Interesting Things to make for Thanksgiving


Paper Baskets

Native Americans used baskets to store seed, gather crops and sift meal. Follow the lead of these resourceful crafters by weaving a basket out of newspaper "reeds."

Glue stick
Craft paints and brushes

Time needed: Under 1 Hour

1. Make a reed out of a 13 1/2- by 22-inch sheet of newspaper. Starting with a long edge, tightly roll the sheet into a tube. Flatten the tube and use a glue stick to secure the open edge. Assemble seven more reeds.

2. Lay four of the reeds side by side on a flat surface and weave in the remaining four. Slide the strips together to make the bottom of the basket. Fold the ends of the reeds up to form the side spokes.

3. Now, cut newspaper sheets into four 11- by 27-inch rectangles. Using the same method as before, roll four more reeds. Tape the end of a reed to the base of a spoke. Weave the reed in and out of the spokes, around the basket.

4. Tuck the end behind a spoke. Weave in the other reeds, one above the other. Fold the tops of the spokes into the basket and tuck them behind a reed.

5. Use craft paints to coat the finished basket inside and out, then add decorative symbols.


Pilgrim Place Cards


Permanent coloured markers
Straight wooden clothespins
Black pipe cleaners
Craft knife
1-liter plastic bottle with cap
Construction paper
Paper plate


To make a pair of Pilgrim place cards, use coloured markers to draw faces on the heads of two straight wooden clothespins. Colour the rest of the clothespins black. Wrap a pipe cleaner around each clothespin just below the head to create arms.

With a craft knife, cut the top off a plastic 1-liter bottle, 3 1/4 inches down from the cap (a parent's job) and discard the bottom. Remove the bottle cap and colour it and the bottle top black.

For the Pilgrim man, wrap a pipe cleaner around his feet and stand him up in the bottle cap. Cut out and glue on a paper hat and vest. To finish the woman, wrap a pipe cleaner around her waist and fit her into the bottle top. Glue on a paper apron and bonnet. Lastly, cut name tags from a paper plate rim and attach them to the Pilgrims' arms.


Harvest Centrepiece Project


This simple centrepiece can be arranged in minutes on a platter or tray, and will last several days. Just prior to your dinner, finish the arrangement by garnishing with kale leaves.

Materials Needed

Platter or Tray
Small potted mum or ivy
3 Small pumpkins or gourds
Greenery (Fresh or preserved greens, leaves, kale, parsley, or moss)

To Begin

Place a flowering mum in one corner of the platter. Then nestle two small pumpkins and a gourd next to the plant.

Tip: Remember to water the mum, and take care to keep water off of pumpkins and furniture.

This arrangement can also be made on a wooden board or on a piece of plastic directly on the table.

Add several mini-pumpkins around the platter.

Tip: Save your Halloween mini-pumpkins to decorate all through November.

Place apples under and around the pumpkins.

Tip: Small apples will give you more flexibility in the arrangement. Use all red, or all green, or a variety.

Finish with a Greenery

Use greenery between the items on the platter to create the illusion that this variety of items "belong" together. Use fresh or preserved greens, leaves, kale, parsley, or moss. Add fresh items just prior to your event to avoid wilting.

Tip: Sheet or Spanish (grey) moss can be substituted for the greens if desired.

How to fold a Turkey Napkin

If you are planning a dinner party, working on a holiday table with a theme, or simply preparing for a special family dinner, add a decorative touch to your preparations with a set of fancy folded napkins. Folded napkin turkeys are well suited to a Thanksgiving feast.

Your first consideration is your choice of napkin. Some designs can be accomplished with paper napkins, but cloth napkins create decor with a touch of class, and are easier to work with when creating masterpieces for your table. Consider your choice of fabric. Cotton or cotton blends are very washable, less expensive and easily available. Linen or linen blend napkins are often the choice in your favorite upscale restaurants. Compare what you have in your linen closet, kitchen drawer, or your favourite kitchenware store to decide which is the best texture and price range for your needs. Next, consider your fabric design. You may want to stick with a plain colour that fits your theme or season of choice, but will be versatile for other uses. For a fanciful touch, consider a pattern that fits the holiday for which you are preparing. If you are feeling ambitious, perhaps you might want to purchase and hem napkins from commercial material. Be sure to look for napkins that are at least 15 inches in length, with a square shape.

Your next step is to prepare your chosen napkins. If you are using new napkins, they may be stiff enough to suit napkin folding simply because of their commercial preparation. If you are expecting your guests to use your creations, though, you might want to wash them and begin anew. Depending on the quality of your napkins, you may want to begin with a starch treatment, or spray on a spray starch prior to ironing. This treatment will give your napkins a more workable and long lasting texture. In any case, iron each napkin carefully before folding, steaming out any wrinkles, paying special attention to hems, which tend to become very puckered over time.

Now, you are ready to fold your napkin into a hat creation.

Fold your napkin into a rectangle, matching the edges carefully. Place this retangle with the short edges towards you and the long folded edge to your right.

Pick up both edges of one of the closest short, folded sides. Fold this edge over and under in accordian-type pleats about one inch wide. Continue forming these pleats until you have reached about three-quarters of the way across your napkin rectangle. For extra hold, you may want to spray and re-iron each pleat. If not, be sure to finger-press each pleat edge. End with all your pleats on top of your last folded pleat, and on top of the remaining flat fabric.

Place both thumbs under the fabric pleats in the centre of their width and rest your hands on top of your pleats. Fold the left side under the right side and place on your working surface carefully.

Above the folded pleats, will be your un-pleated section of cloth. Pick up the far right corner which will have four layers of cloth in it, and bring in down toward the near left corner of the flat cloth section, creating a triangle. Tuck under, finger-press or iron this fold.

Lift up your napkin and place the open pleat edges upwards, and the long section of your triangle downwards. Allow the pleats to fan out towards your working surface, creating the tail of your cloth napkin turkey.

Your cloth napkin design is now a complete cloth napkin turkey creation. Continue with your full set of napkins until you are prepared for all your future guests. Use your napkins as dinner plate or dessert place decorations, or as part of your centrepiece.