Dress up the table for young Thanksgiving guests

Fort Worth Star-TelegramNovember 25, 2013 

It's a detail usually overlooked in the Thanksgiving planning process - creating a special place for the children to sit down to their turkey and trimmings. We asked four Fort Worth, Texas-area event planners - the pros at Shenanigans Weddings & Events, Sarabeth Events, Details & Designs Event Production and Abbie O. Events - to create their ideal kids' table. The ideas they offered were not just cute and charming but so practical as ways to keep children happy and having fun that some of the adults may ask to be seated there, too.


Combining their love of fall with their desire to bring the outdoors inside, Regan Haggerty of Fort Worth, Texas-based Details & Designs Event Production and Abbie Oswalt of Abbie O. Events took a cue from nature for their table. It's peppered with fun details like paper leaves, acorns and owl candy holders for what Haggerty described as a "woodlandlike" theme. Oswalt said their main objective was to find a way to help children understand the meaning of Thanksgiving and why they are celebrating the holiday. For this, Haggerty and Oswalt chose to incorporate paper leaves on which children could write what they are thankful for. When asked what their favorite part of their table design was, they quickly agreed: "The owls," both creators said.

- Get the look: Burlap linen, www.save-on-crafts.com or check your local fabric store; Mason jar and owl candy holder supplies, Michaels, www.michaels.com ; Sip-Sip Hooray paper straws, www.swoozies.com ; Juliska Berry and Thread dinner plate, Vietri elm leaf glass plate, Juliska clear glass vases, P.S. The Letter, www.pstheletter.com ; paper leaves, www.surlatable.com ; chalkboard place mats, www.crateandbarrel.com .


When Kristen Knight of Shenanigans Weddings & Events in Grapevine, Texas, began planning her table design, she decided to draw inspiration from a familiar place: her own life. Pulling double duty as a mom and as an event planner, Knight said she knew she wanted the table to be practical, personal and kid-friendly. With help from her assistant Deana Sabey, Knight focused on creating layers that would help keep the kids occupied throughout the course of the meal. Among these layers are personalized plates, fun place mats and a chalkboard table runner on which kids can draw. "It's fun. It's doable," Knight said. Even better than that, the table's design concept is reusable, she added. Her advice to those in the throes of planning their own Thanksgiving get-togethers? The most important thing is to remember who is coming to your event, she said. Like, of course, the kiddos!

- Get the look: Personalized plates, Dragonfly Dreams, www.dfdreams.com ; small apothecary jars, Pottery Barn, www.potterybarn.com ; chalkboard paper table runner, check Joann.com for "blackboard fabric" (you can "locate in store" on the website) or look for chalkboard contact paper at Amazon.com, Michaels or Walmart.


As Sarabeth Quattlebaum of Keller, Texas-based Sarabeth Events set out to design her table, she knew immediately that she wanted to keep things traditional. With the help of assistant Rachel Burrow, Quattlebaum aimed to create a place that was classic and simple with a few hidden touches. Among those hidden touches: an adorable pilgrim's hat that pulls double duty as holiday decor and a holder for crayons (great for all that post-meal coloring). Quattlebaum also found ways to sneak in bits of her own personality. "I often say that I have a palate of a 4-year-old," she said, referring to her taste for all things sweet. It's no surprise, then, to find that she incorporated glass jars of candy corn, chocolate candies, cookies and scrumptious candy apple place cards.

- Get the look: The designer used her own dishware and glassware. Here's how to make the pilgrim hat and apple place cards.


What you need:

9-ounce paper cup (black or brown)


Appetizer paper plate (black or brown)

Construction paper for buckle (we use a light brown and yellow)


What to do:

1. Cut the inner circle on top of the paper cup.

2. Cut the center circle of your plate; you will have about a 5-inch-wide circle for the brim of the hat.

3. Cut light brown construction paper at a curve about 1 inch wide, to go around the base of your cup.

4. Cut a square piece of yellow construction paper, fold in half and cut an inner square. This will be your buckle; glue it on top of the light brown band.

5. Cut a paper cup in half; be sure to cut the lining off the top and bottom. Flip inside out and glue inside your paper cup hat.

6. Glue the base of your cup to the circle paper plate.

You are done and ready to use your pilgrim cup hat, which you can fill with crayons and treats.


To turn caramel apples into fun place cards, print the names of your guest out on your choice of paper and then, using a leaf-shaped stencil, trace around each name. Cut each leaf out and then set one on top of each caramel apple. Enjoy!


- Abbie O. Events, abbie@abbieoevents.com

- Details & Designs Event Production, regan@detailsdesignsevents.com; www.detailsdesignsevents.com

- Shenanigans Weddings & Events, kristen@shenanigansweddingsandevents.com; www.shenanigansweddingsandevents.com

- Sarabeth Events, hello@sarabethevents.com; http://sarabethevents.com

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