Thanksgiving Is Around The Corner!

November 2014 Austa Cook Web Exclusive

Now that fall is here and Thanksgiving is creeping up on us, the Houseboat Magazine crew thinks it’s the perfect time to enliven your houseboat with some autumnal cheer! These decoration ideas are easy to create, use natural materials, and invite a warm glow aboard when the temperature outside begins to dip low again.

Cinnamon Pinecones

For a lovely fall touch that doubles as aroma therapy, make your own scented pinecones. Once you’ve gathered a basket of pinecones, rinse them in soapy water to remove any dirt. Grab an old spray bottle, add a tiny bit of warm water, and add essential oils—1/4 of a teaspoon is a good place to start, but you can adjust the amount depending on how strongly scented you want your pinecones to be. Shake the water bottle mixture and spray evenly onto the pinecones, rotating them as needed. Drip a few extra drops of straight oil over the pinecones and let them dry; they’ll open more once they’re no longer wet. Then it’s a simple matter of arranging the pinecones all over the houseboat in baskets, bowls, and cases. You can add your own touches with cinnamon sticks, potpourri, holiday baubles. Then it’s just a matter of enjoying the lovely scent.

From Pam’s Where Your Treasure Is blog. 

Autumn Leaf Mason Jar Candle Holder

For simple and homey decoration, mason jars are a good route. You can use fake or real autumn leaves for this warm effect. Simply clean the outside of your mason jars and wipe them down with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any traces of grime or grease.  Bend the leaves a little to ensure they’re flexible and paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on the jar with either your fingers or a sponge brush. Once it’s sticky enough, begin placing leaves onto the layer of Mod Podge, painting each onto the jar with another thin layer. To eliminate bubbles, start in the center of the leaves and move outwards with your fingers. Once your leaves are arranged however you like, let the jars dry in a few hours. If you’re worried about the leaves pulling off, you can also spray each jar with clear varnish to seal it. Tie off the top of each jar with a length of burlap, raffia or ribbon, depending on the look you’re going for. Then it’s a simple matter of adding an electric or flame candle inside of each to produce a beautiful orange-and-red glow.

From Alicia and Geneane’s Spark and Chemistry blog.

Gold Gourds, Leaves, And Pumpkins

Gold-themed décor is to autumn what birthday candles are to cake—you can’t have one without the other. For these gorgeous centerpieces, simply gather in some dried leaves, gourds, and pumpkins—real or fake—and gently clean them. If you decide to use natural leaves, make sure they’ve had enough time to fully dry; you might need to flatten them between the pages of a heavy book for a few days to make sure. Purchase whatever shade of gold, copper, brass, or silver spray paint you’re going for, and spray everything down to ensure an even coat of paint. If you want a less perfect, more natural look, you can also use a paint brush to color your leaves and gourds. If you really want your centerpieces to shine, sprinkle a fine layer of glitter before the pain dries.

Then place them around your houseboat in whatever arrangements you’d like. You can use glass cake plates for a little more height, embellish with sprayed acorns and corn, or surround your centerpieces with tastefully-placed candles.

A cute idea for Thanksgiving day is to use gold-painted leaves as place-card settings by writing each guest’s name with a gold marker.

From Simone’s HomeSpirations blog.

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