Thanksgiving Day Place Cards

Bringing a Homemade Touch to your Thanksgiving Table

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, why not add a personal touch to your place settings?  Place cards and mats give your table a crafty, homemade feel.  And if you’ve got little ones running around, get them involved!

We’ve got some great craft ideas to spruce up your Thanksgiving place settings.

Turkey Leg Place Cards

Turkey Leg Place Cards, from Fiskars
Turkey Leg Place Cards, from Fiskars

You’ll need some brown paper lunch bags, scissors, white construction paper, and some foam letters. Cuts strips out of the construction paper.  Using a heart-shaped stamp or your scissors, cut a shape to form the end of the leg that you tape or glue to the paper strip.  Cut a couple inches off the paper bag and start molding the bag into a rounded leg shape.  You can stuff it with paper or a treat for some added fun.  Insert the paper “bone” into the bag and staple it closed, then use the foam letters to put everyone’s names on their respective placeholders.

Thumbprint Turkey Place Cards

If you’ve got some cardstock, fingerpaint, and markers you can make these cards.  Small blank index cards would also work well.  If you have larger index cards, you can cut them in half and double your available place cards.  Set out some brown finger paint and use it to make thumbprints on your placecards.  When the paint is dry, break out the markers and let the kids draw on the rest of the turkeys. Once they’re all nicely decorated, write your guest’s names and set aside your thumbprint place cards.

Turkey Thanksgiving Place Cards

Turkey placecards
Turkey Thanksgiving Place Cards via Education.com

Similar to the previous place cards, these adorable turkeys use muffin liners to make the feathers.  In addition to the liners, you’ll need some blank index cards, glue, finger paint or ink pad, and markers.  

Fold the index cards in half so that there is plenty of room for your little ones to write the names of your guests.

Next, using the paint or ink pad, make a thumbprint on one of the top corners of the card.  Once the prints are dry, draw a turkey face and legs on them.  Fold the muffin liners in half as best you can and, if you want, decorate them with red, orange, yellow, and brown marker for feathers.  

Have your little one write your guest’s names on the cards and then glue on the liners to make the turkey’s plumage.

Woven Thanksgiving Placemat

Thanksgiving place Mat
via Crafts for all Seasons

Sure, you could break out your fancy cloth placemats.  It’s Thanksgiving, after all, and you want your table to look beautiful.  With the gravy, the wine, and the green bean casserole, why put more than your tablecloth at risk?  Instead, these woven foam placemats are a great touch, fun to make, and can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

You’ll need several sheets of craft foam in various colors, a ruler and pen, a craft or Exacto knife, scissors, and some glue.  To start, choose which color will be your base and, with the ruler, mark off 1-inch measurements along the short sides of your sheet.

Make sure to leave at least a 1-inch margin so that your placemats don’t break.  Connect the lines and using the craft or Exacto knife, cut along the lines you’ve marked.

With your other colors, cut 1-inch long vertical strips.  Here’s where the kiddies come in.  Set out your bases and the different colors.  In an alternating over-under pattern, weave the strips through your base.  Push the colored strips as close together as you can.  They won’t touch.  Secure each free end with a small dab of glue.  Once you’re done, let them dry and you’ve got festive, easy-to-clean placemats that you can use time and again.

Thanksgiving Cut-out Placemats

When you think of a cornucopia, what comes to mind?  All sorts of fruits and vegetables, like pumpkins, apples, squash, and corn.  Well, with a few cutouts and some contact paper, you’ve got a great easy-to-make seasonal placement.  You should be able to find contact paper at your local craft store, Walmart, or Target.

Draw or find pictures of Thanksgiving and cornucopia items and cut them out.  You can also use pictures of turkeys or even make hand turkeys.  Have your child arrange them on the sticky side of one piece of contact paper.

Then, carefully place another same-size sheet sticky side down and press them together to get out any air bubbles.  If something gets on them, you can just wipe them down and store them away.

I am thankful for… Placemats

Cutout Placements
via Stuff Parents Need

Like the previous placemats, these require contact paper.  You’ll also need some construction paper, scissors, and glue.  The post suggests pictures of family members and some pre-printed letters or words.  I would say you can also use Thanksgiving stickers, leaves, or cutouts to decorate the placemats.  Stamps would also be a fun decoration to use.

Have your child choose what they want to use to decorate their placemat, keeping in mind things that they are thankful for.  On a sheet of construction paper of their choice of color, have your child lay out the stickers, stamps, and pictures where they want.  

If necessary, use a small bit of glue so they don’t move around.  Have them write a holiday message on their sheet.  As with the previous placemat, place the construction paper onto the sticky side of one piece of contact paper.  Carefully cover it with another piece and get out as many air bubbles as you can.  These make great personalized placemats the whole family can enjoy.

If you’re feeling frazzled because you’ve yet to plan your dinner, these are great for a small distraction.  The best part about these crafts is that none of them should take a significant amount of time.  And when your guests ask who made them, your kids can proudly proclaim they did!

What do you use to decorate your Thanksgiving table?  Share your tips and pics with us in the comments below!

Jesse

Jesse Gonzalez is the merchandising and style expert at Swap.com, creating a world of ‘once loved’ items to not be discarded, but re-introduced with fashion trends and flexibility.

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