7 DIY Projects for the Kids’ Thanksgiving Table

Give the kids a chance to get creative this Thanksgiving with these DIY table decorations.

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Photo By: ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com ©Nicole Mlakar / nicolemlakar.com

Thanksgiving Table Crafts

Thanksgiving is always a family affair and though it tends to often be an afterthought, the kids’ table is one of the best areas to infuse creativity and whimsy into your Thanksgiving decor. These seven easy projects are simple enough for any home entertainer. Best of all, the kids can help with any of the crafting, meaning they'll be beaming with pride when guests finally gather ‘round the table to see their creations!

 

By Camille Styles, photography by Nicole Mlakar

DIY Rock Place Cards

Leading up to your Thanksgiving dinner, send the kids out into the backyard to hunt for smooth, flat stones — enough for each place setting. Once found, spray until fully coated in a color that's seasonal and also complements your table design. As soon as the stones are dry, use a permanent paint pen to handwrite the name of each guest. When positioned on top of each place setting, these fun stones make a great focal point and the perfect pocket-size Thanksgiving keepsake.

DIY Coloring Place Mat

Turkey day isn’t complete without a celebration of thankfulness, and sometimes words just aren’t enough. For this artsy DIY place mat, carefully tape a long, colorful envelope onto a rectangular piece of kraft paper, then use more tape to attach it all to an exposed tabletop or tablecloth. The envelope helps keep all those pencils and markers in check during dinner, and kids will have a blast getting creative at the Thanksgiving table.

DIY Googly Eye Pinecones

Make room for a few more guests at the table by placing a googly eyed friend at the center of each place setting. 

An Easy Pinecone Project

Kids won’t be able to resist those big beaming eyes and, as a result, will undoubtedly be entertained (and hopefully well behaved!) throughout the entire meal. And because this project couldn't be simpler, it’s also a great activity to have kids help with before the big day.

What You'll Need

A pinecone, medium-size googly eyes and a few colorful pipe cleaners are all you need for this seasonal craft. First, collect enough pinecones from the backyard or local craft store to set at each place setting. Use craft glue to attach two googly eyes to each pinecone, and set aside to dry. To make the “feet,” simply cut a 3-inch piece of pipe cleaner in your color of choice, and bend it to form two bunny ears. Use glue to attach the "feet" to the bottom of each pinecone, and just like that, they are brought to life!

DIY Popcorn Pouches

If there’s one sure thing we know about our children, it’s that they’re always in the mood for dessert, and one serving is rarely enough! With this unique do-it-yourself presentation, you can add a festive element to the last course of the day — and easily control portion size too. Simply create pouches with patterned paper, fill with caramel corn, then set them on the table. Your kids will love breaking them open to find out what’s inside: a yummy, crunchy sweet treat!

What You'll Need

This is a great opportunity to repurpose last year’s leftover wrapping paper scraps, or go pick out a new favorite pattern that perfectly complements your table design. For each pouch, cut paper to a 5x7-inch rectangle, then tape the shorter ends together to form an open-ended cylinder. Pinch one end closed, tape shut, then fill with a scoop of popcorn. Pinch the open end closed in the opposite direction of the first and tape shut.

Seasonal Sand Art Centerpiece

Just because it’s smaller doesn't mean the kids' table has to be less stylish! This centerpiece idea is seasonal, kid friendly and couldn't be easier to make. 

Mix and Match

Just mix and match glass jars and containers in various shapes and sizes, then use a funnel to layer different colored store-bought sand. Wrap with natural colored twine, and cluster in the center of the table for a showstopping presentation.

Apple Pops Dessert Activity

Bring back everyone’s favorite fall treat with this interactive tabletop version of the classic caramel apple. With just a quick trip to the grocery store and a little bit of preparation, you can set up an apple-dipping station that’ll keep kids entertained and all those sweet tooths satisfied.

What You'll Need

First, cover the table with kraft paper or a durable tablecloth to protect the table from spills. Then to prepare the spread, slice an apple into wedges and slide onto wooden skewers. Set apples at the center of the table, along with small bowls filled with toppings: Caramel, mini marshmallows, crushed nuts and pretzel bits are all fair game!

DIY Autumn Leaf Necklace

This Thanksgiving, help kids get in touch with their natural sides by allowing them to craft their own holiday accessory. By simply using found leaves and craft supplies that you likely already have at home, kids can get creative and play dress-up all evening long.

What You'll Need

All you’ll need to set up this activity is colorful string (precut to 18-inch segments), fall leaves (found or store bought both work) and a hole punch. Punch holes in leaves, then set out with string on cleared-off table where kids can craft the day away.

Next Up

Fun Thanksgiving Projects for Kids

This Thanksgiving, set the kids up with one of these fun projects. Little kids can roll cheese balls and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and older kids can do more-complicated projects like creating a turkey-shaped veggie platter.