Monogram a Plate in Five Minutes With a Permanent Marker
To me, fall usually means the start of planning for the holidays. It may be too early for some of you, but they'll be here before you know it. And with holidays comes entertaining. If you're playing host this year — but don't have the budget for new tableware — then this craft is just what you need.
- ceramic white plates (from the dollar store)
- permanent marker
Measure for the center of the plate using a ruler. Use a stencil, or freehand your letter using a pencil first, then draw over it with a permanent marker.
Add Calligraphy Effect
Fill in your letter to create a calligraphy effect if you aren’t using a stencil. I used this tutorial as a guide.
Add any other designs you'd like, such as polka dots.
Bake at 350 Degrees F
Bake your plates in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes to make your designpermanent. Use oven mits to take out the plates out of the oven, and let cool.
Chalk It Up
Chalkboards add a playful decorative element to any get-together. They're not only inexpensive, but also can be used repeatedly for different holidays and family events. Put your creative skills to work by writing "Happy Thanksgiving" on yours and displaying it near the spread to get guests in the holiday spirit. Have friends and family pose by the chalkboard sign for a souvenir photo op.
DIY Twig Table Runner
Take your Thanksgiving table to the next level by making your own rustic (and nearly free!) runner. Easy to craft — and a perfect project for kids to help with — this runner adds to the table's outdoorsy feel and can be rolled up and stored away for use year after year.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup With Fried Sage Leaves
No fall meal is complete without a piping-hot bowl of soup. A spiced-up version of the Thanksgiving favorite, this curried butternut squash soup is a warm and creamy addition to your meal. Serve in a large footed tureen and let guests serve themselves. Get the recipe
Go For a Layered Look
Create a gorgeous place setting using pieces that are rustic and autumnal yet still have a modern edge. Wooden chargers are the perfect anchor for a sleek white dinner plate and bowl while vintage gold flatware adds glitz and natural linen napkins work anytime of the year. Keep in mind that the dinner plate and bowl needn't be from the same set — mixing and matching color and texture adds to the table's organic feel.
Golden Raisin and Cranberry Chutney
Friends don't let friends serve cranberry sauce from a can! For a homemade take on Thanksgiving's signature condiment, serve this not-too-sweet version. Get the recipe
Craft Your Own Centerpiece
No Thanksgiving table is complete without a centerpiece. Create an arrangement that features fall's richest colors and textures that incorporates fresh greenery from your own backyard. Rather than an over-the-top floral arrangement in a tall vase, keep the arrangement low so guests can see each other and chat across the table.
Southwestern-Style Poblano Cornbread Stuffing
Take everyone's favorite side dish up a notch by preparing this flavorful twist on your standard stuffing. Poblano peppers and cornbread come together to create a Thanksgiving dish that will keep guests coming back for seconds — and even thirds! Get the recipe
Easy-to-Craft Pomegranate Place Cards
Keep your dinner drama-free and avoid a game of musical chairs by setting out place cards for your guests. For a look that's both seasonal and sleek, make these gilded place-card holders by spraying pomegranates with metallic paint, then inserting a handwritten place card in the crown. Inexpensive and homemade, they're the perfect way to make your place setting feel extra special. Get step-by-step instructions
Individual Maple Sweet Potato Soufflés
Sweet potatoes, maple syrup and toasted pecans combine for an indulgent treat that's sure to please even the pickiest palette. Prepared individually in ramekins, they make for easy serving. Get the recipe
Sage Roasted Turkey With a Crunchy Maple Crust
For the star of the Thanksgiving meal, give guests a savory-meets-sweet main course that they won't soon forget. Rather than serving a traditional turkey, mix things up by making this drool-worthy bird. Get the recipe
Carve the Bird Like a Pro
Your first time carving a turkey can be a pressure-packed moment. To properly do the job, you'll need a chef's knife or carving knife, a carving fork and a boning knife. First, separate the legs and wings from the body. Then to carve the breast, find the breastbone and carve down one side, peeling the breast away from the bone as you go. Serve all pieces on a large platter for guests to choose.
Craft Your Own Menu
For the hostess who leaves no stone unturned, enlist the talents of a family member with artistic handwriting or, even better, calligraphy skills to create a gorgeous menu card. Display at each place setting or pass around the table to jump-start guests' appetites and get them excited for the main event.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts With Cranberries and Pine Nuts
Part of what makes the holidays so special is the extra love and effort that goes into the menu. Dishes overflowing with color and flavor are key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner — and this take on Brussels sprouts is sure to get your guests' attention. The healthy veggies are shredded, sautéed, tossed with cranberries and pine nuts, then topped with fresh orange zest for a dish that's bursting with bright flavors. Get the recipe
All in the Family
Because Thanksgiving is about spending quality time with loved ones, serve dishes family-style, allowing guests to interact and share much more than a buffet does. Simply set your large serving dishes out down the length of the table with serving spoons, and let guests pass them throughout the meal.
Pumpkin Tiramisu Layer Cake
This fresh take on the Italian classic encompasses everything we love about Thanksgiving: the rich, sweet flavor of coffee, brandy and chocolate combined with the seasonal flavor of pumpkin. Top with a generous sprinkle of amaretti cookies for crunch before serving. Get the recipe