DIY Thanksgiving Table Design Ideas


As holidays go, Thanksgiving is unrivalled. Religion-agnostic, it requires only that we eat vast quantities of food, reflect on our inner pilgrim, and keep the American airline industry afloat.

This year, I’ve been helping my father get his home ready to host: clearing away clutter, hanging family photos over the mantle, and trawling for do-it-yourself tabletop designs.

Here are a few ideas to steal:
1. Floral centerpieces: Design Sponge has invited a week’s worth of guest florists to teach us how to make stunning scented showpieces:



2. Autumn leaves clip art: Print out to create cards, banners, labels, and cupcake toppers, or to wrap around plain candlesticks. Bonus points for those who print on transfer paper and apply to fabric napkins.

3. Vintage harvest table toppers: this collection from Looking Glass House had me at the 1960 Syroco pilgrim plaques:

4. DIY Décor: Fall fruit and nuts, tree leaves, some colored paper, and gilt paint are all you need to fancy up your table. Try painting gourds and pears in silver or gold as a centerpiece and scatter a few leaves as a kind of runner. Attach hand written place cards to the stems of pears with ribbon or twine, or nestle inside slightly cracked nut shells. Or, get the same effect with these lovely golden eggs from Paloma’s Nest .


And what would the holidays be without some over-the-top project, care of the queen of craft? I’m poaching her wine-cork place cards and Pom-Pom Berry Wreath (Really, Martha? Hand-died pom-poms?).

Thanks for listening.  


Shoshana Berger got her magazine chops at Wired in the pre-Facebook era, then went on to write for The New York Times, Spin, Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle, Business 2.0, Travel and Leisure, and Sunset. In 1999, she became an editorial director for Young & Rubicam’s Brand Futures division. She cofounded ReadyMade magazine in 2001 and served as its Editor-in-Chief for nine years. She is the coauthor of ReadyMade: How to Make Almost Everything (Crown, 2005), which was featured in the 2007 Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial. She has lectured and taught workshops at Stanford, the Dallas Museum of Art, IDEO, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and in Clay Felker’s magazine program at UC Berkeley.

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