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CBS Local — The food may be the highlight of any Thanksgiving dinner table, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some beautiful decor to create an inviting atmosphere. Here are some ideas on how to use the things you already have around the house, could pick up at a dollar store, or even the grocery store to create homemade Thanksgiving party decorations.

Autumn Leaf Table Runner

Collect the prettiest, colorful autumn leaves you can find while they’re still moist and begin to drop during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Press a leaf between two pieces of wax paper, cover with a light towel and iron for a few minutes on both sides. When cool, gently peel off the wax paper and place between the pages of a hardback book for safe keeping. Place them along a plain burlap, linen, or light colored table runner before adding candles, gourds, a bowl of pine cones, or a bouquet of golden chrysanthemums.

Pumpkin Vase

It’s easy to turn a pumpkin into a vase for autumn flowers. Place a Mason jar or cylindrical vase upside down on top of the pumpkin and trace around it with a marker before cutting away the top of the pumpkin. Cut on the outline, taking care not to break the stem. Scoop and discard the pulp, place your container inside the pumpkin, fill with water and add your choice of fall flowers.

Bring some light to the table

Craft a beautiful ambiance by adding some candlelight to your setup. One way to do this simply is to use glass candle jars, fill them with popcorn or Indian corn kernels, and then tie a raffia ribbon—that you can get from the dollar store – around the outside of the jar. This decor is at once rustic but elegant, and can easily complement things such as place settings.

Printed menus

Put the final touch on your Thanksgiving table by crafting a menu and printing off the details on sturdy card stock. Not sure what design to craft? Go online and grab a template or printable to make it super easy—and quick—for you; add in what menu items you’ll be serving, print, and you’re done. Guests will appreciate knowing what comes next in the multi-course meal to make sure they save enough room for everything. Not serving courses? Menus will still be appreciated so guests know how to plan their plate—and how many servings they’ll go back for.

[H/T CBS Los Angeles, CBS Sacramento]

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