It’s that time of the year again, when the leaves turn orange and everybody is thinking about a grand dinner table full of sumptuous delights. So I'm ready to bust out some chalkboard art for Thanksgiving!
It is the season when family and friends come from near and far to feast on roasted turkey and cranberry sauce. But it is not just about the food. It is also about giving thanks for the blessings we've all received, the challenges and victories that made you better than ever at being you! Which is why we have a bunch of DIY Thanksgiving ideas to liven up your home with a spirit of gratitude and celebration.
The standard Thanksgiving decorations would do well enough, but I love to make the holiday that much more special with my ever-reliable chalk markers and chalkboards. I have come up with a very special centerpiece just for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey cutouts and fall flowers are nice, but I always make sure that the many things we are thankful for take center stage.
A Beautiful Thanksgiving Centerpiece: The Grateful Pumpkin
What is the Grateful Pumpkin? Every year while the turkey is in the oven, my friends and family gather around the largest pumpkin I could find at the local market. With liquid chalk markers in hand and hearts full of gratitude, we take turns tilting the pumpkin on its side and choosing a space to share a few things we are thankful for. (TIP: Our chalk marker ink dries quickly, but not instantly. Make sure the ink is dry before tilting the pumpkin onto that side.)
Classic liquid chalk markers are perfect for this project because they have a timeless, vintage look. You can start the ball rolling so that everyone feels comfortable sharing their gratitude. Simply write, “I am thankful for…” and whatever you are appreciating in your heart at that moment. Sometimes, once the sharing begins, some people will even want to "go back for seconds," so get the biggest pumpkin you can find to make sure everyone has space to write. If your local market doesn't have any giants, simply buy several smaller pumpkins. It will be a special thrill for someone to be the first to carry the gratitude over to the next pumpkin in line.
I love the way this activity puts everyone in a positive mood before we gather around the table and carve the bird. As a special treat, we reserve the smallest pumpkins for the kids, who use white liquid chalk markers to draw smiley faces, pictures of the whole family and—you guessed it—those classic Thanksgiving "hand" turkeys!
Another DIY Thanksgiving idea you can try is a welcome sign. As your guests walk up to your door huddling against the chilly wind, it is a treat for them to be greeted by a welcoming statement of Thanksgiving joy and warmth.
A Thanksgiving Welcome Sign for Guests
Sometimes my parents come up with humorous messages, so I let them create the welcome sign with bold tip liquid chalk markers. With a vintage frameless rustic slate chalkboard with twine hanging on the front door, guests can smile at the inviting words, “Knock If You Want Bacon Wrapped Turkey Legs!” Of course you can dream up your own welcoming statements or search for ideas online.
Once everyone is inside and waiting for the food to appear on the table—and most likely drooling over the smell of buttered roasted turkey—I make sure to let them know about all the treats coming their way. I of course love to make the classic cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, but I also try to spice up the dinner with something new each year—something different, interesting and of course delicious.
How To Create the Perfect Thanksgiving Menu for Dinner
Everyone knows the traditional Thanksgiving dinner: dinner rolls, roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, a vegetable dish or salad and pumpkin pie.
But I’d love to show everyone that this year’s Thanksgiving dinner has a twist. Using a rustic framed porcelain steel chalkboard and colorful chalk markers, I display my holiday specials. This year's highlights are lemon butter garlic roast turkey, roasted sweet potato casserole with pralines, green beans with bacon bits, and pumpkin pie with a graham cracker and walnut crust and whipped cream!
I also make sure to leave room for a few more items, because I have relatives and friends who bring their own contributions to the Thanksgiving feast. Last year, I was delighted to have something new for the table with my best friend Jamie’s cheesy bacon egg wraps. Surprise! Everybody loved them!
So make sure every treat has its place on the menu and its place on the table. That's a lot of food to keep straight, of course. That's why this next DIY Thanksgiving idea is a must-do for the dinner itself.
Special Labels for Thanksgiving Dinner, from Appetizers to Dessert
I usually have a huge number of guests over for Thanksgiving so in my house, the dinner is always served buffet style. We all get our plates at one end, then move through the line of one mouth-watering item after another. Using food labels and fine tip chalk markers, you can label the food and highlight any special ingredients. Everybody loves to see words like bacon, cheese, and potatoes!
Once we have all loaded up our plates, we bring them to the table with the Grateful Pumpkin right there in the center.
Thanksgiving is a joyful day, but sometimes having all those people crowding the kitchen and living room can be stressful. Having a few Thanksgiving chalkboard art signs and decorations can really wow your guests and keep everyone smiling. These DIY Thanksgiving ideas can help make the holiday special and remind everyone that they have a lot to be thankful for, all year 'round!
Make your Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends special with these DIY Thanksgiving ideas. Get started today with these chalkboard art tips so you'll have plenty of time to prepare for the main event!