thanksgiving decorations

by humanmama on November 21, 2011


I love Thanksgiving. Actually, putting aside the craziness (if you can), I love all the holidays this time of year. Fall, and pumpkins, and apple cider leading into cinnamon and cookies and turkey and thanksgiving–not to mention the absolute present-love-fest that is Christmas. Don’t think “GREED!” Think: love. We all love our people, and we all want them to have nice things. And that is great!

One thing I love about Thanksgiving is that, besides the food, it’s a little respite between Halloween shopping/costuming and Christmas present-buying. So last year I made a little something cute for our Thanksgiving table that I know you could make too.

I always get the Pottery Barn catalog for free just for ideas–I can’t afford anything in there, but you’d be amazed what you can do with a couple of ideas from there. When I opened the catalog for the holiday season last year, I saw this:

this is not my house. But I'd take it.

Look a little closer. Do you see them? Boats. Perfect! If they were a little smaller, they’d be perfect for namecards, treat holders, or just a great craft. Like this! (Um, not the pie.)

And I thought, I can do that!

So, you try too! It’s easier than you think. I always make a template out of paper to tweak the actual measurements, but it doesn’t have to be perfect–it’s better that way, and it looks more home-madey and cute if it’s a little imperfect!

Thanksgiving nameplate ships

You’ll need:
Brown felt (At least one piece per boat, unless you get it by the yard)
Orange or other contrasting thread or floss
Wooden dowels
Cardboard or stiff fabric for base
Hot glue gun/glue
Sail (I bought white foam that comes in sheets–it’s usually in the felt aisle. You could also use cardstock)

So take the brown felt and cut it like this. I don’t have a template for you, I just guessed, but my top was about 7 inches across and the bottom was about 4 inches across. Sort of like this:You also need a bottom oval made of the stiff fabric or cardboard–you’ll glue the dowel (the ship’s mast) onto that. Here’s a good photo of all the things you’ll need to cut:

that's a measuring tape in there, if you're wondering

Sew the three brown pieces together with contrasting floss. It’s a little tricky, but I have faith in you. It helps to pin them, but I did it without pins, so I just held the seams together as I sewed. Like I said: it’s okay if it’s not perfect. There! Now you have a little boat!

Next, trim the dowels (I bought pretty thick ones–3/8″ in diameter) to a manageable size. I cut them down to 10″ a piece, so I got several masts out of each dowel. I glued them to the base–stiff fabric in my case, or cardboard would work too. Make sure the base is the size of the bottom of the boat (oval) and will fit inside the boat–it should fit snugly inside the boat.

Dowel glued to stiff paper, fabric, or cardboard

Trim your sails into rectangles–I cut them 7″x5″ to be big enough for my boats. Punch two holes in them–anything sharp will work, the holes don’t have to be perfect.

Thread them onto your boats, and voila! You have a perfect little boat for a treat holder or namecard. So cute. Try writing Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria on them, or just the kids’ names. And, if yours are falling over? Don’t worry! Just fill the boat up with seasonal candy, or nifty rocks and acorns and pinecones for an autumnal theme. I hope you love them, and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!















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