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Thanksgiving Decorations DIY

Thanksgiving is the holiday that retailers love to skip over or just forgot. Thanksgiving decorations are scarce at best and hard to find. This season of thanks is often overlooked, by way of decoration. Many households choose to just skip from the ghoulish decorations of Halloween and go right to the red and green. The sad part is that for those who wish to really embrace and decorate for turkey day there isn’t much on store shelves.

The solution, do it yourself. If your crafty or even a little bit artistic by nature, this is a great solution to your decorating woes. Here are a few fun projects to help get you in the Thanksgiving Day mood.

Blocks With Letters / Wooden Sign

Wood blocks painted or wrapped in decoupage or cloth with lettering or words to the effect of Happy Thanksgiving, Give Thanks or some other significant saying. This is a great project to do because it’s so easy to personalize the blocks to your particular styles and preferences. This would also be a fun girls night activity. You could try using multiple blocks with one letter each to spell a word. Or you could also create one long block or two long blocks painted with a single word each and then stacked or displayed near each other.

Materials Needed

Wood blocks: these can be any size variety and type of wood. Preferably smoothly sanded or barn wood depending on your decorating style. You can use pieces of 2x4s left over from a home improvement project or you can head to your local lumber or hardware store and pick up anything that strikes your fancy. Craft stores and even Walmart have prepared boards and sign starter kits that have routed edges and are just a little less work than anything you’ll pick up at the hardware store. You can buy ready-to-paint blocks from Amazon if you want to skip the lumber stores.

paint brushes, letter stickers, blocks of wood for a project

Paints: acrylic craft paints are inexpensive and will look great for years to come. Puff paint is great for lettering and fine detail because it is thicker and usually the bottles have a fine tip that is perfect for writing with. Paintbrushes will also be needed for gluing and painting your sign.

Vinyl lettering, stickers or stencils can give your project a polished store-purchased look while hand-painted signs definitely say you made this with love.

wood blocks with the words "give" and "thanks"


  1. Pick out your favorite fall / Thanksgiving themed saying. For the example project I chose the phrase “Give Thanks”.

  2. Choose a color scheme that is fall-inspired but matches the color scheme of your home or whatever decorations you already have for Thanksgiving.

  3. Paint the block / blocks a solid color and let them dry.

  4. Apply decoupage lettering. The example project … applied with Modge Podge brand adhesive.

  5. Embellishments: adding lace, buttons, glitter and other embellishments can help to personalize your project and make it your own. Printing pictures and clipart to cut out and add to the project is easy to do and gives you lots of at-home options. These fun little extras can be used to further match the project to your decorating style.

Finished project. Stacked blocks spelling Give Thanks with decorative leaves and turkey

Pinecone Turkey

This simple, cute decoration is easy to make, won’t cost much and even the kids can join in the fun. It’s also the kind of craft that you don’t have to keep in a box to use next year but will hold up nicely if you decide that it needs to make an annual appearance in your home.

Materials Needed

Pinecones: collected locally or store-bought depending on your preferences and availability of local cones.

Felt: small felt rectangles in most colors are sold at Amazon, Walmart, JoAnne’s and lots of other craft shops.

Hot Glue: This is a personal preference. If you don’t have hot glue available, any kind of craft glue will do just fine.

Scissors: good sharp scissors to achieve clean lines on the felt.

Artificial leaves: These can be either green or in fall colors. Feathers could also be used to create the plumage of your turkey, this is really all about your personal preferences. Be creative and have fun.

Spray paint: This one is optional if you like you can spray paint the pinecones gold, silver or any color you think you’d like.

assembling a pinecone turkey with felt and goggle eyes


  1. Cut out a turkey head from the brown felt. Using other colors, cut out a wattle (the red fleshy bit under the turkey’s neck). Don’t forget to cut out a beak and eyes for your turkey (goggle eyes are also a great choice.)

  2. Using the hot glue, assemble a turkey face and glue it to the pointy top end of the pinecone. Remember that the turkey face should be placed in a slightly forward-facing position or else it will be looking up at the ceiling which isn’t as cute.

  3. Then add the turkey’s plumage and glue it firmly in place.

Finished pinecone turkey projects

The Throw pillow

Throw pillows are great accent pieces that you can throw outside on the porch, on the couch in the living room or the tiny decorative chair in the corner. There are a lot of great options for versatility with this project. A plain throw pillow insert can be used for multiple holidays by creating a pillow sham or cover for each holiday. The use of a cover or a sham with a pillow insert means that you only have to store the cover rather than the whole pillow, making storage a breeze.


Either purchase or sew a pillow cover in the desired color and size for your project. Then find an image or saying that captures the feeling of the holiday. There are a few fun ways you can add flair to a pillow cover and give it that festive look.

Paint it: Fabric paints is a great way to do the unique thing that no one else will have. There is a certain skill level required for painting things by hand. Stenciling can be helpful but limiting because of the availability of stencils for your project.

Get the kids to help: Kids love to get their hands dirty. Try using a small person's hands to create those classic handprint turkeys on your pillow.

Sew it: If you are handy with a sewing machine or needle and thread then embroidery iron on items and embellishments like lace and buttons are an option to explore.

The Jar projects

It seems that the classic canning jar that everyone’s mother and grandmother used to use to preserve the fall harvest has become a popular decorating option. Here are a few fun options for decorating with a canning jar.

Decoupage fall colored leaves onto the jar. Adding small electric lights or candles to the jar gives it a glowing warm appeal as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.

Fill it: fill a jar with small fake pumpkins and other gourds. Add a tall candle and fill in the gaps with loose grains, particularly the ones associated with fall, like corn or beans.

Arrange it: rather than using a vase arrange either live or silk floral items or branches from the tree in your yard with their beautiful fall foliage.

Paint it: Fill your jar with paint, add a lid and shake it well to get good coverage. Get out a paintbrush and paint the outside of the jar then add wording.

Add a ribbon, glitter or glue on fake gems or buttons.

This is the season of giving thanks, though there aren’t many fun decorations available commercially. We can all be thankful for those crafty dreamers out there who create and inspire others to create.

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