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Kids' Tables Centerpiece

Entertain young guests with playful table decor that they can help make before the meal. 

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1999


Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving, but sitting through a long meal can be a challenge for kids. A special decorated kids' table will ensure a pleasant gathering for everyone. And with supervision, kids can help make all of these projects. A miniature Mayflower sets sail on a map tablecloth, while Paper-Boat Place Cards guide young guests to their seats.

Did You Know?

Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official national holiday in 1863, more than two centuries after the first Thanksgiving feast.


  • Scissors

  • White paper

  • Veneer panels


  1. Print out templates. Trace one boat bottom and two boat sides onto thin cardboard, and trace the sails onto white paper; cut out all the shapes.

  2. Form the hull (the body of the boat) by attaching the sides to the bottom with masking tape placed on the inner seams.

  3. To make the hull look wooden, trace two additional side templates onto a piece of veneer, and cut them out with a utility knife.

  4. Brush the outside of the cardboard hull with white glue, and affix the veneer panels. Glue lengths of 3/8-inch-wide satin ribbon over the seams at the bow and the stern.

  5. For the mast, cut a thin wooden dowel to the desired height. Punch holes in the sails (as indicated on the template), and weave the mast through the holes.

  6. Fill the ship with fruits and nuts, and insert the mast and sails.

  7. A feather dresses up a simple twill-tape napkin wrap, which doubles as a headdress during -- and after -- the feast. Cut a small hole in the center of a 27-inch-long piece of twill tape.

  8. Insert a clean feather (available from florists' shops) in the hole, and stitch to secure. Center the feather on the front of a folded napkin, and tie the tape loosely at the napkin's back.

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