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Between the guest list, cleaning the house and planning the menu, you've enough to worry about when it comes to producing your annual holiday gathering. But here's one aspect that you can worry less about: pretty — and pretty affordable — decorations.
While you can easily spend hundreds of dollars creating a tablescape for guests, we discovered an easy way to create festive decorations for all style personalities from the simplest of materials — a brown paper bag!
These fun and easy DIY decorations are featured in the latest issue of HGTV magazine. We loved everything they created, and featured a few of our favorites below. If you want to see more, check out the November issue, on newsstands now!
4 easy Thanksgiving table decorations you can make right now using a paper bag
1. Paper Bag Turkey Tail
Grab a pear and some washi tape for this paper bag how-to, which is perfect for place settings!
1. Cut a 6-inch-by-17-inch rectangle out of a brown paper bag.
2. Place strips of colored washi tape horizontally across the paper.
3. Fold the paper accordion-style. Place dabs of glue between the folds along the bottom edge of the rectangle, and pinch the folds together to create a fan. Secure with a small binder clip until the glue dries. Remove the clip. Attach the fan to a faux pear with two pushpins.
4. Stick two straight pins into the pear for eyes. Cut a small diamond out of the paper bag, and fold it in half for the beak. Attach the beak to the pear with double-sided tape.
2. Paper Bag Feather Garland
Create this cute paper garland in just a few easy steps. Here's how:
1. Click here to download the feather templates. Print feathers in various sizes, and cut them out.
2. Cut a brown paper bag into rectangles roughly the size of your feathers. Paint the rectangles with crafts paint (the feathers will come out better if you paint the paper first, then cut out the feather shapes later). Leave some pieces unpainted for brown feathers. Let dry.
3. Trace the feather templates onto the pieces of paper, and cut them out.
4. Apply gold leaf to the tip of each feather following the package instructions. Let dry.
5. Glue the feathers to a cord or twine, as shown. Let dry.
3. Paper Bag Doily
Who says doilies have to be lace all the time? Not us!
1. Cut a large square out of a brown paper bag.
2. Put the paper into a circle edge paper punch, and follow the punch’s package instructions to create a doily. We used a flower arches attachment to create the border shown.
3. Use a fine-tip marker to label the doily.
4. Paper Bag Faceted Vases
No one will know that a brown paper bag is the visual base for these gorgeous vessels!
1. Click here to download the vase templates. We designed them to fit around 7 ½-inch-tall and 10-inch-tall cylindrical vases. Print the templates and cut them out.
2. For each vase, cut out a piece of a brown paper bag that is a little larger than the template. Lay it flat with the template on top. Score the lines on the template using a ruler and a bone folder to make impressions on the paper. Using a pencil, trace around the edges of the template onto the paper, and cut it out.
3. Paint random triangles inside the scored lines on the paper with crafts paint. Brush white glue onto a few triangles, and sprinkle with gold glitter. Let dry.
4. To create the faceted look, fold all the diagonal lines into mountain folds (see Fig. A below). Then fold the horizontal lines into valley folds (see Fig. B below).
5. Wrap the paper around the vase, and secure it with double-sided tape where the ends overlap.