With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, it's time to start planning for the big event. Here are some wonderful centerpieces that you can make that will really add that special touch.

It is a good idea to make the Pilgrims and Indians now, and then make the Mayflower a day before Thanksgiving.Pilgrim and Indian centerpieces

Pilgrims and Indians bring to mind values our country was founded on: religious freedom, brotherhood and hospitality.

1 butternut squash

Acrylic puff paints

1 yard narrow ribbon or braided trim

Craft doll hair

Small feathers

1 (14"x14") square white felt

Black pilgrim hat

Straight pins


Cut a slice off the bottom of the squash to allow it to stand upright. Paint eyes and mouth on the narrow end of the squash. Add small dots of paint around the Indian's neck for beads. Paint designs or use braided trim around the wide portion of the squash. Allow to dry.

For the Indian, glue two braids of craft hair to a narrow decorative headband ribbon or braid. Tuck some small feathers under the headband. Glue or pin the headband and hair in place.

Adapt the Pilgrim patterns to fit the size of your squash. Cut pattern pieces from the white felt. Make pleats in the corners of the cap to shape it and fold back 1/4" from the brim. Glue on the craft hair, cap, apron and collars. Glue on a belt made from a narrow piece of ribbon. Using puff paint, add a gold belt buckle. Pin on the man's hat. Tie a small bow and glue it to the woman's neck.

Mayflower squash

Dry ice lets this little Mayflower sail through the sea!

1 large banana squash

Puff paints or permanent markers

3 (4"x3") pieces posterboard

3 (5"x4") pieces posterboard

1 (6"x5") piece posterboard

2 (1/4"x11") dowels

1 (1/4"x14") dowel

1 (81/2"x11") piece construction paper


Blue cellophane

Several small clear plastic cups

Dry ice

Carve the squash as in the illustration and remove the top pieces. Scoop out the seeds and membranes.

Use puff paints or permanent markers to draw the windows and details on the Mayflower.

To make the flags, punch holes in opposite sides of the cut posterboard pieces and thread them on the dowels. Glue a small flag made from colored construction paper at the top of each dowel. Insert the dowels in the squash.

Fill the boat with raw cut vegetables and serve with a dip.

To make your Mayflower appear to be sailing on the ocean, scrunch blue cellophane around the squash and hide small clear plastic cups in th folds of the cellophane, 4"-5" apart. Place small chunks of dry ice in each cup. At serving time, pour hot water on the ice.