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DIY Thanksgiving place cards and pumpkin cupcake toppers

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DIY Thanksgiving place cards and pumpkin cupcake toppers

I love squirrels!!  The icon that is, I don’t want to pet a real squirrel or anything like that, though I do find them fascinating to watch…anyways, here’s a super cute place card idea for your next fall event or Thanksgiving.  We assembled and used them for Canadian Thanksgiving this year.  Beside our little brown friend is a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese icing and a little fondant pumpkin topper.  First a word about the pumpkin toppers, then about the friendly picketing squirrels….DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comThe cupcake toppers turned out so cute!  They were really fast and easy to make.  I found the idea and tutorial by Nikki here on Catch My Party.  I just mixed up some marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows, icing sugar, water and vanilla) and rolled out little balls, scored them with a knife and popped a clove in the top…..that’s all!Thanksgiving pumkin cupcakes with fondant pumkin toppers by dennasideas.comAfter I baked a pumpkin pie, I had a cup of pumpkin puree left, so I made up my traditional pumpkin and cream cheese recipes.  They were easy cupcakes and baked while the pumpkin pie baked, then just added the icing and fondant pumpkins at the last minute before serving.Thanksgiving pumkin cupcakes with fondant pumkin toppers by dennasideas.comSo I found the pumpkin topper idea on Pinterest, but this next idea was my own idea (I have to make a distinction because my kids are always asking if it’s a Pinterest idea or my own idea! heh heh).  Ikea has a cute set of woodland cookie cutters that includes this little squirrel.  A batch of The End-All for Chocolate Cookies Recipe from Lilaloa was perfect for little brown fall squirrels.  I was in a rush when I was making them, so I don’t have step by step photos.  But it’s easy, just cut out squirrels, and for every squirrel cut out a circle (plain or scalloped) for a base.  Before baking, add a toothpick to each squirrel, sliding it under the head and poking it through the little hand, so it looks like the squirrel is holding the toothpick on his shoulder.  Bake them up, and when they are totally cool, use some melted chocolate candy melts to ice the squirrel to the base.  It’s probably a good idea to add the signs to the toothpicks before “gluing” the squirrel to the base.  You can just tape the place card to the top of the toothpick.  Then it only took a line of melted chocolate on the bottom edge of the squirrel, then a few moments of slight pressure holding it onto the base to assemble.  Here they are, being assembled by my sister….DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comThe squirrels were my idea, but I did see another fun idea on Pinterest that I really wanted to try….chocolate acorns!  I found a great tutorial here on Once Upon a Pedestal for these candy acorns.  They looked so cute!  But I couldn’t find the same kind of peanut M&Ms that she used….and I didn’t have Tootsie Rolls, so I used chocolate covered almonds and brown fondant (another idea to add to my Chocolate Almond Ideas!!).  And I asked my daughters to make them while I was working on Thanksgiving dinner!  (remember, everything’s done last minute around here….)DIY chocolate acorns for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comThe table settings looked really cute with a cookie squirrel, a chocolate acorn and a fall leaf doily at each place….DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comI used the same set of cookie cutters and same idea to make a stand up chocolate moose, too….kinda hard to see, but he’s in the middle by the cornucopia.Thanksgiving tablescape and place cards by dennasideas.comDIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comMr. Squirrel and his friends were a hit!!  But he didn’t stick around very long…..DIY Squirrel Cookie Place Cards for Thanksgiving or fall by dennasideas.comAny squirrels that did linger around too long, and Mac the Moose, were sadly (or more like, deliciously) turned into another dessert with the leftover real whipped cream from the pie….leave overnight in the fridge, and voila!A chocolate cookie and whipped cream sandwich dessert with Thanksgiving leftovers by dennasideas.comWho knew squirrels and moose could taste so wonderful?? 😉

A Snoopy & Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Kids’ Table

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Who else grew up watching the Charlie Brown specials on TV?  And I’m sure some of you even watched them in Spanish, like we did!  This year I really wanted to do some sort of Snoopy theme….for something.  There’s just something so fun and comforting about those old cartoons (and when I say old, I mean even before I was born! That makes me feel good, and young).  The Peanuts gang just brings back warm and fuzzy memories!  And in fall especially!  I guess it’s because they had so many fall specials…the Thanksgiving special, the Great Pumpkin special and the one about the origins of Thanksgiving.

So I decided to do a Thanksgiving kids’ table with Snoopy and the gang.  It was kind of a last minute thing, and it was inspired by this box of chipboard embellishments that I bought a few years ago with my 50% off coupon at Michaels….I had been saving them for something special.I ran downstairs to the basement to look for something yellow to use as a tablecloth….I knew I had a length of yellow fabric, wait, that was 14 years ago, maybe I’m not going to find it…..so the black and white striped sheet would have to do!  (I have an old stash of colorful sheets that have been handy for everything, especially tablecloths…but no bright yellow one!)Next I added my recent IKEA purchase of cork placemats…they were too cute to resist and perfect for fall.  I set the Charlie Brown chipboard characters on them and they looked…perfect.Now I pulled out a recent gift from my thoughtful Mom….mason jars!!  I had been saving them for something special.  They are the small ones that are all the rage for serving juice or milk at children’s parties (online at least!)  You unscrew the top, and take out the flat metal lid, then turn a cupcake liner paper upsidedown over the top of the jar and re-screw only the outer rim of the lid back on.  Punch a hole and add a straw and it’s good to go!  I used yellow cupcake papers and added a cardstock cutout of that classic Charlie Brown signature chevron to the jar.  It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but looked great with lemonade!For a centerpiece I used a cornucopia basket filled with balls of yarn.  That was a “craft” we worked on another day.  I just plopped it on the table and added a few chipboard embellishments.  (I don’t know why it says BONK.)I had fun putting the table together, and it was pretty quick…except the next part.  We have so many Snoopy comics around, I figured I just had to incorporate them in some way or another, so I scanned in a page from a book,  played around with them on my computer, and changed the text.  Then I printed the comics out to make into little placecards.The next part was the best idea of all….genius, I’d call it.  It happened in one of those spur-of-the-moment flashes that sometimes happen when I’m crafting with the available supplies.  I was winding a ball of yellow yarn to add to the centerpiece, when I thought that the yarn would make a good napkin holder.  I had tried to fold the napkins into paper airplanes, but they weren’t holding together (even with tape).  As I was wrapping the yarn around a folded serviette, I had the brainwave:  the kids could unwind the yarn while they said what they are grateful for.  Like a real THANKSGIVING GAME!  So that’s what they did.  Each kid took a turn to slowly unwind their yarn napkin-holder while they listed things that they are grateful for.  There was everything from food and friends and family, to Benjamin Franklin and Charles Schultz (the creator of Peanuts) on their lists!!  They also listed their parents and siblings in their “grateful lists” and for that I am truly grateful!There are other things that would have been fun to do at a Snoopy and Charlie Brown themed party…like a Snoopy-drawing contest, or a football-holding-and-pulling-away contest!!  I had wanted to make Charlie Brown parfaits, with yellow pudding and oreo crumbs, yum, but ran out of time.  If you don’t have an IKEA store handy, you could get cork at the dollar store or hardware store for placemats, or how about just cardstock or construction paper?  My sister did a Snoopy party and photocopied Peanuts comics and pasted them onto large sheets of cardstock for the placemats and they looked great!!This meal wasn’t our actual Thanksgiving meal, it was the day after, we just didn’t have time to squeeze everything into one day!!  It was so fun, though!  And after supper, we watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving specials together and ate cookies and milk.  For sure it was a warm and fuzzy memory-making time for the kids, and for the biggest kid of all……me!  🙂Hope this helps out with some ideas for a Snoopy themed party or for your (USA) Thanksgiving Kids’ Table (since it’s already come and gone in Canada)!

(my youngest said she wants her next birthday party to be Snoopy, heh heh!)