DIY Thanksgiving Table Decor

6 Materials
1 Hour

Is there anything more gorgeous than a fully decorated Thanksgiving table? It may be gorgeous, but it can be expensive to host a dinner and wow your guests with the decor. This DIY project is a quick and inexpensive way to dress up your Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving has to be one of my favorite holidays to decorate a table for. I love a decorated dinner table, I don’t know what it is but they are just so delightful to look at. Whether it is the colors, the glow or knowing it is going to hold quality time with family and friends, I look forward to dressing up the table every year.

A few weeks back my husband and I took a walk through the park and the trees were right in the middle of shedding their leaves. They were beautifully scattered across the ground and I couldn’t help but start collecting them. I thought how beautiful they would be on top of a dinner plate and how inexpensive they would be to make. Any way I can create a beautiful seasonal table on a dime, I am in!

The possibilities for these leaves seemed endless and I chose to turn the leaves into painted places cards, or I guess place leaves. I also created “I am thankful for” cards. In addition to looking beautiful, it gives guests a fun way to share what they are thankful for.

I love a DIY project that starts with “take a walk in the park” but seriously, take a nice long walk in the park and collect large flat leaves. Collect a couple more than the number of guests you have coming to your dinner. It’s always good to have a couple extra for practice. Once home, pat leaves dry and place in the pages of a heavy book or under a few flat boards. Make sure the entire leaf is covered and it is being pressed firmly, you want to get them as flat as possible. Allow the leaves to press until you are ready to use them, this will prevent them from drying out too much.

Decide how you would like to paint your leaves. Get creative! I chose to paint the top of the leave with an angle and painting the top and the bottom, leaving and stripe for your guests’ name. Using the ruler, press it down firmly in place where you would like to paint. Paint along the side of the ruler that does not have the metal. This will give you a cleaner line. Allow the paint to dry just for a minute or two and then slowly peel he ruler off. If a smug is noticeable, use a q-tip to wipe away while the paint is still wet.

If you are looking to have a solid bold color, you will have to paint a few layers. If you would like the leaf’s veins to show through, one layer is enough. Once the leaves dry, carefully write your guests names on the leaves with a chalk or paint pen. The paint can cause the edges to turn up as it is drying. When the leaves are completely dry place them back in your heavy books until Thanksgiving Day.

Another way to use these leaves it to write “I am thankful” and leave a space for your guest’s to write in their answer. Using the chalk pen write out “I am thankful” and the top part of the leaf. Add a line under it for your guests to write in their answers. I chose to use the white as it showed up better and gold to give my guests. Don’t forget to provide your guests with pens at dinner time. You can use the pen at part of the decor; put it in their napkin ring, or place it with the silverware.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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