Tuesday, November 21

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor (Kid Friendly, Low Cost, & Low Clutter)

If you're looking for a fun way to get your kids involved in Thanksgiving prep for tomorrow that's affordable and easy, that won't add clutter to your home (you can throw it away after the party!), and that looks amazing, look no further! I've rounded up a handful of ideas that you can still pull off in time for the festivities using items you probably have around the house. And the best part is they are a great way to get your kids involved - not just to keep them busy or get them out of your hair, but to let them walk hand-in-hand with you. They are so capable of learning to contribute with prep work, to take part in creating a beautiful home, and to be a blessing to others! Here are a few ideas to get you going:

1. A Leaf Garland

Depending on where if you live/if you have pretty leaves right now, this one is a super easy option! Just hot glue leaves to a string and hang them in the windows to catch the light. If you're feeling ambitious, Farmhouse on Posey has instructions for dipping the leaves in wax to extend their life - but if you're just looking for something to last through the weekend you can skip the wax and start gluing! If you collect enough leaves, you could also spread some down the center of the table as a centerpiece. 

2. Dried Orange Garland

If you're planning on baking today - this one probably isn't the option for you. But if you have an available oven (or dehydrator!), dried orange slices are super simple and cheap to make, and are a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving table. If your kids aren't big enough to slice them, they can still have fun stringing them up once they are dried! (Just be aware your oven will be occupied for hours while they dry out!). At Home on the Prairie has all the details to make your own. 

3. Foraged Branch Centerpiece

This is another one that's as easy as walking into your own backyard. Have fun foraging for whatever branches (or grasses, flowers, etc.) you can find, then arrange your treasures in vases and along the table to create a unique foraged centerpiece. You can also mix in things like pumpkins, candles, or even cool rocks! Be sure to check out the simple yet stunning centerpiece inspiration photos by Julie Blanner (and never underestimate a good set of beeswax candles). And don't forget to ask your kids to contribute ideas - mine never have a shortage of ideas when it comes to decorating. 

4. Salt Dough Everything

This is where the rubber really meets the road when it comes to bringing your kids in. Salt dough is so cheap and simple to make, the possibilities are almost endless, and kids love to use it! (You could also use air dry clay for most of these projects if you prefer!) I have used salt dough to make gift tags in the past and let them air-dry, but you can also bake salt dough in a 200 degree oven for 4-6 hours to speed up the drying process (keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn) Here is my salt dough recipe:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

Try making salt dough place cards with letter stamps (or handwrite the letters if you don't have stamps).

Use cookie cutters to cut out a bunch of stars (or whatever shapes you want), then string them up to make a garland or scatter them around a centerpiece. 

You could also make a salt dough candle ring like this or this, or star candle holders like these. And honestly, your kids will probably come up with something way more amazing than any of the ideas I've listed. So just go for it with them and have fun. 

5. Make it YOURS

And if handprint turkeys are more your speed? Go for that instead. Dive into whatever will be quick and fun for your own kids. Don't let the internet convince you that you have to do things a certain way to have a great Thanksgiving. 

And you know what? You honestly don't have to decorate at all. Bake cookies, sweep floors, wrap a hostess gift - there are a hundred different ways to get your kids involved in ways that will build character and create memories. Don't wait any longer to start taking advantage of those opportunities, and be thankful for each one you find. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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