“You overcomplicate things,” is a common holiday lament in my house. My husband routinely pleads with me to take a more simplified approach to our holiday plans. I’ve never been an overachiever (or even an achiever) when it comes to holiday decorations. I tend to complicate matters on the food front, scheming up any number of dishes to take to a Thanksgiving gathering. Last year I signed up to make three items for a friend’s Thanksgiving potluck dinner, though my husband suggested one would be sufficient. When my dinner rolls turned into hockey pucks just hours before the meal I panicked, threw up my arms in disbelief, and shrieked around our tiny kitchen. This debacle was followed by the hunt for a new dinner roll recipe, a last-minute grocery store run, and efforts to complete the trio of dishes. Mercifully the second batch of rolls turned out (though we did arrive late to our friend’s house). By the time we sat down to eat I was exhausted. The pillowy soft goodness had come at a cost. This year I’ll be heeding the old adage that less is more.
In the spirit of not overcomplicating things, here’s a list of DIY projects that are lovely on their own. Any one of these decorations will bring a special, handmade touch to your table. After all, why labor over many things when one stunning statement will suffice? Hopefully you’ll enjoy a pillowy soft good night’s sleep this Thanksgiving eve, knowing all manner of things in your home have been simply and beautifully prepared. —