Whether you are hosting a Thanksgiving gathering or not, you can still make your apartment up to be nice and festive. Some people like to skip from Halloween right into Christmas, but they are missing out on some truly adorable decor in-between. You don’t even have to be an ultimate crafter to pull off some amazing DIY Thanksgiving decor. Check out these super unique decorations you can put up this month to cozy-up your space for yourself, or wow your guests at Thanksgiving dinner!
Pumpkins don’t have to just be for Jack-O-Lanterns. You can still take that trip to the pumpkin patch and pick out some smaller sized pumpkins for a decorative centerpiece. There are endless ways you can incorporate pumpkins into a centerpiece. Put really small pumpkins into a tall glass vase for a simple, no-hassle centerpiece. You can set some fake garland from the craft store around the pumpkins, or even carve out the center to make it into a vase itself with real or fake flower arrangements. You could even use the same pumpkin with a spooky Halloween-themed centerpiece, and easily transition it to the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s super easy, and couldn’t get much more festive than that!
Though it has ties to Greek Mythology, the Cornucopia, or Horn of Plenty, has become a widely recognized symbol of the harvest and thanksgiving. It represents a bountiful harvest and having food of plenty. Which makes it the perfect centerpiece for a very food-centric holiday, while we eat our weight in food. You can pick up any cornucopia basket for under $20 at your local craft or hobby store. Even Target has decorative cornucopias! You can then fill it with whatever your heart desires. Maybe you put more small pumpkins in there, or seasonal fruits, gourds, or just some cute floral arrangements. Either way, ’tis the season for Cornucopias, and you can’t go wrong with this easy DIY project.
Hanging a string of lights will always and forever be the simplest way to spruce up a room for holiday decorating. They’re not just for winter anymore! You can find string lights in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Before Halloween is a good time to find orange string lights, which easily work well for your Thanksgiving and fall decor. There are also very cute string lights with things like little turkeys, acorns, or even fall colored leaves on them for some easy festive lighting. They’re safer than candles and still give the room some nice mood lighting.
Just because you don’t have a front stoop, doesn’t mean you can’t have a welcome rug! Placed either in your hallway, or just inside your foyer, get a nice festive rug. A welcome mat can be super inviting especially when you or your guests are coming in from the cold (it’s here!). Chances are you’ll be able to walk into any home goods store and find a rug that says “Grateful” or “Give Thanks” within minutes. Decorating doesn’t get much easier than that, plus you’ll have that rug for years to come. Make it a tradition to place it at your door when the holiday season hits.
Eucalyptus has become quite a trendy piece of home decor. In fact, fresh eucalyptus leaves give off a wonderful scent that can help relieve stress. So, maybe if you are preparing to host a Thanksgiving feast in your apartment, set out some fresh Eucalptysu. Once the plant dries, you can hang it in your shower where the steam will continue to release the scent, or paint them orange, red or yellow for a cool, Autumn centerpiece. You can purchase false leaves painted in fall colors as well. Whatever you decide, it’s a nice change from the usual seasonal plants and leaves.
Do you have curtain rods? Do you have string? Can you find some leaves? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you have yourself a super simple project for some hanging leaves. The leaves don’t even have to be real, just get yourself a bag of fake leaves at the craft store. Adhere them to a string or thin rope, evenly spaced apart. Use hot glue, tape, or loop each one and tie it, however you decide, you will attach the leaves to the string and create a cool leaf garland you can tie to your curtain rods. You can also tie the garland hanging down, off of a nice branch or dowel rod, and make your very own Thanksgiving wall hanging. They are super easy to put together, and very lightweight so it makes hanging it a breeze.
You’ve probably seen these paper turkey centerpieces, the ones that start flat, and fan out into a 3-dimensional turkey shape? You can find them almost anywhere, and it is going to make your centerpiece making as easy as 1, 2, 3. Or you can get creative with it and make your own! Try making one out of colored construction paper, which is at risk of looking very 3rd-grade craft project, or you can go full Martha Stewart and use colored doylies. She’s pulled this decor off and makes it look really fancy, but she makes everything look easy. Adhering it to a punch bowl, or centerpiece vase can bring it up a notch and give it a nice Thanksgiving flair to your existing centerpiece.
Whether you sit at your table every night, or are prepping for your dinner, a very simple table setting can make all the difference. Having a set table, with a burnt orange or maroon cloth napkin, with a little acorn or pine cone to hold it in place can be 50% of your decor. Put your paper turkey in the center and you have yourself a Thanksgiving place setting!
One of the easiest ways to decorate your home and give it a sophisticated look is with table runners. They are very easy to place and store. You can use them on your dining table, coffee table, end tables, and sofa tables. When used with your everyday decor they give it just that little extra bit of festive look, which can go with anything. Table runners can be a great thing to pass down through generations as well. Sometimes using Grandma’s table runner every Thanksgiving is just what the holiday needed.
Your apartment door looks empty without a wreath! A fun way to turn a wreath into decor for Thanksgiving is to incorporate things you’re grateful for within it. One cool way to make a gratitude wreath is to cut out circles of paper, and write what you are thankful for on each one. Roll them into cones, and you can glue them into tight circles, one inner and one outer to build a beautiful, hand-crafted, one of a kind wreath you welcome people into your apartment. You can even leave room for your friends and family to add to it!
Remember when your Mom or Grandma always had a bowl of very strong potpourri sitting in a bowl in the bathroom? Well, it may seem outdated, but it’s actually a nice way to bring a fall scent into your apartment without having to light candles or use up am outlet with a plug-in freshener. You can even make your own potpourri with thinly sliced dried apples, and boiling orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc. in a pot, let them dry and there you have it.
Bundling real or fake wheat signifies the harvest season, and can bring the pumpkin patch and apple orchard right into your home. Bundle large stalks of wheat for a foyer decoration, or small little ones to add bits of festivity all across your apartment. You can take down existing paintings or pictures and use the nails to hang bundles of wheat with plaid wraps or color rope tied around them.
Grocery stores and floral shops should have an array of dark, “fall” colored flowers you can place around your home for pops of color. As leaves fall outside, and trees go bare, it’s nice to bring in some fresh flowers to bring some life indoors. Dahlias, Mums, and Lillies are all in seasons around this time. Keep in mind Lillies are toxic for cats if you have cats in your apartment, but you can always purchase fake ones at the craft store as well!
If you don’t already have a chalkboard in your living room or kitchen, they are a really fun addition to your apartment. They can keep lists, leave notes, and change with the holidays no matter what! They are very affordable at the craft store, or IKEA, and you can easily adhere some leafy vines or festive arrangements around the edge. Or else flex your creative muscles and draw a Thanksgiving scene and a Thanksgiving message for each day!
Multi-colored corn, also known as calico corn or maize has been a festive favorite for as long as we can remember. The coloring suits the season, and can be an incredible accent to your Thanksgiving dinner decor. hot glue them around a large vase, or cake tier to make a rounded platter type centerpiece that you can serve food inside of or on top. Bundle them together and hang them from wreath hooks over your doors through your house.
There is no need to carve a pumpkin, in fact, if you don’t carve the pumpkins you pick up, they will last much longer, and the ones you had around for Halloween can become your Thanksgiving decorations. Paint them gold, or maroon, or paint cool designs on them. When Thanksgiving is over, make yourself a pumpkin pie to bring to the December Holiday festivities. Or, just for yourself if you haven’t had your fill yet.
Plaid is the tried and true pattern of fall and winter. Harvest decor has a very rustic feel to it, and splashes of plaid on throw blankets, placemats, and tablecloths, paired with your bundles of wheat, and your pumpkins can transplant you right to the pumpkin patch. Plaid napkins or a plaid table cloth can give your Thanksgiving table settings a rustic, farm feel for a truly Autumnal vibe.
Any store like Target, or Walmart has cute signs or banners you can hang up in your apartment that say “Thankful” or “Gratitude” to embrace this season of saying what we’re thankful for. 3M Command Strips are the perfect way to hang this decor without having to cause any damage to your walls. They can give you a temporary solution to the seasonal decor. It will make all the difference in your apartment!
Thrift shops and second-hand stores can be the perfect place to find holiday decor for cheap. There are things that can be nice for decoration that you don’t normally think of. Vintage tea towels can be found in piles at the vintage shop, and they have a truly unique rustic appeal to them. Use them as your dinner napkins, or wrap your silverware in them. You can even adhere them to vases or frame them for a decoration that no one else will have! You can wow your guests with your creativity, plus buying some items second hand can save a buck or two.
Everyone usually has a tree up in their house in December, but what about November?! Making a Thanksgiving tree can be done in many ways. You could collect actual sticks from outside or purchase a fake tree at, again, your local craft store. Have you and/or your guests write down things they’re thankful for on little leaf ornaments that you can then hang on the Thanksgiving tree. It can be a fun way to start a new tradition for you and your family. The tree could be versatile and used for other holidays as well.
Pears are harvested up until the end of September. They should be quite good in the fall months and can be a great accent for your Thanksgiving dinner setting. Putting some fresh, or false, pears with their stems and leaves in a nice bowl or cornucopia basket can be as simple as that. When the holidays are over, make some warm roasted pears with vanilla ice cream for a tasty autumn dessert. Yum!
Time to stretch those crafting hands again with some decoupage (dey-koo-pahzh). Another anti-jack-o-lantern decoration for the pumpkins you picked in October can be a leaf decoupage design. Decoupage is fairly simple and it can be a really fun project to do with friends, and makes a beautiful decoration that can be used as a centerpiece, or on the floor in your foyer, or even tiny little pumpkins could sit on the TV stand. You first wash the outside of the pumpkin so it’s nice and clean, and using leaves you collected outside, glue them to the outside of the pumpkin in any way you like. Decoupage glue at the craft store is a thing glue that will paint on thinly, and actually looks like the leaves are a part of the pumpkin’s surface. You can use this technique for multiple decor projects, but this one is easy and super cheap! Plus, since it doesn’t affect the inside of the pumpkin, you can still make that fresh pumpkin pie when you’re finished.
We mentioned bundles of wheat up above, but to make a more sophisticated statement piece, you can utilize a vase or better yet, a glass cloche to display your neatly bundled wheat. A cloche is like a glass case, or upside-down vase almost that can act as a display for just about anything. Think, the rose in Beauty and the Beast, suspended within the glass cloche. Wrap your wheat in multicolored pipe cleaners for a super easy wrap, and then dress it up by encasing it under your glass cloche. You can find these just about anywhere, and they would work for any holiday, or just as regular decor with whatever you like inside!
Now that your apartment is in the festive spirit it’s time to start planning your next gathering. Check out our post here about entertaining in a small space, and don’t forget to stop back to the Bigos blog for apartment living resources as well as fun things to do in the Twin Cities!