This Thanksgiving, my little family of four will be getting our gobble gobble on with one of my mom friends and her family for a fun Friendsgiving. My girls love hanging out with her daughters, our husbands get along well, and she and I are super close. So, this Thanksgiving should be a breeze. I’m determined to soak up all this friend/family time without an ounce of after-dinner dirty work. Instead of busting out our china, clinking glasses, and sharpening knives, we’ll be dining with vibrant, fun, disposable everything.
That’s right. This year, we’ll be focused as much on fellowship as we are on super-simple cleanup. So sorry, linen napkins! Maybe next year. Items on our table, from dishes to utensils, that thrown away or recycled won’t get a spot at our table. In essence, when it comes to cleanup, we’re just gonna stress less. Want to join in the on the dishwasher-free dining? Follow these tips to navigate your way through a DIY Disposable Thanksgiving.
Tip 1: Throw out tradition. Since you’re not sticking to the glasses, silverware, and china fare of typical Thanksgiving gatherings, you might as well embrace a new color palette for your feast. I opted for these multi-colored plates, because mint and navy are one of my perennial favorite combos. I wanted a fun, not-so-serious vibe, and I think these did the trick. But, don’t feel pressured to copy this look. A graphic, black and white palette would pack a punch. Neon pops of color set against kraft paper would be awesome, too.
Tip 2: Get creative. I wanted everything, and I mean everything, to be disposable or recyclable. But, I also wanted the tablescape to look finished. Rather than packing up my gold chargers to take to my friend’s house, I’ll be bringing along these DIY chargers I made from paper bags. I traced my traditional chargers onto a cut paper bag, cut out the circle, and steamed it with an iron to remove the creases from the bag’s previous folds. If kraft/brown doesn’t suit your palette, consider using gift wrap or scrapbook paper to make your disposable charger.
Tip 3: Buy, then DIY. I bought clear, plastic cups and white plastic flatware. Since the grownup table already has lots of color, I left the flatware as-is. But, I added bands of washi tape to plastic cups and milk bottles to customize drink ware for all. Use craft punches, scrapbook paper, and pre-made paper cutouts as oversized confetti, in place of a linen tablecloth. I used turkey and feather paper shapes to create eye-catching movement on both tabletops. Party horns that didn’t match the navy and mint palette were jazzed up with some leftover acrylic paint and nestled next to each kid’s place setting.
Tip 4: Details. Don’t forget the details. I bought three sizes of paper plates. A 10″ for the adult dinner plate, a 6″ for the kid’s salad plate, and an 8″ that worked as both the adult salad plate and the kid’s dinner plate. Incorporating the 8″ plate on both tables makes the two tablescapes feel cohesive without looking like copycats. I think it also added to the “free-for-all, fun-for-all” vibe I want to create.
Follow those easy tips, and you’ll be scooping into dressing with recyclable flatware, sipping from plastic cups, and wiping gravy off your chins with paper napkins before the kids can say, “Gobble gobble!”
Photos: Shauna Younge of Sweet Tooth