Turn your Thanksgiving table into a truly original cornucopia of color and panache with this step-by-step guide from lifestyle expert Julie Mulligan. Using easy-to-find materials, Julie teaches you to add memorable touches to your table and your celebration!
Thanksgiving Photo Tree
Creating a centerpiece that utilizes fall’s most abundant flowers—and marries them to the things in particular that you are most thankful for—is a beautiful way to set the Thanksgiving scene.
Scan or make color copies of old photos that you have of your guests (or make new photos look old by using sepia tone on the computer).
Crop the images to 3 inches by 3 inches and back them with fall-colored paper—lovely pale orange or sunset yellow paper will fit nicely.
Hole punch the corner of each photo and attach a burgundy, orange or yellow ribbon.
On the other end of the ribbon, glue a metal word embellishment that you can find in any scrapbooking section of your local craft or stationery store. The word embellishments don’t just look great; they also make it easy to hang the photo without having to tie the ribbon to the branch. Just drape it over with the photo on one side and the metal word on the other.
Get the kids to help; look for phrases like “Miracle,” “Blessed,” or “Family.” This makes a great springboard for conversation as you share with your guests all the things you’re thankful for this year.
On the back of each photo, write a personal message that says what you’re thankful for about each of your guests.
Take some time to really talk about all of the things you’re thankful for this year, and get more great ideas to add to next year’s bouquet!
Cut the sunflower off the stem as close to the flower as possible so it sits level on a surface such as a table or plate.
Using a sharp knife, cut away enough of the center of the sunflower so that it can hold a tea light candle.
Place the sunflower face-up on the table or plate and put the tea light in the center.
If you choose to use an apple instead of a sunflower, cut an opening at the top of the apple. Make sure the opening is wide and deep enough to hold the tea light. Battery-operated tea lights are a great alternative if you have young children or pets in the home.
Cut a piece of cardboard just slightly larger than the bottom of your plate. (An old pizza box works well.)
Gather up leaves of different fall colors from outside, or buy a bunch at a local florist or craft store. You can use an iron on a low setting if your leaves are too crumpled.
Use a hot glue gun or glue sticks to attach the colorful leaves to the outer rim of the cardboard. They attach by the stem end of the leaf and at the very edge of the cardboard so they would appear around your plates.
Cover the center of the cardboard with flat green leaves such as salad or lemon leaves. Start with the first circle of leaves placed just overlapping the fall leaves that you have already glued to the cardboard. Repeat rows of green leaves until the entire cardboard is covered.