In my family, we’ve always approached Thanksgiving with a heavy dose of tradition. There’s welcoming the day with the Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is quickly followed by switching to whatever football game is being broadcast. There’s the ceremonial turkey pat before putting it in the oven. The 1000 piece puzzle that is put together over the course of the day-turned weekend (which is being challenged, now that we have multiple little thief-y fingers in the house). The vulture-esque (as it’s been called) descent on the Turkey, upon it’s being taken out of the oven. The same deliciously rich meal, much of which are recipes that my parents ate at their family Thanksgivings. And the simple but special touch of name cards, which add a little formality to an otherwise relaxed holiday.
Over the years, nearly everyone has taken a turn in making name cards, which has created quite an eclectic collection. While we oftentimes pull from that collection, I usually find myself thinking up new options each year. This year I was inspired by simple craftiness, meaning low supplies and time commitment. Whether it’s ten minutes with paper, pen and words of gratitude, a nature walk to collect leaves to write on, or personalizing a napkin to be sent home with your guests. If you’re still on the hunt for some easy options, I hope that you may find something that you like here!
Materials: collected leaves (it’s a great reason to get some fresh air!), Sharpie Paint Pen
Steps: Cut out a shape of a leaf (either loosely, or by folding the paper in half length wise). On the front, write the guests name and any additional design. On the back, write a reason or two on why you are thankful for that guest. Fold the paper accordion-style. When your guests sit down to dinner, invite them to read the back of their name card – what better way to start your Thanksgiving meal than to read words of love and appreciation.
Materials: Napkins – or fabric to make your own, scissors, cardboard, wax paper, Clorox Bleach Pen
Steps: I used this tutorial to guide me. Note on napkins – I made my own by cutting 9″x9″ squares and fraying the edges. If you decide to do the same, I would recommend sewing around the edges (1/4″ from edge) to secure the fabric from unraveling too much. If you are looking for a more refined napkin, there are some great tutorials online.