DIY Crafts · Event Planning · Free Printables

Bright, Fun DIY Thanksgiving Decor: Free Downloadable Graphics Including Crowns for the Kid’s Table

Hi and Happy Friday! Looking for some fun ways to make your Thanksgiving festive this year? For a lot of us, it’s going to be a challenge as we forego the traditional big gatherings and find ways to celebrate thankfulness in a different way this year. Today’s free downloadable graphics include some fun, bright Thanksgiving decor perfect for involving the kids or for decorating your place for the season.

You can make paper chains, Thanksgiving crowns for the young or young-at-heart, print some placemats, and a Give Thanks sign.

Enjoy and have a beautiful day! 🙂

sign or placemat

placemat-print legal size for larger

cut strips to make paper chain

Cut out crown, cut strip from remaining blue to make back, size to fit.

Cozy at Home · Home Decor

The Thanksgiving Table: Fun, Simple Ideas to Create a Gracious Table Setting For Your Holiday Celebrations

I don’t know about you, but I love Thanksgiving! The traditional recipes (in our house, that’s turkey, mashed potatoes, baked yams, juicy stuffing, and something we call seafoam salad, made from pears, jello, and cream cheese–trust me it’s delicious), the family, and of course giving thanks for all of our many blessings.

In the last few years, I have taken over hosting from my mother-in-law, which has actually been a lot of fun. I relish all the planning, and especially decorating the table creatively with a unique tablescape every year. This year, I’m not sure how many of us will be together because of the pandemic, but I’m still planning and we will definitely still be as thankful as always and celebrate as much as possible under the circumstances.

Before we get into the post, thank you for checking out the blog today! You can take 25 percent off any purchase of $200 or more at Kate Aspen! Just use code TAKE25. Kate Aspen carries all kinds of beautiful party and wedding supplies.

Kate Aspen - For All You Celebrate - Party Favors, Decor & More

I have a gorgeous quilted table runner made for me by my mother in law from beautiful Mode Rue 1800 fabrics that will set the theme for my table this year. From there, I’m going with a shabby chic farmhouse feel combining soft colors and various textures. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for a shabby chic holiday table.

  • Start with a subtle color scheme. My table runner is a blend of shell pink, taupe, ivory, and subdued sage green. While not traditional for a fall tablescape, the light colors shine in farmhouse decor.
  • Let your tabletop become part of your decor. We have a big distressed oak table that can seat a crowd. I like the look of the wood, so I often use seasonal and decorative placemats instead of a tablecloth that would completely cover the surface. As an added benefit, placemats make for easy cleanup.
  • Layer elements at each place setting. I love to use a few layers of decoration at each place. I have combined solid woven placemats with copper and silver cut-out maple placemats. I also love to mix up a couple of napkin patterns. Here, each guest has a metallic polka-dot napkin and a traditional turkey napkin.
  • Use pastel floral china for a shabby chic feel. I love the light pink florals with my other colors. Pink and Thanksgiving are not two words you would normally associate, but I love the combination this year!
  • Find a versatile Thanksgiving decorating piece. I love my white gilded turkey. My little gobbler goes with everything. No matter where I place him, he’s always at home. I remember the day my son with special needs picked this out at Home Goods (and he rarely wants anything from stores) and now I’m so glad he asked for it!

  • Bring in some natural elements. I love using twig spheres, cotton, pine cones, small pumpkins, and gourds on the table. They definitely remind us of the season we’re celebrating.
  • Add a showstopper centerpiece to the table. A gorgeous display of blooms at the center of your table will be the crowning touch to a beautiful table. Here I have used large floral orbs you can make yourself (see post here) as a focal point for my centerpieces.
  • Break out the good stuff. In our home, we have a ton of items that are especially for the holidays. For example, it’s our tradition to use stemware on holidays but it stays in the sideboard for the rest of the year. Everyone looks forward to seeing those special items each year, and I’m so glad we started these traditions many years ago. Crystal candleholders are another item we love for a holiday table setting.
  • Add some mixed metallic details. I love the look of the copper and silver leaves, rose gold orbs, gold-rimmed china, and gilded turkey all together on one table.

I hope you find a few ideas here as you begin your Thanksgiving preparations! If you are interested in creating a similar look, please see my Shop the Look on Amazon! Contains affiliate links; thanks so much for supporting my blog. 🙂

Click links below for details on my Thanksgiving table picks. 🙂

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

DIY Chinoiserie Chic Mini Pumpkins

Like to Doodle? You Can Create A Beautiful Fall Decor Piece For Your Home

Okay so I have a long, long love affair with Asian style design, art, and porcelain pieces. Hence my blog name. And my overflowing china cabinets. 🙂 Chinoiserie Chic is a huge trend right now in home decor, and honestly it’s enough to make me want to redo my whole house.

But for today, I’m going to settle for four mini pumpkins. I love creative projects, and I have to say, this one really brought me joy to work on and I’m so happy with the results. Even with their imperfections, the pumpkins are unique works of art that were created by me.

This is a super low-stress project. Just get a few pumpkins, some really good fine tip permanent markers, some inspiration from your china dishes or a quick google search of chinoiserie prints, and spend a couple of hours creating. So de-stressing and relaxing! The only downside to my pumpkins is I made mine out of real mini white pumpkins and now I’m wishing I had used artificial white pumpkins so I could have kept these through Thanksgiving and for next year!

If you want to try this project, I recommend you consider buying some small pumpkins, spray painting them with chalk paint, doing your marker design, and then sealing them. That way you will have them for years to come, unlike me who will have to say goodbye to my little pumpkins in a few weeks.

Here are the step by step instructions for creating these little beauties.

This post does contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Please see about page for full details and thank you very much for reading my post.

Supply List

Pumpkins

White Chalk Paint

Krylon Clear Finish

Bic Ultra Fine Tip Permanent Markers

  1. Select your small white pumpkins. See my previous note about using artificial pumpkins.
  2. If you are using real pumpkins, seal them with polyurethane or another sealer first so that you have a nice smooth surfact to work on.
  3. If you are using artificial pumpkins, spray them with white chalk paint.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly. I waited for a day before I started on my design.
  5. Decide on what designs you want to use. I made two pumpkins inspired by hydrangea and chrysanthemum motifs similar to some beautiful Asian-inspired wallpaper I saw online. I made one based on a traditional cherry tree painting, and one taking its design elements from blue willow china.
York Wallpaper
Spoonflower Wallpaper

Churchhill Blue Willow Dishware

Blossom Painting

4. Using a fine tip marker in a color you would like to have throughout your design, draw the basic elements. I used this wonderful set of fine tip markers which gave me a huge variety of colors to work with. The great thing about the Asian motifs I used is that they are fairly simple–geomentric shapes, curved lines, flowers, and leaves. I used a brown marker for the outlines on two of them and the black for the blossom branch design. For the blue willow design I only used a couple of the shades of blue.

5. Once you have a rough outline, go back and fill in with the colors you want in your design.

6. Look back over the design and see where it could use some depth. Use another color to add a bit to some sections. For example, on some of my light green leaves, I added some purple.

7. Spray the pumpkins with a light coat of sealer.

That’s it! Such a fun project! Easier than I thought and great results! I hope you will give it a try and let me know how yours turned out and post your picture!

Have a beautiful day and create something that makes you happy! 🙂

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

Make A Beautiful Autumn Hued Wreath From Dried Hydrangea

DIY Hydrangea Wreath

Hydrangea is such a beautiful flower! I keep adding more and more of them to my home landscape! Several years ago we traveled to Maine for a family vacation, and I came back inspired to add even more after viewing so many charming New England homes surrounded by the striking shrubs. Now, I have my own supply of hydrangea blossoms that are terrific for preserving and using in crafts. If you have some too, give it a try! The dried flowers can last for a year, so the effort to DIY a pretty wreath or arrangement is definitely worth it!

How TO DRY Hydrangea

I have used two methods for drying hydrangea stems. The first is air drying in bunches and the second is drying in a vase with some water. Either way, you should cut the hydrangea stem with about 8-12 inches of stem and remove the leaves.

For air drying, tie the branches singly or in small bunches and hang them upside down in a dry place, like an attic. For my wreath, I just got a bunch of my dried flowers out of the attic, and they were ready to go.

Another option is to put the flowers in a vase with water halfway up the stems. Simply let the water evaporate and the flowers will be dry. This will take about two weeks or so.

Flowers drying in a vase of water.

Making the Wreath: Step By Step

Supplies Used For Project:

Grapevine Wreath Base

Dried Flowers

Wire

Pink, Purple, Copper, and Green Spray Paint

Many of my flowers were dried from last year and mainly looked golden brown, so I decided to spray paint some of them to get the color tones I wanted. This was very easy. I just spread the flowers out on some cardboard and gave them a fine mist of paint (outdoors for ventilation) to give them some subtle color. I used pink, purple, copper, and green.

You will need a grapevine wreath base for this project. Once your flowers are dry, start at one position on the circle and begin filling in with flowers. The stems of hydrangeas are pretty tough, and if you have long enough stems, you can just weave them through the vine. That’s how I attached a lot of the flowers. They can be secured with florist wire where needed. Just gently wrap some wire around the stem being careful not to break the flower, and use the wire to help hold the flower in place. I had a few flowers that broke off the stems, so I just affixed them with a glue gun. That’s another method that works, too.

Hold your wreath up to see if the fullness is pretty equal all around, and add more flowers where needed. With the materials being natural, it’s never going to be perfect, but that’s what makes your own creation unique.

Twist a loop of wire on the back of the wreath to form a hanger.

That’s all there is to it! What a beautiful and rewarding project! I can’t wait to get everything together for my Fall front door display this year, and see how everything comes together!

HAVE A BEAUTIFUL day, and try something creative! 🙂

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

DIY Fall Decor: Coppery Hypertufa Pumpkin Sculpture

Making Art With Hypertufa

Aren’t outdoor sculptures so striking? The effect of a well-chosen outdoor accent can really add to the beauty and charm of outdoor spaces. I have been wanting to try some concrete projects for years, but I finally decided to give it a try this week. Creating something out of hypertufa, a mix of concrete, perlite, and peat moss, turned out to be a cool project with some pretty nice results. Since this was my first try, I definitely want to play around with it and see what else I can come up with and refine the technique a little. 

For this project, I made a set of coppery pumpkins. They’re a cute little accent and you could use them indoors, on your porch, patio, or front steps.  The fun part is deciding whether to leave them as-is or decorate them!

Supplies:

Portland Cement

Perlite

Peat Moss

Water

Trowel

Rubber bands

Tights or pantyhose

Dust mask

If painting copper-

Spray paint (I used Krylon fusion copper metallic)

For verdigris highlights: acrylic paints in green, gray, and antique gold

  1. Mix the hypertufa

Wear a dust mask. Mix equal parts portland cement, perlite, and peat moss in a large bucket. Gradually add water, possibly up to one equal part. Mix in very slowly so you are controlling the consistency. It should not be crumbly but it cannot be too watery. It should be like a moldable mud texture. 

  1. Cut a section from a leg of pantyhose. To make a larger pumpkin, use a long section and start at the top of the leg. Tie a knot at the bottom of the pantyhose.
  2. Stuff the pantyhose with hypertufa. Really squish it in there and pat it around to make a good pumpkin shape. I made a couple that were too flat when finished because I didn’t stuff in enough hypertufa, so you want to keep filling it in, forming it, and making it rounded as you go. When you have a shape you like, tie another knot. 
  3. Use rubber bands around the whole thing to form indentions like the sections of a pumpkin. Your rubber bands will be like slices of pie or spokes of a wheel. 
  4. Let your pumpkins dry without disturbing them for 4 days.
  5. Cut off the rubber bands and pantyhose, and you’re done!
  6. If you want to, you can decorate the pumpkin. I decided to give mine an aged copper look. I spray painted them with Krylon fusion copper metallic.

For the smaller one, I added some shading for a verdigris effect. I used folk art acrylic paints in dark green and gray, mixed together for various shading, and also added some antique metallic gold. 

I’m going to be trying some more cement projects, so I’ll let you know how they turn out. The possibilities for making your own decorative pieces with this stuff are endless!

Have a beautiful day and try something new and creative! 🙂

DIY Crafts · Home Decor

DIY Fall Folk Art Vase Fun and Easy Project

Time to get ready for fall festivities! Whether you plan to cook a meal at your home or are looking to have something to drop off at grandma’s, this is a fun DIY project. When finished, the vase has a hand-painted look because of the combination of paint and decoupage. Kids can help with the acrylic paint and decoupage steps.

Supplies:

Glass cylinder vase

Metallic spray paint

Seasonal napkins

Modge Podge

Acrylic Craft Paint, various colors

Acrylic craft paint, metallic to match spray paint

Step 1- Make sure the glass vase is clean and dry

Step 2- Spray paint the vase according to instructions on the paint can. Only do this outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. 

Step 3- Choose a seasonal napkin. I always have a bunch of fun napkins around because I just like to change up the table for the season. I chose a Spode woodland turkey napkin because it went with the look I was going for, but you could use anything. Make sure you are only working with one layer. Carefully affix the napkin where you would like it placed using modge podge or polyurethane. 

Step 4- Paint a decorative folk-art inspired border around the top. I did a simple vine and bud design in colors that coordinated with the napkin illustration. Once I had the basic design, I went back and added a little gray to places to make it look slightly shaded.

Step 5- add highlights with metallic paint. I added some small gold highlights here and there on the turkey design napkins. I also painted some blue over top of parts of the decoupage to add to the folk art hand-painted look.

Step 6- coat with polyurethane. I coated the whole thing with spray-on clear poly (outdoors) to give it all a unified texture. 

The great thing about this project is it doesn’t need to look perfect! I wanted a folk art look, so I’m happy with the primitive style painting. If the decoupage isn’t perfect, it’s also getting some paint and poly. 

This was an easy, fun project.

Have a beautiful day, and try something creative! 🙂