Thanksgiving & Christmas Decorations Kids Can Make

You'll proudly display these easy, made-by-kids centerpieces, place cards, artwork, and more in a special place this Thanksgiving.

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The Hidden Harvest Cornucopia

Jeff Harris

The Hidden Harvest Cornucopia

Our twist on the cornucopia is full of surprises—each fruit and veggie has a little treat for your guests!

Make it: Cornucopia

1. Remove the outer hoops of one 8-inch and one 9-inch embroidery hoop (save outer hoops for another project). Paint the inner hoops brown; let dry.
2. Cut fourteen 1½x29-inch-long strips from a large (at least 29x22-inch) sheet of brown cardstock. Trim the strips so that each is 2 inches shorter than the last: The first is 29 inches, the second 27 inches, etc., until the last is 3 inches.
3. Dot glue on the outside of the larger hoop, and wrap the 29-inch strip around it; use double-stick tape to secure the edges. Do the same with the smaller hoop and the 25-inch strip. Create circles with the rest: Overlap the edges by ½ inch and secure.
4. Cut a 1x26-inch strip of cardstock. Line up your circles from smallest to largest. Thread the smallest one onto the end of the strip and tape it in place. Thread on the next circle and tape it right next to (but not overlapping) the first. Continue this way until all the circles, hoops included, are attached.
5. Working from the top now, tuck the second-largest circle about ½ inch inside the largest one; tape in place underneath. Continue working backward—largest to smallest—and the cone will curl into the cornucopia.

Make it: Surprise Balls

1. For each: Cut off a 3-foot length of crepe-paper streamer. Fold it a few times, then cut it across the fold to get two narrow strips. Set aside. Plan on one streamer roll per ball.
2. Start wrapping a treat with the rest of the roll. Wrap as many times as necessary, squishing the paper and changing your angle to get the desired shape; tape down the end. Wrap it tightly with the two narrow strips for a smooth surface; secure with glue.
3. Decorate with cardstock stem and leaves and paint pens, if desired.

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Give Thanks Banner

Aimee Herring

Give Thanks Banner

Create a warm welcome by hanging this homemade banner year after year.

What you'll need: 1 yard of thick-grain white linen ($14 per yard; graylinelinen.com), scissors, parchment paper, washable glue, 4" letter stencils ($10; usartsupply.com), fabric dye, rubber gloves, ribbon

Make it:
1.Cut 10 6x8 rectangles from fabric. Cut work surface with parchment paper and lay fabric pieces on top. Trace the letters on each piece with a line of glue along the inside edge of the stencil. Fill in letter with a thin layer of glue. Lay flat to dry completely overnight.
2.Wearing gloves, mix dye according to package instructions (we made 6 colors). Wet fabric pieces in cold water and then immerse them in the dye bath; stir to make sure the dye is evenly dispersed. Leave in for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from dye bath and wring out excess liquids; rinse under cold, then hot running water, rubbing off glue. If needed, add a bit of soap to wash off the rest of the glue. Rinse until the water runs clear. Hang to dry.
3.Iron the fabric pieces and trim down to 5x7 rectangles, making sure to follow the fabric's grain to prevent uneven fraying. Glue letters to ribbon.

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Button Place Cards

Courtesy of Factory Direct Craft Blog

Button Place Cards

These cute place card gobblers will make your table turkey-friendly.

What you'll need: 1" button, tweed fabric, scissors, brown, red, and yellow cardstock, craft glue

Make it: Cut and cover your button with the tweed fabric and glue to secure. Then, cut five feathers and one head from your cardstock for each place card. Cut a 4" x 5" square out of the brown cardstock and fold it in half. Glue the feathers and the head onto the card and add the button. Write the name of each of your guests and set the table.

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Crafts for Kids: Cozy Critters

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Turkey Bouquet

Scott Little

Turkey Bouquet

Have kids make one of these turkey flowers for each person in your family, then arrange them together in a container for a wonderful Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Make It: Using an artificial sunflower or gerbera daisy, trim the petals from one side of the flower as shown. Make the turkey's face by gluing two googly eyes and a colored card-stock beak and wattle onto a large brown button or paper circle. Then glue the face to the flower center. Spell out "Give Thanks" using letter stickers on the side of a vase or container and arrange the flowers inside.

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Mayflower Place Card

Scott Little

Mayflower Place Card

This miniature sailing ship is a Thanksgiving place card and treat cup in one.

Make It: Use a brown paper cup as the ship (or cover the sides of a white cup with brown paper), then fill it with candies or nuts and poke a pretzel rod down into the filler. Cut a rectangle from white card stock for the sail, punch holes in the top and bottom, add a name, then slide it onto the pretzel. Set the cup inside a coffee filter painted with blue watercolor paint to complete the seafaring scene.

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Yarn Cornucopia Treat Cup

Scott Little

Yarn Cornucopia Treat Cup

This mini cornucopia is just the right size for filling with an after-Thanksgiving dinner treat.

Make It: First make a mold by covering a 6-inch plastic foam cone with aluminum foil, crumpling excess foil at the tip to make a curved end. Then dip a 3-foot length of brown yarn into a bowl of white glue, removing excess glue between your fingertips, and wind the wet yarn around the cone. Continue wrapping lengths of glue-covered yarn around the cone until covered. Let the cone dry for a few days, then twist the cornucopia off the cone.

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Turkey-Pop Favors

Scott Little

Turkey-Pop Favors

Suckers dressed up as turkeys? Who knew a Thanksgiving treat could be so much fun!

Make It: Using a plate or bowl, trace an 8-inch circle onto brown felt and cut it out. Fold the circle in half twice to find the center and snip a hole for the stick to go through. Stretch the felt around the sucker, securing it with a rubber band. Fluff and fan out the excess felt, then add crafts foam face pieces and googly eyes to complete the face.

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Turkey Crayon Holder

Scott Little

Turkey Crayon Holder

Display this creative character at each kid's place setting, along with a paper tablecloth or a card stock place mat, and there won't be a shortage of fun during dinner.

Make It: Cut a 4-inch-diameter plastic foam ball in half twice for the body and trim a sliver off a 2-inch-diameter plastic foam ball for the head. Paint both pieces brown with the exception of the bottom of the body. Add a card-stock beak and googly eyes for the facial features, then trim off the ringed end of a red balloon and glue it below the beak for a wattle. Use an unsharpened pencil to poke holes in the body, and attach the head to the body with a toothpick. Finish it off by inserting crayons in the holes.

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Bubble Wrap Indian Corn

Scott Little

Bubble Wrap Indian Corn

Resist the temptation to pop those leftover scraps of bubble wrap and put them to good use as a colorful Indian corn display for Thanksgiving.

Make It: Cut three long ovals from bubble wrap scraps, then paint the ovals yellow, tan, and rust. When dry, go back and paint individual bubbles shades of brown, blue, and gold to mimic Indian corn colors. Glue the painted corn pieces onto card-stock backings, punch a hole at the top of each corn, and tie on raffia before hanging the grouping from a doorknob or on a wall.

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Clay Leaf Napkin Ring

Scott Little

Clay Leaf Napkin Ring

This leaf napkin ring looks so real, it will leave everyone wondering how it was made. The secret is oven-bake modeling clay with an impression from a real leaf. Once the leaf is rolled out and cut out, it's wrapped around an empty toilet paper tube and baked in an oven to harden it.

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Egg Carton Pinecone

Scott Little

Egg Carton Pinecone

This realistic-looking pinecone looks so much like an actual one, it's sure to fool all your Thanksgiving guests.

Make It: Take an empty cardboard egg carton and cut the carton into 12 individual cups (an adult should do this step). Cut a "V" slit into each side of the cup using the "V" that is already part of the cup as a guide, and gently spread out the pieces like petals of a flower. Paint all the pieces brown, then layer and glue the pieces together. Wrap a rubber band around the bottom of the top piece to keep it closed, then insert a card between the "petals."

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Apple Print Pumpkin Place Card

Scott Little

Apple Print Pumpkin Place Card

How do you transform an apple into a pumpkin? By using the apple as a stamp, of course.

Make It: Cut an apple nearly in half, avoiding the core, then carve curved lines into one apple piece using a plastic knife. Blot the apple flesh with a paper towel, then cover the cut surface of the apple with orange paint and use it to stamp the impression onto white card stock. (Tip: To ensure a full print, place card stock onto a piece of crafts foam before stamping.) Use your fingertip to swipe on a green stem and a toothpick to paint the green tendril. Add foam sticker letters for a name.

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No-Spilled-Milk Snowmen

Quentin Bacon

No-Spilled-Milk Snowmen

These frosty glasses can turn any table into a winter wonderland.

Make It: Decorate powdered doughnut holes with eyes and a nose made of edible food clay. Pierce a hole through the center of the doughnut using a skewer and insert a straw. Use ribbon or fabric to make a miniature scarf for the glass. Add a snowflake scrapbook brads to the end.

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Standout Stockings

Ann Stratton

Standout Stockings

Let your little ones show off their creative flair to Santa and the rest of your holiday visitors by helping them create customized Christmas stockings.

Make It: Purchase ready-made felt stockings at a craft or holiday store. Choose one of these easy embellishment ideas, or try them all!
Stocking 1- Using fabric glue, adhere red and white buttons in a pattern across the front of the stocking.
Stocking 2- Dig up old earrings or brooches, or purchase some at a thrift store. Then, pin or clip them around he cuff of the stocking.
Stocking 3- Create a rippling pattern with white rickrack. Cut each piece to fit, and apply with fabric glue, overlapping ends on the back of the stocking.

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Candy Streamers

Adam Albright

Candy Streamers

Bring visions of sugar plums (or your family's favorite candy) into your holiday display with these sweet streamers.

Make It: String red beads onto fishing wire and knot a small metal ring on each end. Then, using a tiny drop of hot glue, affix wrapped candy in a pattern along the string.

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Circle Tree Christmas Craft: How-To Video

A paper punch, clothespin, craft paper and glue are all kids need to make this cute Christmas tree.

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Gumdrop Snowpeople

Jay Wilde

Gumdrop Snowpeople

This adorable snow couple makes the perfect addition to any gingerbread house or place setting.

Make It:: Stack two white gumdrops to make the snow people's bodies and insert a toothpick vertically down the center; top with a colored gumdrop and gummy ring to make a hat. Wrap a sour gummy worm in between the two gumdrops to make a scarf. Dip a toothpick in orange food coloring for the nose, and insert two toothpicks as arms.

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Snowflake Wreath

Jay Wilde

Snowflake Wreath

Paper snowflakes stand out when paired with pretty paper shapes. Glue them together in a circle, and you've got a door-worthy wreath.

Make It: Cut paper snowflakes out of white paper. Glue the snowflakes to colored construction paper circles. Then, attach all the circles together in the shape of a wreath.

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Napkin Rings

Kathryn Gamble Lozier

Napkin Rings

For adorable napkin rings your kids can craft, make these mini pilgrims and Indians.

What you'll need: cardstock in white, brown, black, and yellow, black and red marker, glue

Make it: Use cardstock and markers to decorate little pilgrims and Indians on a small rectangle of cardstock about 4 inches tall. Then, wrap the cardstock around your napkin to make a tube and glue the ends. At the end, embellish with a pilgrim hat or feather.

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Pom-Pom Pumpkins

Courtesy of Domestifluff

Pom-Pom Pumpkins

These plush pom-poms will dress up your table settings at the Thanksgiving table.

What you'll need: orange pom-poms, green craft felt, a small twig, hot glue gun, scissors

Make it: Hot glue the end of the twig and insert it into the pom-pom, holding for a few seconds until the glue is set. Cut a leaf shape from the felt and hot glue it beside the twig stem. Fluff around your stem and then repeat until you have a full pumpkin patch.

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Yarn Christmas Trees

Courtesy of Pretty Ditty

Yarn Christmas Trees

These wrapped trees make a great centerpiece for your holiday table.

What you'll need: regular yarn, fuzzy yarn, 3 foam cones, pins, accessories

Make it: Start at the bottom of the cone and pin both yarns together to the base. Then, wrap your way up the cone, securing a few more pins at the bottom to keep everything in place. Once your tree is fully covered, cut the ends and pin them down. You can leave your tree as is or you can accessorize with red berries and wire stars.

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Mod Centerpiece

Courtesy of Hostess With the Mostess

Mod Centerpiece

This retro-inspired centerpiece will make a fun addition to your Thanksgiving table.

What you'll need: printable pattern, craft circle punches, cookie sticks, glue stick, ribbon, vase and vase filler, floral foam or Styrofoam

Make it: Glue circles together front-to-back and then attach the circle tops to cookies sticks. Fill your vase with foam, stand up your sticks in the foam, and then cover the foam with mini, orange, Styromfoam balls. Embellish the vase with a band of ribbon wrapped all the way around the vase, and one of the printable "Friends & Family" on both sides.

Copyright &copy 2011 and 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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