The Crafty $6 Hosting Hack Every Thanksgiving Spread Needs

published Nov 17, 2023
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Overhead view of 2 pies and a plate of brownies on brown craft paper.
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I have a few traditions I swear by: making breakfast casserole the night before, watching the Macy’s parade and National Dog Show twice, and eating this dip out of a bread bowl. Those are all non-negotiable for me. But I do have room in my Thanksgiving celebration for new ideas, and I recently came across one on TikTok that I can’t wait to try. Shannon Doherty, one of my favorite TikTok creators, came up with the cutest, smartest way to use craft paper to make a holiday buffet, and the result is stunning!

 How to Make a Craft Paper Buffet

Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik

In the video, Doherty uses a roll of brown craft paper from the Dollar Store (which you can get for about $6 on Amazon) to line her kitchen countertops. She sets out the platters she’s going to use for Thanksgiving, then uses a Sharpie to label each dish with cute, funny names and clever sayings to decorate around them. Next, she brings in some autumnal decor — a few branches of faux greenery adorn the cabinets, tea light apples and potpourri add pop to the buffet, and what look like pear pomanders spell out “Give Thanks.” She creates extra space for plates, napkins, and silverware and labels those as well.

I absolutely adore this idea for multiple reasons — for starters, it’s a beautiful way to display Thanksgiving dishes without cluttering up an already full table. Between the bottles of wine, plates, glasses, silverware, and my Thanksgiving centerpiece, I really don’t have space for all those dishes on the table, so a buffet is ideal. Plus, you can spice it up with glitter or fun markers — or let the kids in on the fun for an extra-special touch!

I also love the fact that I can label the dishes and any potential allergens or dietary information right on the craft paper. That way, my guests know what foods to avoid and which ones are dietarily friendly without having to ask! I can also share serving suggestions and pairing notes right on the paper, so I don’t have to repeat myself 100 times, which I appreciate.

The best part about this clever hack comes at the end of Thanksgiving: Having the craft paper on your countertops keeps them clean despite the heavy traffic, so all you have to do is pack up leftovers and throw away the paper! My Thanksgiving is all about enjoying my favorite traditions, and I can’t wait to add this one to the mix.

More Fun Ideas for Craft Paper Buffets

  • If you don’t want to make a full Thanksgiving buffet this way, consider using the idea to set up the dessert or beverage station.
  • Use a small folding table and set up a mini craft paper buffet for kids. Kids love being able to serve themselves, and you’ll appreciate the easy cleanup when they’re done.
  • Use cake stands or decorative boxes to add height and dimension to your display.
  • Let your guests ‘vote’ for their favorite dish by placing a sticker next to the dish they liked best for an extra-fun touch.