A Basket of Plenty: Create a Cornucopia

Brimming with the fruits of the harvest, the cornucopia has become an important symbol of American Thanksgiving. Its origins go further back in time to the ancient Greeks. According to their myths, young Zeus gave his foster mother Amalthaea a goat's horn that could be filled with whatever she wished.

Through the years, the cornucopia or horn of plenty has been used in art and decoration to show that there is more than enough of the good things in life.

Whether you call it a cornucopia or a horn of plenty, the traditional basket filled with harvest time goodies such as grapes and apples is everywhere on Thanksgiving Day. Why not make cornucopia for yourself that lasts all year long?

You can either create your own cornucopia out of a cone of contstruction paper or find one ready-made at a crafts store. Fill it up with reminders of what's important to you--what you're thankful for this holiday and all through the year.

You might include:

  • Pictures of your family, friends, and pets
  • Shells from a beach trip or acorns from a walk in the woods
  • A paint brush, if you like painting
  • Autumn leaves in beautiful colors
  • Dried flowers from a bouquet or from the garden
  • A packet of seeds for planting next spring
  • Anything else you like!

Your own cornucopia can be a reminder of the good things in your life. And don't stop collecting at Thanksgiving. A tiny, beautiful ornament, a special valentine, a lucky clover--all these small things that add joy to your days can be gathered into your horn of plenty.

Read more about harvest customs and more ways to decorate with cornucopias in the library and on the Web.

In the Library

All New Crafts for Thanksgiving
Gives Provides instructions for creating a variety of Thanksgiving Day crafts, including pilgrim place cards, turkey napkin rings, cornucopia centerpieces, wreaths, puzzles, and favors.

Autumn Harvest by Alvin R. Tresselt
A picture book story of harvest time for young ones.

Merrily Comes Our Harvest In: Poems For Thanksgiving selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Twenty poems--pick one or two to share on Thanksgiving Day.

Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols by Edna Barth
Traces the history of this American harvest celebration and the development of its symbols and legends.

We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer
Tells how different cultures celebrate the harvest and has fun projects to try.

On the Web

Cornucopia Designs: Thanksgiving Printables
familycrafts.about.com/od/thanksgivingprintables/a/prthnkscrnuth.htm
Print out and make Thanksgiving cards, boxes, bags, napkin rings, place cards and tags, all featuring the cornucopia.

Cornucopia Paper Craft
www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/mcornicopia.htm
Cut, color, and glue a cornucopia craft. You can choose templates in black and white to color or a colored version.

Sugar-Cone Cornucopia
spoonful.com/recipes/sugar-cone-cornucopia
Sweet party favors for the Thanksgiving table can also be used as name cards. Hint: use larger waffle cones for a centerpiece.