Naked Tabletop No Need for Tailspin

Setting a festive table can be the most, or least, enjoyable part of hosting the Thanksgiving gathering.

Some hostesses see the dining table as a blank canvas awaiting heirlooms of Damask, polished silver, sparkling crystal and china, while an expanse of naked tabletop puts others into a tailspin of anxiety.

For the nervous or uninspired, there are magazines galore with step-by-step how to’s, covering every nuance from the under cloth to floral height and placecard placement.

Rarely, however, do these picture-perfect tablescapes include decorations made by children, an overlooked, creative force right under our feet or noses, as the age may be.

Kid-made table accents can infuse a stuffy, too-serious setting with character and charm.

A Handmade Turkey submitted by (Miss) Phebe Goode, Richmond, VA

Woman’s Day Nov. 1949


“I made a new table decoration for our Thanksgiving dinner table last year. It was a turkey made with a big red apple, toothpicks, dark raisins, cloves and a stuffed olive. The apple was the body, the tail was fan-shaped, made of tooth­picks covered with small dark raisins pushed down over them. The head was a large stuffed olive with a little of the red stuffing hanging out. Cloves were used for eyes. I made a raisin-covered toothpick neck and three colored tooth­pick legs so he could stand up. My mother liked it and I hope you do too.”

Little Phebe’s concise instructions and clear illustration of the finished project mark this a child-friendly craft.

Envisioning Phebe’s decorations as homey placecard holders for my own table, but lacking a youngster to enlist in the making, I made Phebe’s turkeys myself.

apple pear turkey (Medium)

Despite my upscale addition of golden raisins and a pear substitute, these turkeys are real turkeys.

What’s missing is the additive of fun that children bring to a holiday table.


Please continue to spread the word – National Tie One On Day is such a win-win! And register to win one of six sponsor-filled goodie bags.


Tie One On…an apron, of course


  1. hmmmm, this could be a dilemma for me…as I LUV raisins be they plain, chocolate covered or in oatmeal!
    I guess that means I would probably have a very naked turkey! lol!
    But I love the idea, thanx for sharing.
    p.s. got several aprons stitched up for NTOO day….

  2. Thanx for the fun idea! It teleported me back to a Thanksgiving when our kids were little and $$ had many other places to spend the day than tricking out our holiday table. I borrowed a long lunchroom type table from church to accomodate all our guests. But how to cover it? I took butcher block paper and wrapped the whole top. Then we put markers at every seat. We had each of the guests decorate their own place setting. Grown ups too! WAY fun!

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