Porch or Hallway Display
If you can get hold of a block or two of hay this is perfect for the base of your hallway or porch display. If not, cover some boxes with sacking, or a throw or a piece of cloth in a neutral colour and build up from there.
Start with some large pumpkins for instant colour, then add some fun to your harvest display by making vegetable people. Heads can be turnips, pumpkins, gourds or beetroots, and arms and legs can be suggested by cucumbers, carrots, parsnips or corn. The bodies can be large parsnips, melons, anything you have to hand. You could make mini ones for a table or almost child sized for a kitchen, garden room or porch. Terracotta pots make great hats or boots to finish off the look and of course flowerpot men made completely from terracotta pots wired or stacked together with wheat or corn poking out of the top one for hair always look fantastic and itís a good way to store pots that you wonít need again until next Spring.
Using the abundance of nature at this time of year can make for some unusual containers for seasonal floral arrangements too. You can push pieces of florists foam into holes made in pumpkins or gourds or try hollowing out crinkly cabbages, or gourds and stuffing them with pre soaked florists foam before arranging a selection of berries, grasses, seed heads, curly willow, wired tiny pumpkins, oranges, pomegranates or whatever you can get your hands on.
Another way to make ordinary containers special is to wrap a couple of strips of double sided tape around a plain vase or simple jar and stick on overlapping fallen leaves, twigs, or even vegetables. Secure these with a raffia, string or green gardenerís twine bow, before filling with your chosen arrangement.
Use fallen leaves as a base for a decoration that runs down the middle of your table. I would recommend that you use paper underneath just in case any moisture left in the leaves damages a polished table top. Then add twigs, or small branches, acorns, cones and an abundance of fruits and vegetables interspersed with candles for a sumptuous look.
A row of apples along the centre of a table with just enough of the apple carved out to drop in a tea light candle looks magnificent and costs hardly anything but a steady hand. For upright candles a core remover can help take out enough of the apple to keep a candle securely in place.
Vine wreaths or the lighter coloured bamboo variety are available quite inexpensively at floristís supply shops. Use whatever you have to hand, wheat, corn, dried or silk flowers in appropriate colours and hot glue to the base wreath before adding a raffia or paper ribbon bow.
Wreaths made entirely of wired on pine cones wrapped with gingham ribbon look very good at this time of year and with a change of ribbon to something more glamorous will do duty for Christmas too.
If you do not have or cannot afford to buy bases for wreaths make some from cardboard. First draw around a large plate, then draw around a smaller plate. Cut out the hole in the middle. Add some batting, wadding or any padding that you can find then cover this with a fabric remnant before hot gluing cones, fruits or any other harvest decorations and a large bow to the wreath. Children may enjoy just painting the cardboard wreaths and sticking fallen leaves all the way around.
You can also make a pretty leaf garland by pressing leaves in a heavy book or telephone directory for a few days and then stringing them together with invisible thread or gold thread to drape or wind anywhere that you need a little extra colour.
Kidís crafts make the most charming harvest decorations of all. Use the Internet to find ideas for fun projects, Kidís Domain Thanksgiving Crafts at http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/_Thanks.html has good ones, as does Childfun Thanksgiving Crafts at http://www.childfun.com/themes/thanks_craft.shtml If you need more ideas just put Thanksgiving crafts into a search engine and you are sure to find plenty to keep creative fingers busy. Then try to find the time to make memories by sitting around the table with your kids enjoying cutting and gluing and laughing and giving thanks for each other!