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Ask A Bay Area Expert: Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids

Thanksgiving Crafts (credit: Thinkstock)

With a successful first year under their belts, owners Hope and Pete Colling are delighted to have brought their dream to life: a quaint little neighborhood shop where they mingle with customers and display their made-with-love items. Sharing inspired and crafty ideas for home décor and personal style is part of the formula that makes The Mason Jar and its sister shop, Marmalade, into local magnets. Champagne and small bites help creative juices flow when Hope and Pete hold one of their fun after-hours sessions of craft instruction at The Mason Jar, with DIY enthusiasts spilling out into the patio garden, chatting and comparing notes on newly handmade treasures.

Hope Colling, The Mason Jar (Credit, Marmalade)

Hope Colling
The Mason Jar
2149 Union St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 638-6964

Hope has original Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids that bring the outdoors in and get children involved with preparing the dinner table while emphasizing things to be thankful for. "You can definitely gather up and store the leaves a few days early," Hope suggests. "Place them between the pages of hardcover books so they dry flat, otherwise the ends will curl up and break apart when you try to glue them down. Leaf Lanterns are my favorite because you can place them along your steps or path outside, or as a child's night light -- there are so many fun ways to use them!"

Leaf Lanterns

Make lovely centerpieces for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Create a leaf decoupage using a liquid glue that works best when painted on with a brush made from a foam spatula. Simply gather colorful leaves from the garden, cover the outside of a mason jar by sticking them on and then drop a battery-operated tea light candle inside.

Thanksgiving Tree

This works beautifully as a natural centerpiece decoration that reminds everyone of the spirit of the holiday. Find a small branch and place it in a bud vase. Have the kids cut out oval-shaped leaves from colorful construction paper, writing on each leaf something or someone they feel thankful for. Attach the leaves to the branch with double-sided tape and you're done. Conversation will flow.

Pumpkin Place Cards

Who's coming for dinner? Paint small pumpkins and gourds with chalkboard paint. After it's dry, write each guest's name with chalk and place it in front of their seat at the table. It's a simple and fun idea, which guests will want to take home to display.

Autumn "Snow Globe"

Find a small twig. Using hot glue, attach the bottom of it to the inside lid of a mason jar so it resembles a small tree. Add pieces of metallic confetti in fall colors to the jar, then fill the jar with tap water. Screw on the lid with the 'tree,' flip it upside down and give it a shake and watch the confetti look like leaves falling from and around the tree.

Pine Cone Bird Feeders

Tie a piece of yarn or twine around the top of a pine cone. Then, cover it with peanut butter and drop it into a large ziplock bag full of birdseed. Seal it tightly and give it a good shake until the pine cone is completely covered. Use the yarn to hang the pine cone off a branch in a nearby tree so the kids can watch birds feed from it.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she's writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on


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