Host a festive fall-themed party through these satisfying DIY projects

In some parts of our country, November is marked by chilly weather and early warnings of winter. Along the Central Coast, some of the finest days of the year occur in the fall, making it a perfect time for one last warm-weather hoorah.

In fact, a fall dinner party can very easily be held outside under emerging stars, providing the perfect balance of serenity and celebration.

Following are a few DIY dinner party tips made easier by a stroll through a Goodwill store.

  • When life gives you lemons:

    Mason jars are considered yearly statements, whether they’re used for storing food, beauty products, or jams! But when you buy some of these iconic jars (from Goodwill!), add flowers of your choice, sliced lemons, and water (a great way to preserve flowers), you’ll end up with a great conversation starter and a nice parting gift for your guests.

  • Gather around the fire pit:

    OK, it may get a bit chilly, let’s be honest. This fun project will probably require you to grab a clever friend to assist. You can transform an old washing machine into a backyard fire pit guaranteed to turn heads. Pull out your toolbox and begin to disassemble the beast until the spinning drum is exposed. Turn it on its end, with the opening facing up, and attach it with screws to three 1×4 boards approximately 3 feet long. These legs will steady the hole-filled drum and keep it off the ground.

  • Wicker basket centerpieces:

    These popular baskets are perfect for holiday decorating. Shop at Goodwill to find wicker baskets in all shapes and sizes. You can paint your baskets in a seasonal color or simply adorn the handles with ribbon. Then, fill the basket with apples, pears, miniature pumpkins, gourds, or even pinecones for a creative centerpiece idea for your fall-themed table.

  • Pressed leaves in frames:

    This DIY project is simple, easy, and perfect for kids. First, take a walk around the neighborhood to collect colorful leaves. Bring the leaves home, sandwich them between two sheets of wax paper and then place the wax paper inside the pages of a large, heavy book. Then, shop for photo frames at your nearest Goodwill, where you can find frames in different sizes and colors at discount prices. Once the leaves have been dried and pressed for a day or two, arrange them under the glass photo frames to create a festive fall display for your home or Thanksgiving table.

  • Create festive tablecloths:

    There are easy ways to dress up your table while protecting its surface from scratches or stains. At Goodwill Central Coast, we stock tablecloths in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns. You can also make your own table runner by using fabrics found at Goodwill such as lace or burlap. For a fun children’s activity, pick up a plain white tablecloth and fabric markers to create a “thankful tablecloth.” Your kids can then trace turkeys with their handprints or write down what they’re thankful for on the tablecloth using the fabric markers. You can wash and reuse the same tablecloth each year and add more memories to each Thanksgiving celebration.

If you want to make your fall table festive and welcoming this year, why not try at some DIY projects? Instead of shopping for supplies at higher-priced arts and craft stores, head to your local GCC store to look for unique goods you can use to complete projects on a budget.

 Best of all, while you’re making your inspirational stroll through the GCC aisles, you’ll be helping others within your community who have had barriers to finding employment become empowered through work. Each day a new friend or neighbor finds employment as a result of a Goodwill career services program. That is only possible because of the generosity of people like you who donate to and shop at our retail stores. Thank you for promoting the power of work!