Set the Table with 9 Thanksgiving DIYs

If you find yourself playing host this holiday, you've likely slaved over the perfect turkey, casserole, and dessert combination with menu prep that dates weeks ahead of time. So as you set the table for your family and friends to feast, give special attention to the small, thoughtful details that complement your hard work. These nine handmade table toppers—napkins, place tags, centerpieces, and more—can be made in a fraction of the time it takes to bake the day's turkey. The best part: Effort put into any these ideas can last well past the end of the holiday season, as these entertaining endeavors are adaptable to almost any occasion.

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  1. For Any Way You Slice It


    What a charming way to display your favorite fromages—and an equally thoughtful serving setup for guests who prefer to identify their food before taking a bite. Make your own chalkboard cheese platter with only three materials: a wood slab, chalkboard paint, and a non-toxic clear coating.

  2. Chevron Chic


    Your table will be "en vogue" when graced with a striking chevron runner. Once you've cut and hemmed your fabric (with glue, a delightful bonus for us non-sewing types), the runner is ready for its painted embellishments. The pattern can be made with a stencil or painters tape.

  3. Kindled Copper


    For an intricate centerpiece with assembly that's actually easy, consider a copper candle holder. This one is hand-soldered, but you can recreate the look by simply interlocking a variety of copper pipe and fittings. Don't be afraid to get creative: straight pipe, elbows, adapters, and caps shape up in a myriad of combinations.

  4. Chips Off The Old Block


    Turn scrap wood into a work of art that doubles as a kitchen workhorse. Trim a variety of wood pieces to equal lengths, then join them with a waterproof glue and clamp overnight. In the morning, give your new striped cutting board a light sanding and apply food-safe finish, such as mineral oil.

  5. Concrete Ideas


    Here's a rock-solid technique for making your own coasters and trivets: Mold concrete into round slabs using deep lids from old plastic containers. Want a more decorative look? Start with a layer of crushed glass before you pour the concrete.

  6. A Spoonful of Thanks


    Give unused spoons a second chance on the dinner table—as decorative napkin rings. First, pound the silverware's ends flat with a rubber mallet, then use the tool to hammer in metal letter stamps (available at craft stores) for a special message. Finally, bend the length of the spoon and fit around a folded napkin.

  7. Trim is In


    Simple colored trim adds personality to ordinary napkins. To make, pair linen with your favorite fabric and cut both into squares: 16" wide in the linen and 18" in the trim fabric. Then center one on top of the other and fold over the trim to stitch (by hand or machine), following these instructions from The Purl Bee.

  8. Fun Family Tree


    This holiday, create a literal family tree to showcase familiar faces in a whimsical centerpiece. Photos are cut into leaf shapes, then glued to a wire for wrapping around branches. Once you've gathered the whole clan, they can rest happily in a vase filled with decorative pebbles or stones.

  9. Perfect Placeholders


    Make sure everyone can spot their seat with a photo placeholder. Scan pictures into your computer so you can apply a sepia filter. Then print and attach to 18-gauge floral wire for adhering to them stems of seasonal produce like petite pumpkins, small seckel pears, or apples.

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