The Thanksgiving table can get very crowded. What with the turkey, side dishes, gravy, and sauces, there’s no place for anyone to actually sit down and eat! I solved this problem long ago by setting up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table for all the food and having an adult table as well as a kids’ table.
Depending on the space you have and the number of guests you are expecting this could take some doing. You might consider setting up different stations or bars; appetizer, sides, desserts, and drinks; or any combination there of. If you’re limited on space your stations may have to do double duty after dinner; appetizer station can be converted to dessert bar.
You may have to think out of the box and re-purpose furniture pieces to hold food and tableware. You will more than likely have to rearrange furniture to accomplish your goal. However you decide to set up the meal it will require advance planning, so much easier to move furniture without a ton of guests milling around.
Here are a few tips to help you set up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table.
1. Plan your serveware. Know ahead of time what dishes you will be using. I usually do this as soon as I’ve planned my menu, making a note beside each dish what I will be serving it in. Be creative, make your buffet interesting by adding height, this also creates space.
I love tiered stands and racks, but you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them. Stands can easily be made from dollar store items with very little time and effort. Check out Savvy Nana’s DIY Hurricane Vases & Lamps to learn how to make your own tiered stands.
You can also stack platters on upside down stemware or bowls to create height. Or use books or boxes wrapped in pretty paper. If you don’t have time to wrap books or boxes, just place them where you want them on the table and cover everything with a large tablecloth. You can even set Plates on pumpkins to create varying heights
For some great ideas on how to set a buffet table watch Kid’s Smart Living‘s video tutorial
A table in the middle of the room allows several guest access to the table at the same time, in this case taller dishes should be placed in the middle of the table. If the table needs to be set up against the wall meaning it will be front serving then taller dishes should be in the back.
2. Once you know which serving pieces you will be using you need to decide what you’re going to put them on. Breakfast tables, sideboards, baking racks, kitchen islands and counters work well as long as at least 2 people can serve themselves at the same time without blocking the way for everyone else. You may have to move furniture to accommodate the this traffic and arrange your serving ware accordingly.
Consider setting out trays of appetizers on coffee tables and end tables in the living or family rooms. This frees up space on the buffet table for the main event.
If you don’t have enough room on the table for plates and eating utensils consider setting up another table, shelf or rack to place them on.
Dinner plates stacked neatly on a chair will work![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
Make use of all the flat surfaces in your house. Setting up a bar on the mantle works well![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
3. Keep eating utensils neat and within reach by placing them in mason or apothecary jars, or on trays.
4. Decorate your buffet or bar with centerpieces and even a backdrop. You don’t need table cards but they’re a nice touch as is a framed photo or sign. You can hand write your own on card stock or use one of these printable.
Quilting and sewing are skills that you can use to come up with amazing fabric designs. For instance, you can apply these skills to create a self-healing fabric. This is a fabric that is quite useful in architecture, among other fields. However, for you to make such amazing stuff, you need to gain the right fabric cutting skills. To help you out, here are the 4 easy tips for cutting fabric for quilting or sewing.
1. Get the right tools
For you to cut quilting or sewing fabric, you need to invest in the right tools. Otherwise, you will cut fabric in a way that doesn’t meet your requirements, for the end product you wish to make. One of the best ways to get the right tools is to make use of reviews. Reviews give you an idea of what others are saying about a specific product. They also help out with price comparisons to help you buy the best fabric-cutting tools. For instance, a review like www.quiltersreview.com is quite detailed and has variety in the tools reviewed, including mats. Checking it out can save you lots of money and time.
2. Start with the largest fabric
To have an easy time cutting fabric, start with the largest one. This will give you a perspective on things like colors, size, and shape of the end product. Once you have cut the largest fabric, which is also the outer layer, it becomes much easier to make patterns with the smaller pieces of fabric that are overlaid on it. To avoid costly mistakes, ensure that you get all the measurements right, before you embark on cutting it.
3. Get rid of the selvage
Selvages have no use in the sewing or quilting process. They are simply a part of the fabric as produced by the manufacturer. In fact, they tend to be tighter than the rest of the fabric, which makes them impractical to work with. For a perfect end product, get rid of them before you start quilting or sewing whatever product you wish to make. However, get the right skills first before you cut it off. You can get such information online, and avoid making a mistake that could ruin the entire fabric.
4. Fold the fabric right before cutting
Once you have the right fabric, and have removed the selvage, it is time to cut the fabric. To get it right, fold the fabric once. Do not overdo the folds as this could lead to errors when cutting. For a perfect cut, hold the fabric as close to you as possible. This will help you get the right angle, and most importantly, have the cut run straight. Holding the fabric away from you means you will not have a good view of the ruler line, which is an essential guide to properly cutting the fabric.
If you follow these tips, you should be in a position to make amazing products from any type of fabric. It will be fun, especially after you build up experience in cutting fabric.
Halloween is fast approaching, decking out your home in ghostly glory is half the fun. Who says you have to break your budget to have an awesome Halloween display. With a little creativity, items you probably already have at home, and a quick trip to the dollar store you too can have some ghoulish fun to fit any budget. Here are some awesome Halloween Decor made from dollar store finds!
Take a trip to the Dollar Store for some witches hats and other gruesome stuff for this Halloween Decor.
Floating witch’s hats, like these from brooklynlimestone.com , creepy crawly spiders, spooky skeletons, and bloody hands are no problem. With a bit of fishing line, some tape, black paper, twigs, paint, and some imagination your “haunted” house is sure to get raves from friends and family.
Here’s another cheap Halloween Decor idea using dollar store spiders!
Have plastic spiders crawl on doors and walls. To see more creepy ideas check out my blog about decorating with glow sticks.
Halloween is tomorrow! Many yards are decked out in their spooky glory. In my daughter’s Sierra Vista neighborhood there seems to be a competition among neighbors. Last year we saw some very creative Halloween decor, from growling monsters lurking in the bushes to ghoulish creatures dangling from tree branches. Awesome displays that I’m sure came with a hefty price tag.
A trip to the Halloween store showed us just how expensive some decorations can be. Fog machines, life size monsters, animated zombies, gobo lights and stencils, and other high tech gadgets can cost well over $200 a piece. It’s great that there are folks out there who take the time and spend money to decorate their yards for everyone to enjoy, to them I am grateful. But what about the rest of us who don’t have the time or a big budget? Are we doomed to a lonely pumpkin sitting on our doorstep? I say “NO”!
Here are some cool idea that are easy to make with dollar store items and stuff you probably already have at home or can get a hold of for little cost. You may not win the best Halloween decor contest, but your yard will look pretty awesome without breaking the bank.
Hide spooky eyes in the bushes. Learn how to make these eyes you using glow sticks and toilet paper rolls from The Connection We Share here.
Have ghostly heads coming “thru” your front door. This is a great idea from Sherri Foxman. Activate your glow stick and put it in the balloon. Inflate and tie a knot. Using a black marker draw the face. Tape to your front door and turn off the lights.
Hang ghost from tree branches. Same steps as ghostly heads but make sure the knot is on top of the head. Cover with cheese cloth, add a string and you’re done. Spooky idea from Simply Creative Insanity.
Glowing hands in your pond, in the bushes, hanging from trees, or anywhere you want. Activate glow stick, insert in a latex glove, inflate and tie knot at end of glove. Place where you want, if you are hanging them on a tree add a string, fishing line works well, to the knot.
Glowing monster heads found on Sassygirlz.net. Learn how to make these using plastic disposable cups, markers, and tea lights, (you can use glow sticks instead if you prefer).
Hang spooky balls from trees. Put a glow stick in a balloon, you can use any color glow stick and balloon. Fill with water. Put water balloon in a stocking and hang. Instructions from Fun Holiday Crafts here.
Line the driveway with glowing jack-o-lanterns or ghost. You can use dollar store plastic pumpkins or make your own ghosts using empty plastic milk jugs. Insert glow sticks and you’re done. You can also use strings of lights or tea lights. I prefer glow sticks, it’s easier, no need to worry about plugs or batteries.
Dress up as a witch and stir your bubbling caldron. You can use a witch cut out instead if you prefer. Buy a plastic caldron from Walmart, put dry ice in it (use gloves and tongs when handling dry ice). When you’re ready to “bubble” fill with warm water. You can use this idea to serve punch at a party, but DO NOT put dry ice directly into the punch. To learn how to use dry ice safely with drinks click here. Add a green glow stick for an eerie glow.
Use dry ice to create spooky scenes. To learn how to safely use dry ice and how much you need click here.
To learn how to make your own dry ice here’s a YouTube video. I wouldn’t recommend you make your own, you can buy dry ice from some grocery stores and propane companies. Find out where to buy it in your area soon, you may have to reserve dry ice, it’s in high demand during Halloween.
Last year my toddler grandson, Jett, dressed up as a “Chick Magnet”; I made him a chick costume and his parents made him a “magnet” to carry around or wear around his waist. This costume earned him an honorable mention in their local costume contest.
This year in keeping with this play on words we decided to dress him up as “Eye Candy”. The eye part was easy, but it took us a while to decide what type of candy he should be and what it should be made of. In the end we thought candy corn was appropriate for a little boy and that a crocheted sweater will work instead of the sack dresses we saw online, those were just too girly.
So I crocheted him a hat, which he could actually wear any time with or without the “eye” and this sweater. I show the fringe on the hat both braided and unbraided, either way is cute. The sweater can be worn later by removing the “eyes” or even for Thanksgiving by replacing the “eyes” with a turkey applique.
The pattern I have here is for a size 2T sweater and a child’s hat that will fit a 20″ head circumference.
I used a large hook size so it didn’t take long to make.
Hook Size K 6.50mm
#4 yarn in Yellow, Orange, White, Black, Brown, Gray
2ch counts as 1 hdc.
Ch 2 with white
Rd. 1: 7 sc in 2nd. ch from hook (7)
Rd. 2: Ch2, hdc in same st, *hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next st,* repeat *, join (10)
Rd. 3: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts, 2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2hdc in next st, join (14)
Rd. 4: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts, *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts,* repeat * 1 time, 2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2, join (18)
Rd. 5: Ch2, hdc in same st, *hdc in next 4 sts, 2hdc in next st,* repeat * 2 times, hdc in next 2 sts (21)
Rd. 6: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2*, repeat * around join, (28)
Rd. 7: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts*, repeat * around, join (35)
Rd. 8: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 4 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 4 sts*, repeat* around, join (42) – Change to Orange yarn on last st.
Rd. 9: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 5 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 5 sts, * repeat * around, join (49)
Rds. 10- 19: Ch2, hdc in each st around (49) – Change to Yellow yarn at the end of Rd. 17, continue same for Rounds 18 & 19. Do not fasten off you will work first earflap – slst in next 6 stitches and continue as follows:
Row 1: Ch2, hdc in next 13 sts, ch 2, turn (14 hdc, chain 2 counts as 1hdc)
Row 2: hdc2tog, hdc in next 9 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (12)
Row 3: hdc in each st, ch 2, turn (12)
Row 4: hdc2tog, hdc in next 7 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (10)
Row 5: hdc in each st, ch 2, turn (10)
Row 6: hdc2tog, hdc in next 5 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (8)
Row 7: hdc in each st, ch 2, turn (8)
Row 8: hdc2tog, hdc in next 3 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (6)
Row 9: hdc2tog, hdc in next st, hdc2tog, fasten off (4)
Count 12 stitches across front of hat, join yellow yarn to next st and repeat rows 1-9 above, but do not fasten off. Ch 1, sc around the hat, join to the first sc, fasten off.
Tassels: make 2
Cut (4) strands of orange, yellow, white 10″ long. Fold strands over to form a loop at the top. Take a small strand of orange yarn and slip it thru the loop and knot. You will use this to tie tassel to earflap. Take another strand of orange yarn and wind it to the top of the yarn strands about 1/2″ from the loop. You will now have a tassel. Repeat then tie tassels on to the middle of the earflap. Trim ends or braid then trim ends.
Hook size F 3.75mm
With black yarn Ch 2
Rd. 1: 6sc in 2nd. ch from hook, join – switch to brown yarn (6)
Rd. 2: ch 1,sc in same st, *2 sc in each st*, repeat * around, join – switch to white yarn (12)
Rd. 3: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next st, *2sc in next st, sc in next st*, repeat * around join (18)
Rd. 4: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 2 sts, *2sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts*, repeat * around, join (24)
Rd. 5: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 3 sts, *2sc in next st, sc in next 3 sts*, repeat * around, join (30)
Rd. 6: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 4 sts, *2sc in next st, sc in next 4 sts*, repeat* around, join (36) fasten off leaving 6″ tail for stitching
Hook size F
With yellow yarn Ch 2
Rd. 1: 6 sc in 2nd. ch from hook, join (6)
Rd. 2: Ch 2, hdc in same st, *2hdc in each st*, repeat* around, join (12)
Rd. 3: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next st, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next st*, repeat * around, join (18)
Rd. 4: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts*, repeat* around, join (24)
Rd. 5: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts*, repeat* around, join (30)
Rd. 6: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hadc in next 4 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 4sts*, repeat * around, join (36) fasten off leaving 6″ tail for sewing
Sew inner eye into outer eye. Sew finished eye to the middle of the front of the hat.
Sweater: Size 2 will fit chest size 21″ Size K hook. Ch 2 counts as 1 dc
Row 1: With yellow yarn – ch 41. Hdc in 3rd. chain from hook and in each stitch across, turn (40hdc)
Row 2: Ch 2, *fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st* repeat * across, dc in last st, turn (40 dc)
Rows 3-5: Repeat Row 2 (40 dc)
Row 6: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn (40sc)
Row 7 – 8: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (40dc) – change to orange at the end of row 8
Rows 9 – 26 repeat row 7 (40 dc) – change to white at the end of row 26
Row 27: Repeat row 7 (40dc)
Row 28: Slst in first 4 sts, ch 2, dc in next 31 sts, leave remaining sts unworked, turn (32dc)
Row 29 – 41: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (32dc),
After row 41 you will start the first shoulder
Row 1: Ch 2, dc in next 4 sts, turn – leave remaining sts unworked (5dc)
Row 2-3: repeat Row 1 – fasten off
With right side facing you count 5 sts from opposite end, join yarn to next st and repeat 3 rows of first shoulder
Work same as the back up to row 35
Row 36 will start first shoulder as follows:
Row 1: Ch 2, dc in next 8 sts, turn – leave remaining sts unworked (9dc)
Row 2: Slst first 2 sts, ch 2 in next st, dc in remaining sts, turn (7dc)
Row 3: Ch 2, dc in next 4 sts, turn – leave remaining sts. unworked (5dc)
Row 4 – 11: Ch 2, dc in next 4 sts, turn fasten off
With right side facing you count 9 sts from opposite end, join yarn to next st and repeat 11 rows of first shoulder
Sleeves: Make 2
Row 1: With Yellow chain 37. Hdc in 3rd, ch from hook and in each stitch across ( 36hdc)
Row 2: Ch 2, *fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st* repeat * across, dc in last st, turn (36 dc)
Rows 3-5: Repeat Row 2 (36 dc)
Row 6: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn (36 sc) Change to orange at the end of the row
Row 7 – 31: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (36dc) change to white at the end of row 25
Row 32: Ch 2, dc in same st, dc in each st across, 2dc in last st, turn (38dc)
Row 33: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (38dc) fasten off
With yarn needle and right sides facing stitch front and back together at shoulder.
Stitch sleeves in body by fitting sleeves into the armholes – see picture
Stitch sleeve seams and side seams together. I matched the yarn color to the color blocks on the sweater and sleeves.
Neck line trim:
Attach white yarn to one shoulder at the neckline. Hdc in each stitch around, join to the first hdc.
Rd. 1: Ch 2, *fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st* repeat * around, dc in last st, join
Next round: Repeat round 1, join and fasten off. Weave all ends securely.
Make inner eye same as for the hat but fasten off after round 4 (24sc)
Make outer eye in gray same as for had but fasten off after round 4 (24hdc)
I made 6 eyes and attached to the front of the sweater, but you can make however many eyes you want.
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My daughter, Jaime, made what she calls her Fall Wreath decorated with mini pumpkins, silk leaves, and her initial, the letter “V” covered in burlap. She used a wire wreath form and knotted on tulle ribbon in fall colors.
She decided this wreath will hang on her door from now thru Thanksgiving.
She had some leftover silk leaves and tulle ribbon so she glued the leaves on a mason jar, tied a bow, and made a fall candle holder.
My daughter Jenny made this adorable Witch Hat for Halloween. She used tulle ribbon knotted on to a wire wreath form and tied on the witch hat and legs she found at Walmart.
I made this fall wreath last year using a wire wreath form and mesh material. I used zip ties to secure the mesh on to the frame. For step by step tutorial click here!
If you’ll be using tulle strips or ribbons you just cut strips to the desired length and knot them onto the frame until you reach the desired fullness. Here’s a tutorial that shows how to knot tulle onto a styro-foam form, It’s the same basic idea but when using a wire form you need to tie on more tulle. Click here!
It’s a great time to make fall wreaths. You’ll find a big selection of rolls tulle ribbon at Walmart and most craft stores!