How to decorate your dining room for Thanksgiving Using Natural Elements, Chalkboards and More.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, time to share my Thanksgiving decorating ideas and a free printable to use to create a turkey chalkboard with you.
I think I enjoy Thanksgiving more than any other holiday is because it is all about family and being grateful for all that we have.
The day starts out by watching the Macy’s Day Parade. It is tradition – something I have done since I was a child and have passed onto my daughters. I was even in the parade one year when I was in college in NYC. I worked part-time at Macy’s and all the employees can volunteer to be in it. I was dressed as a boxer and was with the float that carried Famous Amos – the cookie guy.
After the parade – the afternoon is about football and family. We just hang out, catch-up and eat lots. I set up the baron the fireplace mantel in the dining room this year. I also drew a turkey on my traveling chalkboard.
****See the tutorial and free turkey printable for drawing on a chalkboard at the end of this post.
I found the tree branches outside after Hurricane Sandy came through town.
I like the natural touch and height they add to the mantel-turned-sideboard.
I have the painted hutch on the other side of the room all set up for pies – a pumpkin pie and whatever my family brings. I am using paper napkins this year. I found them at JoAnn’s Fabrics. They are perfect and add the right amount of style and color to the table along with these snack and bread baskets.
The top of the cabinet in the corner is empty. You can see the plate stand. The big white platter that usually lives there is now on the table awaiting the Thanksgiving turkey.
I like using white plates and serving dishes as they go with every color and holiday, plus the food has no color or pattern to compete with. I collect baskets to use all around my home.
I decided to use the dollar store silk leaf place cards. I like how nice they look on the plates. Instead of a centerpiece that just has to be moved when the turkey is served, I like to use a small candle at each place setting. It looks magical when they are all lit and visually connect everyone at the table.
The table has a plywood board on top to extend the seating area. The cloth is just yardage of brown fabric with a white burlap runner that I made on top.
My youngest, who moved home recently after working as an intern on a farm on the Champlain Islands in Vermont, just landed a job at a nearby organic farm. She is passionate about the Farm to Table movement and prefers to eat everything locally raised and grown. Today she brought home a fresh turkey. It will be a first for us as we usually go for the free one you get at the supermarket when you use your store saving card.
Now the table just needs the food and family around it.
How to Draw a Turkey on a Chalkboard
If you don’t have a chalkboard handy, make one yourself. I made mine by simply spray-painting black chalkboard paint over an $8 framed fake oil painting from a local thrift store.
Use painters tape to mask the frame before spraying 2 to 3 light coats of chalkboard paint. Let each coat dry completely before applying another coat. Repeat until the painting is covered.
- chalkboard (learn how to make one below)
- chalk, white and colored
- print out of turkey drawing
- glass of water
- cotton swaps or a tiny paint brush
- wet rag
1. To make the chalk on your board stand out, wet the board first with a damp rag. (Keep in mind that when drawing on a wet board, the chalk will look faint, but once dry, it will be nice and bright.)
2. If using a print-out of a turkey for your design, lay it face down on a work surface and rub the entire back with the side of a piece of chalk. Make sure to cover it well.
3. Place the drawing chalk-side down on your chalkboard where you want the turkey. Trace over the turkey with a pencil. When you are done tracing, remove the drawing to reveal the outline of the turkey on the chalkboard. Go over all the lines to darken them.
4. Write your Thanksgiving Menu on the board. If you wet your chalkboard earlier, you can now use a hair blow dryer to speed up the drying process, or simply leave it to dry. To remove any chalk smudges or mistakes use a wet rag, cotton swab, or paint brush.
5. If you want to seal your design on the chalkboard so it will not smudge, spray regular hairspray in an aerosol can lightly over the design.
If you don’t have wall space for the chalkboard to lean, use an easel or temporarily remove a piece already hanging on the wall and replace it for the day with the chalkboard.
For more Fall mantel decorating ideas, check out the Fall Mantel Link-Up Party over at Thrifty Decor Chick.