and cards -
with the look of vintage Americana
crafts are all about hospitality: Welcoming decorations for
front door, for the walls and windows, and especially for the table.
Oh, and turkeys, turkeys, turkeys.
The American Victorians
loved Thanksgiving. It became a big 19-century cause,
with Sarah Hale (the Victorian Martha Stewart)
36-year campaign to establish a national Thanksgiving
holiday. That's why vintage images and clip art from the
period strike such a nostalgic tone for us today.
Popular Thanksgiving crafts then as now include door decorations, like
wreaths, sprays and swags. Winter greenery, dried vines, dried herbs
and flowers, Indian corn and fruit are favorite materials - and turkeys
are always appropriate.
Inside, fresh and dried greenery adds harvest atmosphere and scent.
Pumpkins are very appropriate to the holiday, along with fresh or dried
gourds and flowers. Decorative images of Pilgrims and depictions of the
first Thanksgiving are good craft subjects. Oh, and turkeys.
The main focus, of course, is the Thanksgiving table.
Handmade place cards, napkin rings, personalized linens, and
favors are always a sign of hospitality. The table centerpiece can
range from seasonal flowers, like chrysanthemums, to holiday harvest
symbols like a cornucopia brimming with miniature pumpkins, gourds,
fruits and vegetables. The colors of autumn prevail, with pine cones
and dark, spicy candles. Or a turkey will work.
However your creativity is
expressed, Thanksgiving crafts focus on the beauty and bounty of the
season. Making decorative crafts is a wonderful way to make your day
with family and friends that much more special.
As always, if you need
for your crafts, Joann.com
is online with
fast delivery, and only a click
are a snap with our FREE vintage images and template. Just print and
cut them out, fold, and write your guest's name at the bottom. We have
two images with a boy and girl riding bronco on turkeys!
Make a Thanksgiving Tie
for your favorite turkey-carver! The three vintage images
the evolution of the turkey, from "doing well" to "well-done." This is
the easiest of Thanksgiving crafts, using a cheap tie and an
on transfer sheet.
decoration has all the plush charm of a primitive quilt - but almost
none of the sewing. At the center is a vintage image of a charming
Victorian Pilgrim, printed on fabric. And around him - a simple cross
stitch design that will delight your guests!
are probably the easiest, and classiest craft we have come up with so
far. Paper, scissors, and glue are the prime ingredients, plus one of
the classic vintage images we provide - a proud turkey or a thankful
child at the Thanksgiving table.
Many Symbols of Thanksgiving
research has documented earlier community celebrations in gratitude for
good harvests or deliverance from hardships, history recognizes the
first American Thanksgiving as the three-day feast in October, 1621, at
the Pilgrim colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims,
by Governor William Bradford, invited the chief of the native Wampanoag
Indians, Massasoit, and his tribesmen to join the fifty colonists who
had survived the harsh winter. The menu came from what was on hand,
including wild turkeys, duck, geese, venison, seal, lobsters, clams,
bass, corn, green vegetables, and dried fruits.
Over the next
century, various days of thanksgiving were celebrated in autumn
throughout the thirteen colonies. It wasn't until 1789 that George
Washington declared a national holiday, although it was not established
annually. It took a 36-year, personal campaign by Sarah Hale, the
editor of Ladies
Magazine and Goday's
Lady's Book, to raise public and
political interest that resulted in Abraham Lincoln's 1863 proclamation
establishing the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving.
This proclamation was repeated each year by successive presidents until
1939, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt moved it to the next-to-last
Thursday of November - essentially to lengthen the Christmas shopping
season by a week. As had been true since 1789, the holiday only applied
to the District of Columbia and federal employees, and many states
continued to celebrate Thanksgiving on different days. In
Congress passed a joint resolution decreeing Thanksgiving an annual
national holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.
of Thanksgiving are the images of prosperity, Pilgrims, harvest and
food - usually a turkey. In 1856, the publishing of a 1650 manuscript
by the Pilgrim governor, William Bradford, captured the Victorian
imagination about the first Thanksgiving. His description of the
Pilgrim fortitude and survival, the assistance of the Native Americans,
and the primitive feast, resulted in romanticized illustrations and
depictions that stay with us today. Also associated with the holiday is
the horn-shaped cornucopia, a magical symbol of fertility and abundance
from Greek mythology. Add in pumpkins and the fruit of the fields, and
you have the makings of Thanksgiving.
Did you know...
"In the days of Socrates and Plato, the Greek gods ruled the elements.
Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, would sprinkle the contents of her
cornucopia across the land and the harvest would be abundant...The
cornucopia filled with fruits and vegetables represents wealth and
prosperity. Until the invention of the refrigerator and transportation
systems the success of the harvest was the difference between surviving
the winter or not." From Postmarked
Yesteryear, by Pamela E.
Do you have a favorite
Thanksgiving craft? We would appreciate hearing from you with
or questions. Please, contact
us with a note!