From Halloween Pumpkins to Thanksgiving Turkeys

gif of a thanksgiving table setting with brown paper table cover, small white pumpkins and names written in calligraphy on the brown paper

Tackle those back-to-back fall holidays with festive ideas, crafty tips and playful ways to help friends and family celebrate. Here’s how to stretch decorating ideas — and dollars, from Halloween pumpkins to Thanksgiving turkeys.


Paint Those Halloween Pumpkins

Carved pumpkins can last only days, so consider decorating Halloween gourds using paint or markers to create ghoulish faces. Better still, use craft glue to attach paper, fabric or dried leaves in rustic, fall-theme or family-focused designs. Then your pumpkins can continue to star in holiday home decorating plans right through Thanksgiving!

Fall Leaf Wreath

A TIP FOR QUICK-DRYING FALL LEAVES: Collect colorful, unblemished leaves that have not begun to curl or crumple. Place small batches between layers of paper towel or parchment, and dry in the microwave. Start with 10-15 seconds then check, adding seconds until fully dry (microwave powers vary and leaves can burn, so check often to learn what works for you). If desired, give microwave-dried leaves a final quick flattening with a hot iron.

For a 16” wreath, you will need: 60-80 dried fall leaves, cardboard or heavy cardstock, box cutter or craft scissors, a stapler and staples, craft glue or a hot glue gun.

  1. On the cardboard, draw a 13” circle within a 16” circle. (Hint: Use a drawing compass or trace plates or bowls to draw the circles. Measurements do not have to be exact!) Cut out the circles to create your wreath form.
  2. Starting at the top, just to the right of center, staple on a small cluster of leaves. Moving down the curve, staple another group placed to cover the first staple and stems of the first batch. Continue moving downward along the curve until half the wreath is covered. Then, starting again at the top, work down the other side.
  3. When wreath is fully covered, use craft or hot glue to add a few more leaves to cover any thin spots or visible staples. Allow to dry.
  4. Glue or staple a loop of twine for hanging this ultra-light wreath OR make several to use for table-setting or placing under a fall-theme entryway display.
Fall leaf wreath hung over fireplace mantel

Paper Roll Thanksgiving Turkey

Toilet paper roll turkey craft in front of pyramid of toilet paper rolls
Here’s a fun craft for kiddos that adds a touch of whimsy to your table top
— or powder room!

Toilet paper rolls are easy to collect and save. Use them for the bodies of craft turkeys. For each turkey, cut construction paper feet, wings and a circular face. Stand up toilet paper roll and glue them on, adding google eyes — plus a beak and a wattle (that little red bit under the turkey’s beak) cut from additional paper or drawn on. For the tail feathers, glue on additional petal-shaped pieces of construction paper OR dried leaves (see microwave leaf drying tip, above).

Set a Festive Table

From Halloween pumpkins to Thanksgiving turkeys, keep those rust-color and rustic vibes warming up your home. Transition toward the December holidays with touches of evergreen, pine cones and textiles that incorporate red or blue hues. Here’s hoping we’ve inspired a crafty beginning to your very Happy, Merry, Cheery season of celebrations!

Fall tablescape with rust tablecloth, pumpkin and pine bough decor, red and orange plaid napkins and white dishware.