Create Your Own Personalized Thanksgiving Tablecloth + Free Templates

This Thursday marks our first time EVER hosting Thanksgiving together. On top of that, it's also our first married Thanksgiving. In true newlywed fashion, we are buried in boxes and new furniture and our counters are covered with groceries in preparation for Turkey Day.

Somehow in the middle of all the madness, I have stopped to share with you a quick little personal DIY: a custom Thanksgiving tablecloth! This little project will only set you back about $10 in supplies and offers a fun interactive activity with your Thanksgiving guests: places for them to write what they are thankful right onto the table. Woot, it's like the adult version of crayons and white paper at the restaurant!

To get started, you'll need the following:

  • One Tablecloth (Mine is a Brown Vinyl Tablecloth from Target for $3.00)
  • Gold Sharpies
  • A piece of chalk
  • A blunt pen (I used a wine stopper)
  • These printable anniemadetemplates (sized to 11x17" and 8x11.5" respectively // right click each image to open in a new tab)

Once you have your supplies gathered, here's basically how it goes. Leave yourself a good 45min-1 hr to pull this together:

1. Cover the back of your printed "Happy Thanksgiving" design entirely in chalk. Just go to town, really, honestly. Have fun.

2. Flip your design over and place on your tablecloth. Be sure you know where you want it to go (I laid my tablecloth out to center where my design would be placed). Using your pen or other blunt object, trace over your printed design, pressing down hard and keeping the paper in place as you go (you may want to use painter's tape to help with this).

3. Once you've traced over the entire design, carefully remove your paper. This should reveal a faint chalk outline for you to trace.

4. Being mindful not to smudge the chalk, use your gold sharpie to trace the design again (this time onto the tablecloth itself). Once your outline is complete, brush the chalk dust off using your hands, revealing a clean gold outline.

5. Embrace your love of coloring and fill in your outline working from left to right if you are right-handed (so as to avoid smudging). The sharpie should try pretty quickly. Once you've created your "Happy Thanksgiving" design, feel free to use the other printable template to repeat this same process to create spaces all around the table cloth for guests to write in what they are thankful for. Nothing like serving dinner on your fine china with a knife, a fork, and a sharpie.

Update: 11/22/12 Thanksgiving!