Thanksgiving Crafts

This Thanksgiving instead of spending money on table decorations spend some time with your family making your own with supplies already lying around the house. This sustainable approach to decorating will put money in your wallet and also put reusable items to good use. To learn more about these DIY projects, see below.

Twig Candle Holder

IMG_3552This is a great DIY for table decorations and for saving energy around the home by adding incandescent light around the house.

Supplies needed:

  • Twigs & Branches
  • Empty candle, jar, or glass ware
  • Hot glue or E-6000 super glue
  • Small hand held pruner (optional)
  • Tea light candles


  1. Collect twigs & branches from around your yard.
  2. Begin cutting twigs with small hand held pruner that are a little longer than the jar you are applying them to (or just use your fingers to break apart like I did, it gives a rougher look to the twigs). Once you have a big enough pile of branches set to the side for application.
  3. Begin applying hot glue or E-6000 super glue to each individual stick and begin applying them around the glass. I used my hot glue gun because it was what I had lying around the house.
  4. As you will find out, not all the sticks will lay perfectly straight onto the glass. After applying most of the big branches to the jar, take little twigs and place them within the cracks with a little extra glue. This will give the jar a more completed look.
  5. After you have added all the twigs to satisfy you let the glue dry. After the glue is dry go back and check for any loose twigs and reapply a little glue to secure.
  6. Place tea light candle in jar and enjoy!

TP Tube Turkeys

IMG_3432This is a great project to keep the kids preoccupied during the Holidays and to reuse TP Tubes that would’ve originally went to waste.

Supplies Needed:

  • TP Tubes
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Googly Eyes
  • Paint Brushes
  • Decorating Supplies


  1. IMG_3422Trace onto TP Tube three spikes for the head and twowings, and on the back trace out the feathers by making long vertical marks.
  2. Cut out turkey shape with scissors. Fold wings all the way down and only half of the head spike to show a neck. For the feathers, cut the slits on the back of the turkey and begin coaxing them to fan out with your hands.
  3. Decorate! There are infinite amount of ways you can do this. For most of these, we decided to use glitter. The easiest, less wasteful way to do this is to put the turkey on a sheet a paper, paint glue onto the feathers and wings with a small paintbrush, and shake glitter onto the turkey. When the desired amount of glitter is on the turkey, simply fold IMG_3427paper into a funnel like shape and put remaining, unused glitter back into its container. Repeat until the desired amount of glitter has been added.
  4. Glue googly eyes onto the head of the turkey. And there you have it, a TP Tube Turkey!

*If using glitter with kids sounds absolutely dreadful, you can always hand them some markers or crayons for decorating!


Don’t Waste That Turkey!

Turkey Stock out of Turkey Carcass


  • Leftover turkey carcass, meat, and bones
  • 1 Tbl. Parsley (dried)
  • 1 Tbl. Onion Flakes
  • 1 Tbl. Celery Salt
  • 1 Tbl. Pepper
  • 2 Tsp. Sage
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (crushed just to release flavor)


  1. Place Carcass in stock pot and fill with cold water, about 1 inch above bones.
  2. Add spices: Parsley, Onion flakes, celery salt, pepper, sage, and garlic cloves.
  3. Bring pot to simmer and allow it to simmer for 4 + hours. Cover and Stir occasionally.
  4. Use utensil to remove bones and throw away.
  5. Strain using a mesh strainer to pull out excess fat, spices, etc.
  6. Put in a container and use within a week or freeze in small portions!

*This turkey stock is great as your favorite soup base or gravy.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites


  • Left over Stuffing (or dressing)
  • Bacon
  • Toothpicks


  1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
  2. Spoon stuffing and roll into individual balls.
  3. Take individual stuffing bites and wrap a ½ piece of bacon around the base of each.
  4. Secure bacon wrap with tooth pick.
  5. Place the bacon wrapped stuffing bites on a baking sheet and put it in preheated oven. Bake until bacon is crispy. (about 10-12 minutes).
  6. Transfer to serving platter and enjoy!

Energy Audit Kits to the Rescue

oliviaBluegrass Greensource provides free Energy Audit Kit’s through the public libraries for checkout. The Energy Audit Kit’s are designed to guide you through the first steps of making your home more energy efficient. By using this kit you can find areas in your home that could use more insulation, are leaking cold air, or appliances that are using energy even when turned off. The Energy Audit Kit’s tools include: kill-a-watt meter, Infrared Thermometer, Foot Candle Meter, Refrigerator Thermometer, and an Instant Read Thermometer. Each of these tools provides information on how energy is used throughout your home. For example, the kill-a-watt meter is used for measuring the energy usage of appliances that generally stay plugged-in such as televisions, radios, and lamps. Many appliances go into ‘stand by’ mode even when turned off and still consume power. After seeing how much energy is consumed by appliances that are turned off, you can consider plugging electronics into power strips and turning off the strip when not in use. This will eliminate appliances using energy while in standby mode. Another example would be the Infrared Thermometer which is used for identifying poorly-insulated areas in walls, floors, and ceilings. By using this tool in the Energy Audit Kit, you can decide where insulation is most needed in your home. Not only does the Energy Audit Kit have tools, it also comes with an Audit Kit manual and a Simple Savers booklet. The manual provides instructions for each tool and how to assess their information, energy saving tips, incentives and rebates related to energy efficient changes in the home, and free to low cost resources in the community to provide weatherization assistance. The Simple Savers Booklet is a DIY manual that will guide you through the energy efficient changes you can make to your home. The purpose of the home Energy Audit Kit is for everyone in Lexington to have easy access to finding out how energy efficient their home is, and then providing them the knowhow on how to make the necessary changes to their home. Energy Audit’s can be expensive and difficult to schedule for busy individuals. The Energy Audit Kit is available to anyone who wants to make changes without spending the money and time to have an energy audit done for you. Also by doing the energy audit yourself; you can save kill-a-watt hours just by seeing how your home uses energy and making behavioral changes. Making energy efficient changes, infrastructural or behavioral, can help you save money this winter on your utility bill and also reduce environmental impact. Make a difference in your home and environment by checking out an Energy Audit Kit from your local library today!