Handmade Holidays: Thanksgiving 2014

We had a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year with one friend as our guest. While the elaborate cooking always makes it feel like a celebration, I wanted to dress things up a little. My new focus on the handmade life had me watching for the things we did ourselves.

First off, I took the time to make myself an apron. Inspired by Marisa Lynch, I bought a strapless dress too small for me to wear at a thrift shop because I loved the roses on it. Right from the start, I intended to make it into an apron, but I only sat down and tackled it this week.

The strapless dress I started with.
The strapless dress I started with.
The apron I made for it. (Festive!)
The apron I made from it.

I also wanted the table to look festive. I bought flowers from a local florist and put them in a handmade vase that was given to me as a gift.

We own a beautiful batik tablecloth, but it’s dyed with indigo, and somehow dark blue doesn’t really go with a harvest color scheme. Then I remembered that one of my unfinished quilts is a maple leaf quilt in harvest colors. It was too big for the table, so I folded the edges under. I love how it made the table look. Best of all, my place mats went with it as if I’d been planning this all along.

The table cloth is an unfinished quilt top. I love how it looks!
The table cloth is an unfinished quilt top. I love how it looks!

The cooking of the Thanksgiving Day meal can be a great place to practice the handmade life. My husband did most of the cooking this year. Everything we ate was homemade. All of the foods met my strict dietary needs, from stuffing without any grains in it, to baked apples without any sugar added. It was all super delicious!

cranberrySauce
Sauce made from whole cranberries and apple juice concentrate. Tart but yummy.
turkey
Our bird, full of grain-free stuffing.

While our group was small, the carefully made food and attention to aesthetic details did make it feel like a party. I felt a quiet joy throughout the day that tells me my Thanksgiving day celebration was a success.

Did you do anything to personalize your holiday this year? What handmade touches did you add to the festivities?

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

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