Unforget-table Decor

What makes it unforgettable, you may be asking? It is how you make it, how you present it and the vibe and the overall feel the table and dining room exudes. For most people it is much easier to go out and buy the holiday decor because it's faster and there is no time and efforts involved in coming up with ideas on how to decorate for the holidays. Nothing wrong if you want to go that route. Go. I like to be different and have things that are and look different. Hence I tend to DIY a lot of things for my home, wardrobe, accessories, etc. I think that when something is original, not another one like it exists anywhere else, it makes it unique, even though it may appear to look similar to mass-produced decor. It's alright. I feel ok about that because I know I made it, it cost me very little or nothing - good feeling - and now I really enjoy it. And when you get bored and grow tired of your DIYs, you can gift them, donate them or throw them away. Enough of my rambling here. Having said all this above, you can absolutely make your own Thanksgiving decor. Like last minute, on the fly! 

Where to begin? Outside would be good. if you're a nature lover like me going out and getting your own accessories from nature shouldn't freak you out. What bugs? Don't worry about them. Grab some sort of container and lets go. Pinecones girl, we'll be on the hunt for pretty pinecones! I'm helping you here with last-minute decor. You said, you were hosting Thanksgiving this year, you also said you wanted to be the hostess with the mostess, so let's get crackin'. Pinecones, some pretty little twigs (leaves-on preferred) which will be for table decor, not garnish, some larger green clippings and some beautiful leaves! So grab your scissors. Snip off several baby branches of the evergreen bush - these will also make for beautiful pop of green. I used them here on the table as well as in the napkin ring just to liven up the usually-brown Fall decor.

TO CREATE A NAME TAG: If you don't have nice card stock paper, use and print on the inner side of the cereal box or use a manila folder. Either one cut to size of paper your printer accepts. Pick a font you like and go! Using a nail from a tool box (not your own nail) puncture a small hole to accommodate a thin jute string like I did here.

TO CREATE A NAME TAG: If you don't have nice card stock paper, use and print on the inner side of the cereal box or use a manila folder. Either one cut to size of paper your printer accepts. Pick a font you like and go! Using a nail from a tool box (not your own nail) puncture a small hole to accommodate a thin jute string like I did here.

One faux golden pinecone adds the right amount of bling. If you're going for MODERN MINIMAL look, tone down the sparkle. The less shiny your decor the better.

One faux golden pinecone adds the right amount of bling. If you're going for MODERN MINIMAL look, tone down the sparkle. The less shiny your decor the better.

If pinecones aren't in sight, or none of them are left (neighborhood kids picked them all off and threw them wherever far when playing tag) or you're a city dweller and there's not a single pine tree to shake within a 10 mile radius, or reasons all of the above, don't despair - use fake. I authorize that. The next time you have a chance to visit a countryside, stuff your weekender bag with pinecones and bring them home so you have some ready for the next year when Fall rolls around. They will last, I assure you. Just wash them. And bake them too. Well, first bake, then wash out any possible tenants out of them. Don't worry about your oven. Let's move on.

For a place setting with TRADITIONAL vibe I created this look. A little more shine if you will - a little more pewter and gold tones. MODERN-TRADITIONAL

For a place setting with TRADITIONAL vibe I created this look. A little more shine if you will - a little more pewter and gold tones. MODERN-TRADITIONAL

Pick up some fallen leaves too. Aim for good ones. Clearly, the prettier the better. Maple leaves look stately (see photo below) but any other type of leaf will work as well as long as it's nice and intact. Reds, oranges, yellows and browns look good. You can also take a silver, gold or pewter color sharpie and choose to write down your guests' names on the leaves and place each in their plates. So you know, you should rinse the leaves once you bring them home and pat them dry before putting them on the plate, napkin or table. Also, due to dryness in the air the leaves will dry and curl up fast and become brittle - so you want them picked and on display either the day of or a day prior to the gathering but not sooner. Otherwise they will look to your guests like they've been blown into your dining room through the window by the leaf-blowers landscape guys use, wrinkly and unwanted.

To create a name tag like this one you will only need a fine-tip brown sharpie and some thick pretty paper. I used a flap of the box - silver color gift box I had left over. Then cut each corner off for a more sophisticated polished look.

To create a name tag like this one you will only need a fine-tip brown sharpie and some thick pretty paper. I used a flap of the box - silver color gift box I had left over. Then cut each corner off for a more sophisticated polished look.

The other nice touch would be to use a bright pop of color - pink, red, orange will look fantastic! Depending on where you live and what nature has to offer in your climate zone, some bright and live things won't be possible - so you may have to resort to faux decor elements. I used a few store-bought pieces here that I had gotten a few years back. Not my own made, but oh well, not everything can be DIY'ed, and these give just the right pop of color.

To create a MODERN-CASUAL place setting I added some faux food elements, evergreen foliage from outside and a simple champagne-color herringbone-pattern napkin. 

To create a MODERN-CASUAL place setting I added some faux food elements, evergreen foliage from outside and a simple champagne-color herringbone-pattern napkin. 

To create a simple, casual-looking name card, again, DIY it yourself. This one I tri-folded, used a brown sharpie for the name, and threaded through a small sprig to add some green and to keep the construction paper from unfolding.

To create a simple, casual-looking name card, again, DIY it yourself. This one I tri-folded, used a brown sharpie for the name, and threaded through a small sprig to add some green and to keep the construction paper from unfolding.

Also, don't doubt whether to invite pumpkins to the table. Just because Halloween is over you shouldn't kick them to the curb, or maybe off the porch in your case. I'm kidding. But I'm serious at the same time too - pumpkins are not just kings of Halloween and everything spooky. Have them on your Thanksgiving table! Maybe you don't need all fifty nine gourds you have there, but about a dozen should do, more or less depending on size. Here I went with mini pumpkins because large pumpkins might obstruct the view, and you want the conversation flowing among your guests. Those two family members you have who are on non-speaking terms, sit them together in front of each other and don't put any pumpkins in front of them - that'll make them start talking. So for this place setting here I used little faux pumpkins because I didn't have any real ones, and they turned out amazing - just the right splash of vibrant orange!

Another variation of MODERN-CASUAL. If you clip enough of the evergreen bush, you can use the clippings to form a luscious green garland stretching along the center line of your dinner table, which you can adorn with either pinecones or pumpkins in various sizes. 

Another variation of MODERN-CASUAL. If you clip enough of the evergreen bush, you can use the clippings to form a luscious green garland stretching along the center line of your dinner table, which you can adorn with either pinecones or pumpkins in various sizes. 

This too is a very simple name tag to create. I used a manila yellow folder, cut out a circle, wrote a name on and threaded a jute string through.

This too is a very simple name tag to create. I used a manila yellow folder, cut out a circle, wrote a name on and threaded a jute string through.

Incorporate greens when you can, as much as you can. Don't worry about bugs, schmugs. If the idea of real foliage bothers you rinse it before decorating with it. Spray it with water-vinegar solution and you're good to go. Pinecones is a different story. Those you wanna pop in the oven to kill off anything that might be living in the crevices. Just saying. Just in case. So you don't freak out when a little mini bug crawls out of there and goes for a walk onto your pretty table napkin or better yet lands on your aunt Gertrude's nose.

Print your Thanksgiving Menu on construction paper. Fold a paper pocket to hold the fabric napkin and flatware. Using a hot-glue gun attach a small green sprig you clipped outside. You may want to print each guest's name on the pocket too. Or not.

Print your Thanksgiving Menu on construction paper. Fold a paper pocket to hold the fabric napkin and flatware. Using a hot-glue gun attach a small green sprig you clipped outside. You may want to print each guest's name on the pocket too. Or not.

Elegant. Simple. MINIMAL-MODERN. No need to deal with napkin rings if you don't have enough matching ones or the right style ones. Variations are endless here - you may even want to print a "THANKFUL FOR" list with lines instead and include a pencil for each guest, as well as print the guest's name on it. First do the printing, then fold it into a pocket shape.

Elegant. Simple. MINIMAL-MODERN. No need to deal with napkin rings if you don't have enough matching ones or the right style ones. Variations are endless here - you may even want to print a "THANKFUL FOR" list with lines instead and include a pencil for each guest, as well as print the guest's name on it. First do the printing, then fold it into a pocket shape.

I'm grateful I get to make these and other designs, and style and style interiors every day. I'm thankful for the opportunity that I get to do what I love. I'm very grateful there are people out there like you who like my designs and find my ideas useful.

Whether you have an unforgettable table decor or not, I hope your holiday and the memories you make are unforgettable! Happy Thanksgiving!

Renata

Creative Decorating - Holiday Edition - Volume 1

Creative Decorating - Holiday Edition - Volume 1

Harmonious Crazy

Harmonious Crazy