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November 5, 2021

DIY Thanksgiving Pilgrim Hat Place Cards

By Sarah Ramberg

Hey, there, it’s Sarah of Sadie Seasongoods again, with a new upcycling idea to share with you.

Now that November has arrived, I’ve got Thanksgiving on the brain. And since I had so much fun making this “Thankful” tray for you last year, I wanted to do another Thanksgiving-themed project. But this time, I’m focused on the family dinner table, and I’m starting in a VERY unlikely place: The light fixture section at one of our CLT Region ReStores!

What if I told you I was going to make some pilgrim hat-shaped place cards that started with a piece of recessed lighting? It sounds crazy, until you see how adorable it becomes!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Recessed light fixture baffles
  • Black Spray paint
  • Fall-themed Ribbon (wired or unwired)
  • Heavy duty craft scissors (for wired ribbon; regular craft scissors for unwired ribbon)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Chalkboard Tags/Ornaments
  • Metallic Craft Paint (I chose gold) and a small paint brush
  • Chalk Marker

Safety first!

For any spray painting that you do, make sure you have a well-ventilated area to work in. And when working with a hot glue gun, make sure to keep your fingers away from the tip and don’t touch any recently-dispensed glue that is still soft.


Recessed Light Fixtures

Here’s how I made these Pilgrim Hat Place Cards:

  • Head to one of our ReStores and grab some inexpensive recessed light fixture baffles.
    Priced between $1 – $2 this is a budget-friendly DIY, especially if you have a large family and need several place cards. I found mine at the Cornelius store, but I’ve seen piles of them at Pineville, too!
Black Spray Paint

  • Remove the stickers/labels and the wire spring-clips from each side. They slide out with a little bit of wiggling, trust me! Then, set up your baffles in a well-ventilated space (such as outdoors on a gorgeous Fall day) and spray paint them black.

  • Once the spray paint dries, bring them inside and gather the remainder of your craft supplies from the list above.
  • Wrap some craft ribbon around the base of your “pilgrim hat” right above the “brim”. Trim off a length of ribbon that overlaps at the back by at least one inch. Then, fold over the ends, wrap it around the baffle/hat snugly, and hot glue the ends to hold it in place.

    Pro-Tip: When it comes to cutting ribbon, always err on the side of “too long” rather than too short! And since my ribbon was wired ribbon, I used heavy duty shears to trim off my pieces.
Pilgrim Hat Supplies
chalkboards with hats

  • Since my chalkboard tags had a wooden frame, I carefully painted the frame gold to look more like a buckle! I found these chalkboard ornaments online, but craft stores usually have various types of mini chalkboards, too.
  • Then, use a washable chalk marker (from a craft store) to write the names of your guests on your chalkboard labels.
  • Last but not least, hot glue the chalkboards over the ribbon seam (where you hot glued it to the light fixture “hat”) to hide the edges! That’s it, your place cards are ready to use on your Thanksgiving table. And don’t forget to tell your guests how you made them- I think they’ll be VERY impressed!
chalk marker
finished product

Happy Thanksgiving!

Isn’t that a most adorable and unexpected transformation? And SO easy for anyone and everyone to do. If you love this upcycling idea for pilgrim hat place cards, tag us (@cltregionrestore and @sadieseasongoods) with the hashtag #ReStoreThanksgiving. We can’t wait to see your pilgrim hats that started at one of our ReStores!

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