At this time of year, most of us start seeing signs of fall. The trees are changing colors, the temperature is dropping, and the big-box stores display Thanksgiving decorations, although there’s so much Christmas merchandise you’d think it was December already. If your kids are like my youngest daughter, they might enjoy these crafts that could easily be used as a centerpiece during a Thanksgiving meal.
Thankful Tree: The first idea we came up with focused on Thanksgiving and what we’re thankful for, while incorporating our love of firearms. We stepped outside and found a branch a little over a foot long, which was the main item needed. Next, we took a small pail and filled it up with spent brass casings. You can use any container that you have around the house, like a clay pot, glass jar, or something similar.
Place the small branch down in the container so that it will stand up on its own. Using construction paper, my daughter cut out various colors of leaves and then wrote something that she was thankful for on each one. Finally, using a hot glue gun, she put a small dab on each leaf and glued it to the tiny branches. Her “Thankful Tree” was complete! What a great way to focus on our blessings.
Mason Jar Gobbler: The second craft didn’t use a “gun-theme”, but still brought the outdoors inside. Again we went looking outside, this time for a colorful leaf. We have a beautiful maple tree in our front yard, so first we took a look and found a nice, colorful leaf and brought it inside to begin our creation.
My daughter measured the circumference of a small mason jar and then cut a strip of tissue paper to wrap around it. She chose white so that the rest of the design would stand out more, but you can use any color tissue paper desired. Since we didn’t have ModPodge (a waterbase sealer, glue and finish, which can be purchased at craft stores or online) around the house, she poured plain white glue into a bowl and added some water to make it easier to work with. Using a paintbrush, she covered the jar with the glue and then adhered the tissue paper.
When that was dry, she did the same thing with the leaf and stuck it to the jar. Next, she cut out two circles, one smaller than the other, from construction paper to form the turkey’s body and head, similar to a snowman. She also cut a small triangle, that would become the turkey’s beak, and an odd-shaped piece for his wattle. After gluing the body and head on top of the leaf, the turkey took shape. The leaf colors added to the overall look of ‘feathers’. To complete the project, she added wiggly eyes that we got from a craft store and put a small votive candle inside the jar.
Flowers & Shells: The last craft is perfect if you don’t have a lot of time. We picked up a couple small floral bouquets at the local craft store, and found a glass container and shotgun shells at home. We placed the shotgun shells in the container and arranged the floral pieces. That was it. I told you it was easy! It makes a lovely centerpiece and will get your guests talking.
Take advantage of the opportunity to spend some time with your kids during the holidays and create a fun masterpiece or two. What crafty ideas have you done? Feel free to post on social media and tag Women’s Outdoor News so we can see them! Happy Thanksgiving!
Freelance writer Stacy Bright holds instructor certifications from the NRA in Pistol & Rifle, as well as being an Range Safety Officer and Refuse to be a Victim instructor. In addition to her NRA credentials, she also is a Missouri CCW instructor and teaches various other home and personal defense courses. “In a field dominated by men, I feel I bring a unique perspective to firearms and training, especially to women. I'm passionate about educating, empowering and developing confidence in those I train. In November of 2014, I started the Southwest Missouri chapter of The Well Armed Woman,” said Stacy. Stacy lives in southwest Missouri, and has been married for 20 years. Visit TWAW Facebook page: The Well Armed Woman-Springfield, MO Chapter. View all posts by Stacy Bright