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By Alesandra Dubin

When it comes to Thanksgiving decorating, are you all about crafty fun or store-bought convenience? Check out our ideas for projects to make yourself and their retail equivalents — plus our verdict for when to buy and when to DIY.

Gilded pinecone garland

On the left is a DIY pinecone garland, while on the right is a pinecone garland you can buy. Is it worth it to DIY or buy it?Today

DIY: To make this version from The Sweetest Occasion, brush gold leaf onto pinecones and screw eye hooks to the top of each. Use the hooks to attach the pinecones to a length of twine.

Buy: Pick up this gold glittered pinecone garland for $22.95 at the Holiday Barn

The verdict: Buy, unless you know what you’re doing. Beginners may find gold leaf tough to work with.

Birch wood candles

You could DIY this birch wood candle, as seen on the left, or pick up the candles on the right from Pottery Barn.Today

DIY: To make the DIY version, Oleander + Palm cut pieces of branches and drilled out the tops with a one-and-a-half-inch drill bit. Then simply drop a tea light inside each one.

Buy: Purchase these flameless flicker birch pillar candles at Pottery Barn, priced from $49.50.

The verdict: Buy. The store-bought versions may seem pricey, but the LED wick that mimics a real dancing flame is worth the investment. 

Wheat wreath

This wheat wreath can be made with a DIY, as pictured on the left, or you can purchase it, as pictured on the right. Today

DIY: To make this project from Bloooming Homestead, use a foam wreath form as a base. Then layer and pin dried wheat stocks from the craft store to cover it. 

Buy: For $89.95, you can pick up a wheat wreath at Crate & Barrel

The verdict: DIY. Although this project is time consuming, it’s super easy — and the cost adds up to just a fraction of the store-bought version.

Wood napkin ties/rings

Add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving table by DIY'ing a napkin ring, or you can purchase a similar napkin ring at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Today

DIY: Dukes & Duchesses’ DIY version is as simple as can be. Find a branch and cut it into equal slices. Then drill out the middle, creating a hole about an inch in diameter, and you’re done!

Buy: Add store-bought natural wood bark napkin ring, each priced at $2.99, from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The verdict: DIY. If you already own a drill, and you live somewhere that makes it possible to forage for a fallen branch, this project will cost you literally nothing. And what’s better than free?

Pumpkin place card holders

You can spend an afternoon creating your own pumpkin place card holders, or you could purchase similar holders at Pier 1. Today

A set of pretty pumpkin place cards can help each guest to the table feel individually welcomed — and mitigate the stress of any awkward family politics.

DIY: You can create your own pumpkin place card holidays as Jenny Steffens Hobick did on her blog, Every Day Occasions. She suggests placing tape over the stems of mini pumpkins before spraying them soft gold. Then remove the tape and cut a slit in each step in which to slip a name card.

Buy: Purchase pumpkin place card holders, priced at $9.98, from Pier1.

The verdict: Buy. While we love the DIY version and it’s easy enough to execute, the store-bought version is actually cheaper over the course of even just a season or two. Plus, the artificial pumpkins last forever in storage. 

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.