In between your menu creating, grocery shopping, turkey prepping, and sips-of-bourbon sneaking, how are you supposed to make your house look presentable — possibly even cute — on top of all that, especially if you don't have Martha on speed dial? And how are you possibly supposed to afford all this stuff? Don't worry, we've got you covered with quick decor ideas that you should be able to get done in the time it takes to bake a pumpkin pie with supplies you probably have lying around at home. And we've got some tips to get you through your feast, onto those great Cyber Monday deals that you'll pour over as you stuff your face with leftover stuffing that you somehow still have room in your stomach for.
FRIENDSGIVING PARTY-THROWING TIPS
- Don't try to cook everything in one day! NPR's got this amazing 6-day guide on what to make ahead of Turkey Day and when. They don't include dinner rolls, though, so I suggest making your dough 3-4 days ahead of time. Freeze the dough, and then, the night before, roll it out and prep the rolls on cookie sheets to store in the fridge (hopefully you have room!)
- Not every dish has to be a masterpiece. Go crazy on one or two dishes, focus on that bird, and grab your go-to recipes for the rest. Heck, we won't even judge you if you go for the Campbell's soup cans for the green bean casserole in lieu of crème fraîche — it's encouraged! And if your bread comes in a tube that pops when you bang it on the countertop, more time for you to make an awesome pumpkin pie.
- Don't splurge on crazy expensive wine. Maybe I'm exempt because I live in Italy and pretty much all the wine is good and very cheap, but don't go crazy on pricey wine if you have a bunch of people coming over. As long as it's not Boone's Farm — we'll know because it'll be a radioactive blue color — you're good to go. If you go for the boxed wine, put it in a nice punch bowl, top it with some cranberries, and no one will know the diffence.
FALL PENNANT GARLAND
- Scraps of old fabric in fall prints and colors
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Piece of printer paper
- Washi tape or thumbtacks
- Cut an isosceles triangle from the piece of printer paper, seven inches on two sides and 3.5" on the bottom end.
- Get out your scraps of fabric and on the backside, trace around the paper triangle with a pencil. Cut along the lines. Repeat for desired amount of triangles (I made 7 triangles per garland and 4 garland, so 28 triangles).
- Heat up your glue gun and get out the twine. Measure your twine for its desired wall location, making sure you provide room for the garland to hang and sag, as it won't hang in a straight line. Cut the twine to size and lay it out.
- Get out the fabric triangles and flip them so the backside is up. Line up the fabric behind the twine so that 1/4 of an inch is hanging over the twine. Run a line of hot glue across the top of the triangle and fold it over the twine, running your finger along it. Move about 6 inches down the twine and repeat until the string is full. Then, flipping the twine over so the fabric has the correct side facing you, cut the excess fabric from where you folded it over.
- Hang the garland on the wall with decorative washi tape or thumbtacks.
DANGLING FALL LEAVES
- Plastic fall leaves
- Fishing line
- Scotch tape
- Take your fishing line and cut a piece to 30 inches. Repeat 20 or so times (one for each leaf you have), but vary the pieces in size, anywhere from 24-30 inches.
- Tie the stem of the leaf to the end of the fishing line using a double square knot.
- Place a piece of tape on the opposite end of the fishing line, hanging it from the ceiling.
- Repeat until all the leaves are hung from the ceiling.
Inspired by the dangling leaves from A Beautiful Mess's Friendsgiving
SPRAY PAINTED POLKA DOT TABLE CLOTH
- Plain white cloth tablecloth
- Metallic spray paint (I chose Krylon brushed nickel and metallic silver)
- A piece of thin cardboard (like one used for food packaging)
- Blue painters tape
- Circle cutter (optional)
- Latex gloves
- An old towel
- On your flat piece of cardboard, either trace a circle (about 2 inches in diameter) and cut it out, or punch a circular hole using a circle cutter. I made four stencils.
- Place painters tape around the edges of the cardboard stencil so that spray paint residue will not seep out.
- Lay an old towel down onto your work surface, and then cover it with the tablecloth. This will avoid any spray paint where you don't want it.
- Lay the cardboard stencil on top of the tablecloth in the desired location and press down firmly so the tape seals it.
- Put on your latex gloves and spray into the stencil lightly, holding down the stencil so that the paint does not get underneath the stencil
- Lift your stencil and repeat until polka dots cover the tablecloth, alternating spray paint colors. Allow to dry.
Tip: Have a place where you can wipe off excess paint. You will probably want to wipe off the stencil every once in a while, as it will get full of wet paint which will splatter when you go to move it. Also, be careful that your latex gloves don't smear paint on the cloth in an undesired location if you accidentally get some on your fingertips.
Photos and text © Katie Currid 2014