Frugal Thanksgiving

November 19, 2010 10:05:51 AM PST
Do-It-Yourself craft and home décor expert for the creatively challenged who can provide easy crafts and tips for a frugal and green Thanksgiving holiday. Sandy Sandler has some simple and budget-friendly crafts and home décor projects.

"Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be with your family and realize your many blessings," Sandy says. "You do not have to spend money on decorations and family activities to have a glorious day. With a little creativity you can have a splendid festive frugal Thanksgiving Day."

This Thanksgiving season, Sandy has outlined some ideas to be thankful as a family from recommended activities to frugal decorating projects for the kids to Thanksgiving dinner budget tips. To learn more, visit: www.C4K555.org.

DECORATING PROJECTS (shown on the air)
Nature Walk Centerpiece
- This is the perfect easy inexpensive fall table centerpiece. Begin by taking a nature walk and have children search for their favorite small branches. Take the branches home and add extra color with little dots of paint. Place the branches into a mason jar adorned with a fall themed bow.

Nature Walk Serving Tray - Take a nature walk with your children and have them take pictures along the way. Decoupage their photographs onto a wooden tray either purchased at a craft store or using an old re-purposed one.
Terra Cotta Pot - This fun table decoration can also be used as a candy dish. Make a turkey's face by covering a wooden spoon with craft foam. Next attach a foam strip around the edge of a terra cotta pot, insert feathers along the inside of the foam, and glue on the turkey's face. This craft also makes a great hostess gift. Click here for instructions
Turkey Fan - This easy craft is made by folding paper into a fan shape, attaching a clothes pin at the bottom to hold the fan upright, lastly covering a wooden spoon in craft foam for the turkey's head. Click here for instructions
Painted Pumpkins - Pumpkins are not just for Halloween they are also perfect for Thanksgiving. Paint fall leaves onto the pumpkins and add a bow to the top. They can even be used as placesetters!
Turkey Placesetter with Cork - This very easy placecard is made using recycled cork, feathers, and pipe cleaners to form a turkey. The guest's name can then be placed onto the turkey or even a photo of the guest can be featured for increased personalization. Click here for instructions
Gourds with Tealights - Parents cut a hole the size of a tealight. Place the tealight inside of the gourd and add a bow to the end of the gourd. The gourds are the perfect fall decoration?the tealights and bow add an extra fun flare.
Canning Jars with Candy - Use recycled canning jars and fill them with candy. Add a fabric top and a bow for the perfect hostess gift.

THANKSGIVING DINNER ON A BUDGET

1. Make a meal plan. A meal plan is extremely helpful when making your grocery list. It stops you from buying more food than you actually need. This also helps with coupons and coordinating with upcoming sales.
2. Shop the sales. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving Day grocery stores start to have great sales and in-store promotions. For an even bigger savings; match the store sales with manufactures' coupons for twice the savings! Also, don't forget to check the stores and manufacturers online coupons! Many stores even have electronic coupons that will be automatically loaded to your frequent shopping card.
3. Ask guests to bring side dishes or dessert. Guests never mind bringing food. It lets them feel like they are contributing to the dinner. It cuts down on your cost, cooking time, and lets you have more time to socialize.
4. Make it yourself. Instead of buying pre-made, make your own. It is very easy to make your own biscuits, pies, stuffing, and side dishes. Freshly baked food is usually more nutritional, has no preservatives, and is often half the price. NOTE: Sandy can provide a great frozen chocolate mousse recipe for dessert that even the kids can make!

THANKSGIVING WITH KIDS: DECORATING PROJECTS & FAMILY ACTIVITIES
By Sandy Sandler

I have some Do-It-Yourself tips to make this Thanksgiving even more blessed. Frugal, creative and green are this season's theme, even if you are creatively challenged. These ideas are budget friendly, so anyone can do them. I hope these ideas spark some inspiration to make at least one of these crafty creations for your Thanksgiving this year.

Get The Kids Involved with these Frugal Decorations:
(Free step-by-step instructions with photos are available at Crafters 4 Kids)
Indian Corn Decoration - Children will have so much fun making this project! Tear strips of tissue paper and then clump them into small balls. Attach the tissue paper to yellow cardstock with craft glue. Complete with adding raffia at the bottom of the corn for the final touch and easy hanging.
Thanksgiving Terra Cotta Pot Decoration - This fun table decoration can also be used as a candy dish. Make a turkey's face by covering a wooden spoon with craft foam. Next attach a foam strip around the edge of a terra cotta pot, insert feathers along the inside of the foam, and glue on the turkey's face. This craft also makes a great hostess gift.
Thanksgiving Turkey Fan Decoration - This easy craft is made by folding paper into a fan shape, attaching a clothes pin at the bottom to hold the fan upright, lastly covering a wooden spoon in craft foam for the turkey's head.
Thanksgiving Turkey Card - Send family members a Thanksgiving Invite. Children can make the invite easily by covering wooden spoons with craft foam into the shape of a turkey.
Turkey Placecard Setting - This very easy placecard is made using recycled cork, feathers, and pipe cleaners to form a turkey. The guest's name can then be placed onto the turkey or even a photo of the guest for increased personalization.
Turkey Handprint - Grab some brown construction paper and help your children trace their hand prints on it. Cut their handprints out and let them draw a face for the turkey on the thumb. They can creatively color the "feathers" and add some glitter glue for a festive spark.
Glam Leaves - Get some foam sheets that have adhesive backs and cut several leaf shapes out. Add some rhinestones and glitter to the sticky side (nice and clean ? no glue necessary!) and hang them up with a ribbon.

FAMILY THANKSGIVING ACTIVITIES

Building upon the idea of grace and encouraging children to be thankful for even the simple things in life are lessons that will stay with them over the course of their lives. When you do activities to teach (and remind) them about being thankful, you are giving them essential building blocks for future endeavors as well as showing them how very blessed they are right now
"Thankful Tree" - Draw a tree full of branches on construction paper and cut it out. Draw and cut out about 10 to 20 construction paper leaves. Have each family member write something that they are thankful for on each leaf. Create your "Thankful tree" by placing the leaves on the tree. When they see it on paper, your family will feel so thankful for the blessings that they have.
Take a Nature Walk - After the big Thanksgiving dinner, spend time with family and children outside, walking. Enjoy identifying the different types of trees by their leaves and be sure to take lots of pictures ? later on, you can turn the pictures into homemade holiday cards and gifts.
Play a Game - Gather the whole family and play an all-time favorite game. It can be a board game or an active game like Pictionary.

For more creative ideas, visit www.C4K555.org to download free projects at Crafters 4 Kids.

About the Author

Sandy Sandler is founder of non-profit Crafters 4 Kids and creator of the QVC best-seller, the Bowdabra. Her frugal craft projects and activity ideas are designed to transform the creatively-challenged into creative pros. Sandy's focus is on creative and easy projects that parents can do with their kids and that kids can even do on their own that are both frugal and green in nature. Crafters 4 Kids focuses on projects that can be done under 5 minutes and under $5. Visit www.C4K555.org. Contact Sandy at jaimevivre@mac.com

Frugal Decorations - Get the little Kids Involved:
(Free step-by-step instructions with photos are available at www.C4K555.org):

  • Adorable cork turkey name cards
  • Turn a popcorn popper into a turkey
  • Fall Wreath
  • Terra cotta turkey treat holder
  • Turkey fan decoration
  • Turkey card for friends or to send to your guests
  • Other Frugal Home Décor Projects for Thanksgiving Include:
    Turkey Handprint: Have your children trace their hands on construction paper. Cut out their hand prints and have them draw a turkey face on their thumb cut-out.
    Glam Leaves: Cut leaf shapes out of foam sheets with adhesive backs. Attach rhinestones and glitter to the sticky side (no glue needed). Hang with a ribbon.
    Original Thanksgiving Decorations: Cool Indian corn décor you can make with tissue paper and construction paper.

    FAMILY THANKSGIVING ACTIVITIES

    1. "Thankful Tree". Draw and cut out a tree full of tree branches. Cut out 10 to 20 leaves. Ask your family to write what they are thankful for on each leaf. Place the leaves on your "Thankful Tree". Your family will feel so blessed when they see all they have to be thankful for.
    2. Take a Nature Walk. Spend time with your children outside walking off your turkey dinner. Identify types of trees by their leaves. Take lots of pictures and you can use these for home made holiday cards and gifts.
    3. Play a game. Before or after your Thanksgiving dinner gather the family around the table and play your favorite card or board game!


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