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Thanksgiving DIY Craft Project: Gourd Place Cards

by Megan Andersen
craft & maker, featured

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Making a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch requires a ton of backbreaking work and savant-level precision. I’ve done it exactly twice for only three guests and it nearly killed me. Here’s a tip: Phone in your feast this year. I would not blame you. In fact, I would applaud you. Whether you order in a full spread from chefy soup to gourmet nuts, or serve a store-bought turkey sandwich, you can still wow your guests this year by making these place card vases from seasonal gourds.

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This simple Thanksgiving craft idea isn’t nearly as hard to execute as dinner, but it’s still right on message. Decorative gourds are everywhere this time of year and happen to make very fancy looking vases. You can even give them to your guests as parting gifts at the end of the night. How classy are you now?
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Here’s what you need:
Decorative gourds
Sharp knife or clever
Cutting board
Melon-baller
Floral wire
Pliers
Seasonal, fresh flowers
Scissors or garden snips
Cardstock paper in dark and light colors
Pen
Ruler
Paper scissors
Mini wooden clothespins
Earthquake Putty (optional)

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With your sharp knife, and while working on the cutting board, cut the tops off of the decorative gourds. (Don’t worry; it’s not nearly as hard as carving gourds into a perfect replica of the Mayflower.)

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Use the melon-baller to remove all of the gourd innards.

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If some of your carved gourds wobble, use floral wire to make a simple ring to set the gourds in on the table. Uneven gourds will become even more wonky if bouquets add much height.

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Securing vases with a few balls of Earthquake putty will keep arrangements from toppling over as well. And once the flowers and water are added to the gourd vases, you really want to prevent them from spilling all over your table.

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Lay the fresh flowers out on the cutting board. Trim the stems and remove any leaves or deadheads.

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Begin playing with flower arrangements. Mix flowers of different heights and colors together in some vases, and reserve other vases for a single type of flowers. Mums, irises, and tulips are all in season right now and will look great on your table if made the day before Thanksgiving and stored in a cool place. If you like the look of cattails in your arrangements, be aware that they will eventually burst into a mass of fluffy seed that is designed to travel far and wide. Warning guests who take cattails home about this is fun fact is considered good form.

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Measure and cut out small rectangles (mine were 2 ¼ inches by ¾ inches) of your darker cardstock.

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Measure slightly smaller rectangles from your lighter colored cardstock. I snipped the corners off as well.

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Write out guest names on the light-colored paper, and use a mini wooden clothespin to clip each place card to the gourd vase.

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Your guests will secretly hate you for creating such impressive place cards AND serving dinner without breaking a sweat. Let them! Hide the delivery box your food came in and pour yourself a glass of wine. Hosting Thanksgiving is easy!
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Megan Andersen

Known in craft circles as “Radmegan,” Megan O. Andersen has been crafting, baking, cooking, drawing, sculpting and gardening since she could hold a crayon. Follow along with her crafty adventures at www.radmegan.com.