When the weather starts to change, you have to take the good with the bad. Bad news, you get to spend less time outside working with your hands. Good news, you can take your skills indoors and use them for holiday crafts the whole family will enjoy. As a family owned business, we know the holidays are a time best spent with the kids, grandkids, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. That’s why this week and next week we’re giving you Thanksgiving DIY ideas to keep the whole family entertained. Plus, they’ll help remind the Christmas junkie in your life not to skip the best day of the year: a holiday surrounded by gratitude and food, what’s not to love?

Easy DIY Candle Centerpieces
For this project you’ll need plain table candles with no glass or other outer coating, a hot glue gun with sticks, parchment paper, fake or dead flowers from the garden in fall colors, and a few pinecones and acorns. First, place the candle on a piece of parchment paper and trace a circle approximately a half inch out from the base of the candle. Then, move the candle and use the hot glue gun to trace that circle again, making your glue circle approximately a quarter inch thick. This will be the base of your decorations, let it dry before peeling it from the parchment paper. Next, arrange all the flowers, acorns, and pinecones around the circle, attaching them with hot glue until the dried hot glue circle is completely covered. Repeat this process for three to five candles. Once you’re finished, place the candles in the center of their decorated circles for a Thanksgiving day centerpiece made by hand! Pro tip: little ones love to help gather pinecones and acorns for the project, and it’s a great way to help them release some energy before dinner!

Painted Paper Kid’s Table Runner
This project is one that’ll keep kids occupied (and out of the kitchen) for hours. They’ll love decorating their own table for dinner, and you’ll love how they stay out of the way and out of trouble at the same time! You’ll need a roll of craft or butcher paper, craft paint in whatever colors you choose, sponge brushes (preferably flat-topped versions), and five or six stencils of different kinds of leaves. All you have to do is roll out the butcher paper, show the kiddos how to use the stencil, and let them decorate! We love the all-gold look of this version, but we suggest letting the kids pick a few of their favorites. It’s helpful to pour out small amount of paint on paper plates to keep little ones from using too much at a time and to have a fan pointed at the table since there’s likely going to be a lot of leaves.

Post-Thanksgiving Movie Snacks
If your family is anything like ours, right after the Thanksgiving meal comes the gravity storm. Everyone looks for a place to sit and digest, and that usually means gathering in the family room to watch football or, late at night, maybe a A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Make these cute, quick snacks early in the day so you’ll have a light snack to reach for during the movie (if you’re not still too full of turkey!). All you’ll need is a two or three shades of green crepe paper, some twine, cellophane bags, and popcorn! Fill the cellophane bags with popcorn and tie them closed with the twine, making them corn cob shaped. Then, cut the crepe paper in large leaf shapes to resemble a husk and group them around the popcorn bags. Secure them in place and voila, you’ve got a whole harvest’s worth of popcorn cobs!

If you’ve got a construction project that’s a bit more complicated than these three, call J-Tech today to talk about getting some expert help. Next week, we’re bringing you more Thanksgiving DIYs to stoke your holiday spirit!