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Giving Thanks

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It’s almost Thanksgiving. You’ve spent weeks thinking about what to serve for that special Thanksgiving dinner, shopping for those ‘family recipe’ ingredients (along with one more frozen turkey), and worrying about the weather. Take off that last bit of stress and use this elegant and easy party outline to plan your dinner décor. Follow the steps below to set a beautiful and classic Thanksgiving scene using pumpkins and earthy colors. Nothing tells your family you care like a well planned holiday gathering…. except maybe a warm bowl of turkey soup


  • Lifetime Banquet tables
  • Lifetime chairs
  • A selection of Heirloom Tomatoes and tomatoes of all shapes and sizes
  • Chocolate or maroon velvet tablecloth
  • Fairytale pumpkins (the gray-ish white ones that have a wonderful shape)
  • Baby white pumpkins (one for each setting)
  • Lots and lots of cream colored candles
  • Cream or Maroon colored napkins
  • 2” wide chocolate velvet or orange ribbon (about 2’ per guest)
  • Thanksgiving Pilgrims Blessing Mix (one for each setting). Cellophane bag, Bugles, candy corn, pretzels, dried fruit and nuts.
  • Prayer of thanks printed on small square of parchment paper. See free download.
  • Square or round cardboard cake bases
  • Lots of fall leaves
  • Spray adhesive



  1. Push together three long tables to make one big square table.
  2. Cover the tables with brown velvet fabric, taping or sewing edges together to form a very large square that will cover to the floor.
  3. Cover folding chairs with a cream-colored fabric and tie in the back with a few pumpkin ribbon.
  4. Set candles, white pumpkins, and filled chargers along the center of the table. Be sure to put the pumpkins in places that create interest, taller pumpkins next to smaller ones, wide pumpkins beside skinny ones, etc.
  5. Make Pilgrim's Blessing Mix Bags & Tags: Fill the cellophane bags with a few Bugles, candy corn, pretzels, dried fruit and nuts. Print the downloadable Pilgrim's Blessing Mix tag and attach to the bag with a ribbon.
  6. Make Placemats: Use a small table as a work surface to make the placemats: One at a time, spray the square or round cardboard cake bases with fixative glue, and cover with Fall leaves. Place silver chargers at the top of each placemat. The earthy placemats and the silver chargers make a beautiful setting for your table.
  7. Cut slits at the top of the white baby pumpkins, and use them as place card holders. The pumpkin place card holders are adorable, and will surely get noticed! You can also attach a pumpkin leaf with the guests’ name.
  8. Set the table with white china or earth tones.
  9. If you have any leaves or pumpkins left, sprinkle them along the table’s center. This will add to the detail surrounding your beautiful cooked turkey centerpiece.
  10. Cook the food! Put a spin on traditional sliced turkey, it’s sure to be a hit. Here’s a new one for your Thanksgiving feast, or a great recipe for after Thanksgiving: Deb’s Best Ever Turkey Soup.


  • Have fun at the Pumpkin Patch! Take the kids along to pick out wonderfully shaped white pumpkins. If you make it into a challenging game, they will have a great time scouting out pumpkins with interesting shapes.
  • A great source for cream colored candles of all sizes is Candles The Williamsburg Candle Co. (1-800-367-9722 They burn longer and they don’t drip.
  • Use extra tables as a buffet to serve your Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Match the décor on the dinner with the table décor, using Fairytale pumpkins, fall leaves, pumpkin colored roses or mums.

Recipe: Deb’s Best Ever Turkey Soup

  • Turkey Carcass
  • Water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Marjoram
  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 T. chopped fresh sage
  • 3 T. butter
  • 3 T. flour
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • Turkey meat, diced
  • Turkey dressing
  • Turkey gravy
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  1. Place the turkey carcass in a large soup kettle and cover with water. Stir in the bay leaves, salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme and sage. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 3-4 hours, adding more water to keep the turkey bones covered.
  2. Strain the stock and reserve.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a kettle, stir in the flour until smooth. Add the turkey stock (you should have 3-4 quarts.) Add the rice, celery, onion and parsley. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add any leftover turkey meat, dressing and gravy.
  5. In a skillet melt the remaining butter and sauté the mushrooms until brown. Add to the soup and let the whole thing simmer for another hour or so.

Pumpkin Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree or cooked mashed pumpkin
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (below)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
    1. Combine sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Add dry ingredients and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin puree.
    2. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes (or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean). Turn out onto racks to cool. Frost pumpkin cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. If desired, sprinkle with pecans.
      • 1/4 cup butter
      • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
      • 1 pound confectioner's sugar
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Beat until creamy. Makes enough to frost a 2-layer cake.

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