1″ hole at center top.
  2. Go online and print a lettering design to fit on the tag. Using a ballpoint pen, trace letters onto the wood with heavy pressure. You might want to use Ecolier font at 550 point to do this. Look for words that relate to being thankful.
  3. Paint on and inside the indent left behind by the pen using black acrylic craft paint. If desired, seal with clear semi-gloss poly to protect from moisture. Try hanging the tags behind a storm door window so they aren’t exposed to the weather.
  4. Add jute rope and tie in a knot.  To keep rope held together use clear monofilament and then hang on door.

Mini Pumpkin Candle Holders

If you decorate your house with candles, consider making these fun candle holders.

What You Need:

  • Mini pumpkins
  • Drill
  • Forstner or spade drill bit (based on candle size)
  • Candles (tapers, votive, or tea lights will all fit)
  • Box cutter (optional)
  • Vaseline


  1. Most drill bits have a sharp point at the very end of the bit, but you need something flat for the drill bit to start into. If the stems on your pumpkins are natural instead of trimmed flat, use a box cutter to cut off the end of the stem, parallel with the ground. To give the drill more stability, use the box cutter to gouge out a tiny depression in the stem so that there is a tiny pilot hole for the drill bit to center itself on.
  2. Decide which type of candle you want to put in your mini pumpkins. You need to choose a drill bit that is exactly the same size as the base of your candle. You can use a 7/8″ spade drill bit for the taper candles, but for a votive or tea light, you will probably need something bigger, like a 1-1/2″ bit.
  3. Press the point of the drill bit into the center of the stem of the pumpkin, and slowly start drilling. The drill will have a bit of trouble right where the stem meets the pumpkin. Keep gentle pressure on the drill while it works through the base of the stem. Don’t push too hard because as soon as the drill bit gets into the pumpkin itself, it will start to move really quickly and easily.
  4. Drill about 1/2″ to 3/4″ into the pumpkin. Be careful not to go all the way through.
  5. Scoop out most of the seeds and flesh from inside the pumpkin, and wipe away any excess on the outside. If you need your pumpkin to last a while, rub some Vaseline on all of the exposed flesh (put it inside the pumpkin, and on the part you drilled through).
  6. Finally, add a candle, and you have a fun, festive mini pumpkin candle holder!
  7. If the hole is too big and the candle wiggles, just light it and let a bit of hot wax drip into the mini pumpkin around the base of the candle. Once the hot wax cools, it will hold the candle upright.

Thanksgiving Table Runner

An easy-to-make table runner to use at Thanksgiving dinner.

What You Need:

  • Roll of butcher or craft paper
  • Leaf stencil from your local craft store
  • Craft paint in your choice of colors (use autumn colors, like gold, orange, brown, and red)
  • Foam brush


  1. Unroll your paper and cut to size to fit your table. Be sure to allow a little extra to hang off each edge of the table. Depending on the width of the paper you may want to fold it under to make the runner narrower. Handle the paper with some care to avoid putting too many wrinkles in it.
  2. Using your stencil and craft paint, start making whatever pattern you want down the middle of the runner. For example, scatter different leaves down the middle, all heading in the same direction.
  3. Let dry and roll up the runner until you plan to use it!

Pilgrim Hat Centerpiece

This easy-to-craft centerpiece is great if you are looking to save on decorations.

What You Need:

  • 1 medium-sized flower pot (plastic or pottery)
  • 1 large circular tray
  • Epoxy glue (such as E6000)
  • Black paint (spray paint or craft paint)
  • White craft paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • Autumn embellishments such as faux flowers, leaves, etc.


  1. Glue the flower pot upside down in the middle of tray and let it dry.
  2. Paint pot and tray with several coats of black paint and them let dry.
  3. Paint a strip of white towards the bottom of flower pot.
  4. Glue on any autumn related embellishments near “rim” of hat. These can include faux flowers or leaves fallen on the ground outside.






Having trouble keeping your DIY projects together? Henkel can provide you with a wide selection of strong adhesives.

To see Henkel’s adhesives in action, look at how they helped restore the mask of Tut Ankh Amun.

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