Create stunning DIY Thanksgiving decorations without breaking the bank. Learn how to upcycle thrift store finds into festive centerpieces, table runners, and more.
I almost wasn’t going to share this one but it’s too good not to share!
When I was thrifting around last year, I found this adorable wooden turkey for $5. My husband thought I was nuts for bringing this one home because he didn’t love the look, but I had a vision for it.
Wait until you see how I flipped my thrift store finds into beautiful Thanksgiving decor!
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When I clicked on the turkey to purchase it, I almost fell out of my chair. That turkey is over $200! I mean, it’s gorgeous and all, but not at that price!
DIY Thanksgiving Decorations: How to Flip a Thrift Store Find for Your Table
Isn’t he cute?
He looks OK as it is, but he would look even better spruced up with some vintage glam. Don’t you think? He’s got lots of cool details that would really come through with a little makeover.
Here’s how I did it!
Upcycling Supplies for DIY Thanksgiving Decorations
Fortunately, I had everything on hand already to upcycle my thrift store wooden turkey. Here’s what I used to bring him from trash to treasure.
- Black Fusion Mineral Paint (Chalk Paint would work well too!)
- Rub ‘n Buff in Antique Gold and Gold Leaf
- Small Paintbrush
- Chalk Paint Brush
One of the reasons I chose mineral paint is because I had it on hand already. But chalk paint would work equally as well on something like this.
Either one makes a great base layer because you don’t need to pre-sand the piece before working on it.
How to Make This Thanksgiving Decor
This is one of the cool things about thrifting around because you’ll find unique pieces that are one of a kind instead of mass-produced. So you can do this technique on other types of pieces you find too.
As I say this, FYI this little wooden turkey had a Pier 1 Import tag on the bottom. So I guess he’s still mass-produced anyway. LOL!
But we are going to flip him into something super cool for my Thanksgiving table. Here is how I glammed up my thrift store turkey in a matter of minutes!
DIY Thanksgiving Decorations Directions
- Because I’m using mineral paint, pre-sanding is not required. I simply cleaned him off and got right to work. Chalk paint works in the same way. That said, if you want to scuff him up with a light sanding, go for it!
- Apply a thin coat of paint onto the turkey and allow it to dry. Mine was good in under an hour.
- Next, apply a layer of Rub ‘n Buff in antique gold. Use a light hand when you brush it on and I found worked best when stippling the brush to make it look more vintage.
- Then apply a lighter thin coat of gold leaf. I didn’t use much of this but wanted to add a little dimension.
- Allow the piece to fully dry and cure.
DIY Thanksgiving Decorations FAQs
You might be wondering why we’d need to paint the turkey black before adding the Rub ‘n Buff. And that’s a fair question.
The black serves as a base coat to give it a little depth and dimension. We want it to look a little old and weathered. Because this piece had lots of details, the black paint helps age the piece and gives it a little more character and interest.
So the idea is to allow the black paint to come through so it’s not a solid gold or brass-looking piece.
You also might be curious as to why I didn’t use a top coat to protect the finish. And while you can do that, Rub ‘n Buff does not need it so I left it alone and just allowed it time to cure.
And that’s it! Super easy right? He looks so cute on my table too! And Chris appreciates him more now too. hahaha
More about DIY Thanksgiving Decorations and Upcycling Thrift Store Finds
What is your favorite thrift store find? I would love to know more in the comments below.
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Do you have some thrifted items you want to repurpose too? Get the supplies to do it here.
Want to See More Thrift Store Finds?
I’ve been sharing lots of cool items I found for our new home and garden.
Come thrift with me!
- Antiquing Secrets: How to Find the Best Deals and Avoid Fakes
- Collecting Milk Glass for Beginners
- 7 Fun Finds from the Thrift Store Near Me
- Prettiest Thrift Flip Idea for the Front Porch
- How to Decorate on a Budget with Thrift Store Finds
- How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find
- Thrift Unique Decorating Ideas
- My Thrift Store Vintage Finds for the Garden
Let’s See What My Friends Found Thrifting This Month!
My good friends also went thrifting this month to decorate their homes and garden spaces. Discover new ways to use thrifted finds with these incredible ideas for the holidays.
Click on the blog name on the photo to see the inspo. Wait until you see what they found!
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Garden Supplies I Use
I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites in no particular order.
- I like to use a good-quality, potting soil, garden soil, compost, and perlite when planting. While I make my own compost, you can easily buy it ready-made for use.
- I have used this deer repellent with great success. But now, I’m all about this deer repellent that is systemic instead of topical. This means the plant takes it in as opposed to it just smelling bad.
- Hands down this is my favorite hand-weeding tool. You can use it to get underneath roots and loosen soil, and it cuts down on the weeding time because you work much faster.
- But I also love this long, stand-up weeding tool to really get around roses from afar.
- I use THIS ORGANIC FERTILIZER for roses because the blooms are more prolific and it’s organic.
- And I use this organic fertilizer for my vegetables and herbs in the potager garden.
- You’ll need a sharp set of pruners when working with plants and flowers. I buy a few so I can stash them around.
- I use these garden snips to deadhead and cut flowers from my gardens.
- Where pest and disease problems are concerned, if I need to, I generally use this insecticidal soap or neem oil to help control infestations depending on the issue. When using, only apply when pollinators are less active.
- This is my favorite set-and-forget slow-release fertilizer for houseplants, annuals, and container gardens.
- Whenever I stake my peonies or other plants, I generally use these grow-through garden supports because they work really well and keep the blooms upright.
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