5 Thanksgiving Projects to Start Now
Now that the hubbub of Halloween has passed, you thought you could take it easy and rest on your holiday laurels, right? Sorry, but no — in just a few weeks, friends and family will be ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, if you haven't started crafting your Turkey Day decorations yet, now's the time.
Light It Up
Flynnside Out Productions
Marquee letters are super trendy (read: super expensive) but with just a few craft-store supplies and globe string lights, you can whip up a set of your own.
Make This: Marquee Lettters
Repurpose Halloween Pumpkins
Thanksgiving Decoupage Pumpkins
Decoupage is back in a big way. Even the gourds are getting into it! These faux pumpkins covered in trendy fabric almost look good enough to showcase year round.
Don't put all your Halloween decorations in storage just yet; turn faux pumpkins into a fashion-forward Thanksgiving centerpiece by covering them with trendy upholstery fabric.
Make This: Decoupaged Faux Pumpkins
Slipcover Past-Their-Prime Chairs
White Slipcovered Chair in Country Dining Room
Slipcovers are a great way to disguise mismatched seating or give dated chairs a quick update. This dining room chair is covered in a white linen slipcover with a flirty ruffled skirt, adding a touch of feminine elegance to this dining room.
If you're handy with a sewing machine, "new" dining chairs could be yours for the cost of a few yards of natural linen. A flirty skirt adds a stylish finishing touch. This project is a great way to unify mismatched chairs or give dated chairs a quick update.
Make This: Skirted Dining Chair Slipcover
Craft a Colorful Wreath
Mini Pumpkin Wreath Over Chalkboard
Instead of making a wreath with bulky plastic gourds, try using putka pods, which are natural dried seed pods that look exactly like tiny pumpkins. This wreath makes an elegant fall statement that can be displayed year after year.
Although the tiny orange shapes covering this wreath look like diminutive pumpkins, they're actually putka pods. A great stand-in for mini pumpkins, the dried organic seed pods don't deteriorate, so your wreath can be displayed year after year.
Make This: Mini Pumpkin Wreath
Make a Bistro-Style Menu Board
Thanksgiving's all about the feast, right? Whet your guests' appetites with an elegant menu board made from an old frame and just a few supplies from the hardware and craft stores.
Menu On Gold Framed Chalkboard
Elegant meets humble when a sophisticated gilt frame surrounds an inexpensive DIY chalkboard. Place it in the dining room with a thoughtful greeting for dinner guests, or use it to announce the evening's festivities.
Make This: DIY Framed Chalkboard
Freshen Up the Front Door
Piles of pumpkins and gourds along with potted croton and mums give this cheery front porch, featured in HGTV Magazine, maximum curb appeal. Copy a few of their clever ideas — like adding vinyl house numbers to a tall pumpkin — for a similarly festive look for your home's entry.
(Safely) Fire Up the Fireplace
Honestly, who doesn't love to curl up next to a roaring fire on a chilly day? As inviting as it is, put safety first. Before lighting the season's first log, have the chimney and fire box inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. Get 15 more fireplace safety tips. Design by Sarah Richardson
Add a Farmhouse Feel
Freshen up your front porch for fall with our 11 ideas for making it a cozy, welcoming place to hang out and enjoy autumn's cooler weather and colorful scenery.
Warm Things Up
Take a cue from designer Sarah Richardson and give an open, soaring space (even one as massive as her living room) a snug, welcoming feel by swapping out pillows in lightweight summer fabrics, like linen and cotton, for luxe velvet ones in rich, fall shades. Add a few coordinating throws and get ready to cozy up by the fire.
Add Woodsy Charm With Firewood
That's right, firewood isn't just functional, it's also decorative, as Fixer Upper designer and host Joanna Gaines proved in this rustic living room. Be sure to remove any leaves or small twigs and give the cut branches a quick brush-off with a broom to eliminate any bugs or spiders before bringing the firewood indoors.
Easily Craft a Rustic Tray
Air-dry clay and paint are all you need to make a rustic tray that's perfect for corraling candles and fall accents or as part of your Thanksgiving table setting. It's an easy and inexpensive craft project for adults and kids alike. Learn how to make your own.
Boost Curb Appeal With Seasonal Color
Fall is the time to fill window boxes and gardens with showy white, purple or fuchsia ornamental cabbages, pansies and English ivy to add a cheery pop of color that will endure winter's frosty temps and beautify your landscape into the early spring.
Add Fresh Flowers
Nothing brightens up your home for the season like vases filled with fall flowers. Sunflowers and alstromeria are great choices because they'll remain beautiful for up to a week. The trick to keeping blooms fresh is to remove all leaves below the water line and change out the water every few days.
Create a Grand Entrance
Fall marks the start of the holiday entertaining season making it a great time to spruce up areas of your home where guests gather, like the foyer. Touch-up scuffs on stair risers and add an entry table large enough to display a few decorative accessories. A pair of occasional chairs or long bench provides a spot for guests to remove boots or just sit for a chat. Image courtesy of Thibaut.
Stack a Chic Topiary
Hit the craft store for faux white pumpkins and greenery to craft this stunning topiary that'll brighten up your front porch from the start of fall till it's time to swap it out for holiday decorations. Best of all: the faux materials ensure that this topiary will keep its good looks for many falls to come. DIY Network shares the step-by-step instructions.
Put Memories on Display
With the imminent arrival of friends and family for the holidays, fall is the perfect time to root through boxes of old family photos, pop them in a frame and create a gallery wall so everyone can enjoy a sentimental stroll down memory lane. See more images of this home, featured in HGTV Magazine.
Cozy Up Dining Chairs
Sometimes style wins out over comfort when selecting dining chairs. With Thanksgiving (and then Christmas) entertaining on the horizon, fall is a great time to tackle that uncomfortable chair issue once and for all by adding a comfy pad and coordinating pillow. If your chair seats are a standard size, check online decor sites and catalogs for readymade cushions that match your decor. If your seats are an unusual size, DIY or having them custom-made are your best bets.
Spice Up the Guest Room
If cooler fall weather also means hosting weekend guests, swap out lightweight summer bedding for heavier linens in rich fall shades, like pumpkin, russet or gold, as design diva Candice Olsen did here. Changing just a few key pieces is an easy way to refresh a bedroom's look, plus your guests will appreciate bunking in such a well-appointed and cozy room. Get more tips for readying a guest bedroom for company.
Warm Up to New Hues
Don't limit bright colors to spring and summer, fall's hues can be playful too — rely on Mother Nature's shifting shades to help you pick your palette. Try a splash of pumpkin orange, mellowed gourd green or the saturated blue evident in fall's clear skies. No need to swap out (or repaint) your furniture for the season, just work in a few colorful accessories to get the look. Image courtesy of HGTV Magazine.
Skirt the Issue
Your dining room is ground central for Thanksgiving celebrations. Help it look its best by upgrading your existing dining chairs with charming skirted slipcovers. Wide ribbon ties ensure they're removable so keeping them clean is a breeze. Learn how to stitch up your own slipcovers.
Cozy Up the Outdoors
Make the most of fall's crisp evenings by creating a small conversation area around a fire pit and add lots of pillows and throws to really boost the coziness factor. Keep a large basket handy so you can easily transport the linens indoors when inclement weather threatens.
Add Some Layers
Fall's crisp weather calls for layering up your wardrobe — put the same idea to work in your home and toss cozy wool, cotton, chenille or even luxurious cashmere throws over furniture in rooms where your family or guests gather. Design by Sarah Richardson.
Create a Wall Grouping With Fall Flair
Give It a White Wash
Scandinavian decor, which predominantly features the color white in both furniture and accessories, continues to be a trendy look worth trying. White pumpkins and mums are a natural; pair them with a thrifted chair painted bright white for a crisp, clean grouping for your indoor or outdoor space.
Bring the Outdoors In
For most of us, fall is the last hoorah before winter's blustery weather truly sets in; enjoy a walk in the crisp air to gather clippings of flowering plants and colorful foliage. Fill small vases with your finds and place them throughout the house. If you're expecting overnight visitors, don't forget the guest room. Image courtesy of Blackberry Farm; Photography by beall + thomas
Fall for Trendy Fabrics
Menswear fabrics, like this tone-on-tone houndstooth, are hot for fall. Reupholstering your antique dining chairs to keep pace with trends may sound a little extreme but you can always bring in touches of fashionable fabrics with toss pillows or slipcovers. Image courtesy of Thibaut
No Centerpiece Necessary
A few of our easy-to-create fall leaf streamers are all you need to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Best of all, skipping the centerpiece means there's nothing at eye level to block your view of the other guests. Get crafting to make your own.
Luxe Meets Lodge
The rustic lodge look is a perfect fit fot fall. Blending rustic textures with sophisticated finishes, it's the best of both worlds and can be as formal or informal as you like. This cottage at celebrity hideaway Blackberry Farm perfectly exemplifies the style with a custom-painted wall treatment that resembles sun-bleached pine and luxurious fabrics throughout. Image courtesy of Blackberry Farm; Photography by beall + thomas
Prep for Cold-Weather Guests
For many of us, autumn means both the beginning of wintry weather and a rotating door of holiday guests. Protect your foyer's floors from muddy or snowy boots with an easy-to-clean area rug. Position an umbrella stand near the door so guests know where to stash wet rain gear as soon as they come in. Design by Sarah Richardson Get more tips for hosting holiday guests.
Freshen Up Your Front Door
Variegated croton in saturated shades of green, gold and red surrounded by vibrant mums and pumpkins give HGTV fan gdiveris' front entry a colorful fall pick-me-up. Both plants are perennials and can either be brought indoors to weather the winter or, if you live in a warm climate, planted to add color to your landscape.
Warmly Welcome Guests
Welcome guests to holiday gatherings with a beautifully decorated entry table. HGTV fan Patrick created this autumnal display by placing golden gingko and bittersweet branches in a large sculptural vase. Pears piled in a rustic stoneware bowl, a ready bottle of wine and low dish of nuts are all reminders of the harvest.
Take the Celebration Outside
Turn an Empty Frame Into a Menu Board
With just a few supplies from the hardware and craft stores, you can upcycle an unused frame into an elegant chalkboard to display wherever holiday guests gather. Use your finished chalkboard to display a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner menu or just to jot down notes to family. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
Slipcover Past-Their-Prime Chairs
If you're handy with a sewing machine, "new" dining chairs could be yours with just the cost of a few yards of natural linen. A flirty skirt adds a stylish finishing touch. This project is a great way to unify mismatched chairs or give dated chairs a quick update. Get step-by-step instructions.
Use Containers to Spread Fall Color
Container gardening is a great way to add interest to all areas of your landscape any time of the year but is especially beautiful in fall when Mother Nature puts on her last hurrah. Pairing a hardy perennial, like this ornamental grass, with a show-stopping annual like calibrachoa is a sure recipe for container gardening success.
Thanksgiving means gathering with your nearest and dearest to enjoy time together lingering over a well-set table. Ready your dining room for fall festivities by polishing the silver and breaking out the good china and crystal. Design by Sarah Richardson.
Create Outdoor Living Space
Turn an underused porch or patio into a welcoming spot to kick back and enjoy the outdoors. Add a weather-resistant rug for comfort underfoot and to visually define the living area. Plants bring any indoor or outdoor space to life so mix in a few containers planted with a mix of hardy perennials and annuals for a splash of color.
Craft a Rustic Woven Runner
Turn trendy upholstery webbing into an oversized table runner than can be rolled up, stored away and used to add an organic touch to your Thanksgiving table year after year. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.
Prep for Cold-Weather Guests
The holiday season means lots of visiting family and friends; providing dedicated space to store their cold-weather gear is key. Designer Sarah Richardson added bumpout closets for stashing big items, like coats and boots, and an antique press for gloves and hats.
Fill lanterns or tall glass hurricanes with pillar candles surrounded by coffee beans, acorns or candy corn to easily create a charming display for your entryway or front porch. Note: Be sure to keep an eye on the burning candles to ensure the wick doesn't burn below the level of the filler.
Accessorize With Autumn's Hues
A tall vase filled with scarlet maple branches creates a show-stopping fall arrangement in this Manhattan living room. Hints of burnished gold in the leather occasional chair, lamp and pillow warm up this cozy corner. Design by HGTV fan Patrick.
Make-Over Your Mantel
Get crafty to give your living room's focal point a fresh update. For this look, the editors at HGTV Magazine put paint and paper to work to create kicky lanterns and decoupaged pumpkins. For the colorful centerpiece, they simply glued card stock leaves to (free!) bare branches.
Try a New Twist on Tradition
Shake up your front door with a square wreath featuring colorful ears of Indian corn. Head to your local craft store for materials then assemble this harvest-themed outdoor decoration in just a few hours. Learn how to make your own.
Craft a Mini "Pumpkin" Wreath
Although the tiny orange shapes covering this wreath look like diminutive pumpkins, they're actually putka pods. A great stand-in for mini pumpkins, the dried organic seed pods don't deteriorate, so your wreath can be displayed year after year. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Give Your Front Porch a Cheery Update
Mounds of bright yellow mums bring a happy touch of fall color to any outdoor space. These hanging baskets were created by lining the wire frames with sheets of coco mat, which allows the plants to properly drain between waterings. Mums require plenty of direct sunlight; their location hanging from this front porch provides the minimum three hours a day they need to look their best.
Craft a Glittery Banner
Remind friends and family how lucky they are with this easy, do-it-yourself decoration. Pick up chipboard letters at your local craft store, then cover them in copper glitter. Attach letters to twine with hot glue and hang above a buffet, mantel, entry table or anywhere your home could use a bit of seasonal sparkle.
Decorate With Fall Foliage
Give bookshelves, a mantel or any flat surface a quick fall fix with a sprinkling of autumn leaves. Gather pretty specimens from your own backyard or pick up a pack of the silk variety at your local craft store. Design by Layla Palmer.
Opt for Saturated Shades
This trio of small glass votives filled with bright orange ranunculus and rich red pomegranate seeds adds a cheery pop of fall color to an otherwise dark mantel. Small arrangements, like these, are a great way to spread fall color throughout your home.
Make a Magnolia Leaf Wreath
Wrap freshly cut magnolia leaves around an inexpensive foam wreath form to craft a streamlined, modern take on a traditional fall wreath. The leaves will dry in place and turn a gorgeous coppery hue. No need to take this wreath down when you swap out your Thanksgiving decorations for Christmas — just change the ribbon to match your holiday decor. Get step-by-step instructions.
Add Traditional Touches
All in the Details
NYC-based designer Patrick gives this reading nook a sophisticated, seasonal update with fall-color accessories. Pumpkin-orange roses, richly colored tapestry pillow and chocolate-brown drapes warm up the space but can easily be swapped for icy winter tones or bright hues for spring.
Decoupage Faux Pumpkins
Give faux pumpkins, leftover from Halloween, a fashion-forward makeover by covering them with strips of trendy fabric. Large decoupage pumpkins are a stylish addition to front porch fall displays while small pumpkins will add a graphic pop to your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Get crafting to make your own.
Opt for Earthy Elegance
HGTV fan Tetbury created this chic table setting using all organic elements for a look that's both sophisticated and simple. A linen tablecloth and napkins, tied with humble garden string, pair beautifully with weathered terra cotta urns topped with moss and tiny ghost pumpkins. A single artichoke at each place setting is a charming additon.
Fall for Autumn's Hues
With its rusty palette and laid-back look, this dining room is dressed for casual fall entertaining. Designer Lauren Liess created the layered tablecloth by topping a linen drapery panel with a vintage russet and orange quilt. Gourds, candles, fresh herbs and a stoneware urn filled with vermillion branches create a fuss-free centerpiece that works equally well for Thanksgiving dinner or any fall get-together.
Craft a Gorgeous Wreath
Add pinecones and assorted faux berries and greenery to an inexpensive grapevine wreath to create a gorgeous fall decoration for your front door. Best of all, you can just add a red ribbon to transition this wreath from fall to holiday. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Make a Rectangular Rustic Wreath
Add an earthy touch indoors or out with this twist on a traditional round fall wreath. Dried mushrooms, moss, seed pods and grasses form the base while russet fresh or faux pears add a pop of fall color. Learn how to make your own.
Craft a Monogrammed Wreath
Give your front door a personalized touch by turning inexpensive craft-store materials into a rustic monogram to take the place of a standard fall wreath. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Create a Rustic Tableau
An oversize primitive tray adds a textural backdrop to this collection of natural elements and European finds in HGTV fan Tetbury's breakfast room. The jugs are Hungarian antiques while the buffet and basket are French finds dating to the 19th Century. A single large sunflower head is a beautiful addition and adds a sculptural, organic touch.