Cute As A Pumpkin Thanksgiving Wood Table Riser

The smell of turkey and pumpkin pie is in the air as we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. My oven is full and the table set for the big feast tonight. I'm keeping the dining table centerpiece simple this year with a DIY Thanksgiving wood table riser that is super easy to make and didn't cost a dime. I'm using mine to hold mini white pumpkin tealight holders that I also made, you'll find the tutorial for those further down in this post.

Fall Wood Table Riser For Thanksgiving

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Table Riser

Pumpkins are the theme this year for my Thanksgiving table and so I added a lovely vintage pumpkin patch image onto the top of the wood table riser.

Another use for the wood table riser

If you eliminate the feet, the wood riser would make a lovely rustic Fall Farmhouse Sign.  Hang it on a wall or lean it on a dining sideboard or fireplace mantel. I'll show you how simple it is to make but first I'd like to wish my fellow Canucks a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Table Riser With Painted Feet

Everything I used to make the pumpkin patch wood trivet was salvaged with things I had on hand.

I know not everyone has a fully stocked workshop to pull things from so I've included affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to make this. At no cost to you, we receive a small commission if you make a purchase.

Thanksgiving Trivet Table Riser

Instructions for making the wood table riser or Fall sign

It all started with this salvaged 7" x 16 1/2" cedar board that I found on a shelf in the workshop. The routered edge makes it perfect to use for a large table riser. Salvaging an old cabinet drawer front would also work perfectly for this project. That's where places like Habitat ReStore or thrift stores come in handy.

Thanksgiving Table Riser From Salvaged Wood Board

Because I planned on adding a vintage graphic to the top of the board, the rough grain needed to be sanded smooth. I used my mouse sander with an 80-grit sanding pad.

Staining the wood table riser

Next, I stained the board with a water-based stain called Canadian Maple, couldn't be a more suitable name for my table riser for Canadian Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Wood Table Riser Stained

Adding feet to the wood table riser

I found these little wooden doodads (don't know what they're called) in my stash and painted two coats of Autumn, a burnt orange chalk paint color.

Thanksgiving Table Riser Wood Feet

Once they were completely dry I attached them to the bottom of the table riser with this glue and set some heavy books on top until the glue set.

How to transfer a graphic onto the table riser

While the stain was drying I went over to The Graphics Fairy website and found this vintage botanical pumpkin graphic. In Pic Monkey, I sized the graphic to 850 x 1400 to fit legal size paper and reversed it to create a mirror image (pictured below).

I printed it onto legal size bond paper with my color laser printer. You can use an inkjet printer BUT you must wait for the ink to completely dry before moving onto the next step.

Thanksgiving Table Riser Pumpkin Patch Graphic

For this step, you will need either Mod Podge or image transfer medium. I wrote a detailed tutorial on how to do this in my Image Transfer Technique post.

Thanksgiving Table Riser Graphic Transfer

At the last minute, I decided to add the words Give Thanks on to the graphic. You can see how easy that is done in my Image Transfer Technique Using Graphite Paper tutorial.

Whitewashing the wood table riser

Once the glue on the graphic was dry I gave just the top and not the routered edge a whitewash with chalk paint that I had on hand. I did this for two reasons. One, to give the table riser lovely farmhouse charm and two, so the top blended well with the white background of the graphic.

What I would have done differently

You can see in the photo above how the graphic doesn't cover the entire top of the wood table riser. The plan going in was to enlarge the graphic to cover the entire top. Unfortunately, when I went to do this on the website I normally use to resize images, it had become a paid membership site since I used it last.

When I realized this, I should have whitewashed the top of the table riser first before transferring the graphic.

Instead, I waited until the graphic was completely dry and whitewashed the top with the graphic in place. It actually gave the pumpkin patch graphic an aged appearance, which I quite like.

Tip on how to whitewash wood

To do this thin white chalk paint with water to a milk-like consistency. Brush the paint on with an inexpensive chip brush and wipe it off with a rag. The white paint nestles into the grain of the wood and stains it white but the dark stain still shows from underneath (pictured below).

Fall Thanksgiving Table Riser

Protecting the wood table riser

To protect the table riser I applied two coats of water-repellent Gator Hide that I had on hand. Any non-yellowing matte clear coat will be fine.

DIY Fall Table Riser

As promised here is a tutorial for making the mini pumpkin tealight holders and tips for preserving the pumpkin stems for Fall craft projects.

How to make mini pumpkin tealight holders

First, I removed the pumpkin stems to preserve them for Fall crafts next year. I've included tips on how to do this further down in this post.

CAUTION - Safety First 

  • Make sure the pumpkin is secured onto your work surface first before drilling. Having someone hold the pumpkins is not a safe option should the drill decide to slip. I put mine in a bench vice to safely be held tight while I drilled.
  • Set the torque on the drill to a low setting (under 10).
  • If you are not experienced using a power drill, have someone do this for you.

With a 1 1/2 inch hole saw drill bit carefully bore a hole in the center of the mini pumpkins but stop before you go through the bottom.

Thanksgiving Table Riser Mini Pumpkin Tealights

After you remove the pulp from inside the pumpkins, allow the pumpkins to dry for several hours.

Fill the cavity 3/4 full with something for the tealights to sit on. I scrunched tinfoil and simply set the tealights on top and pressed firmly until they sat level with the top of the pumpkins.

Thanksgiving Table Riser With Pumpkin Tealight Holders

How to preserve pumpkin stems

  • Carefully cut along the base of the pumpkin stem with a knife. Mini pumpkins have a much tougher shell than the large varieties so be extra cautious during this step. 
  • Remove any meat from the base of the stem. 
  • Store the stems on newspaper in a dry location for about 8 weeks.

During dinner, the wood trivet will also be used for condiment filled mini ramekins, salt & pepper shakers, and small butter plates. We always serve food buffet style on the kitchen island so the dining room table isn't cluttered with platters and bowls of food.

For more Fall inspiration visit my Fall Ideas page. If you have any questions about any of the tutorials included in this post, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving Wood Table Riser

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Trivet With Vintage Graphic

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