Monday, November 7, 2011

Homemade Thanksgiving Tree Craft

I've seen Thanksgiving Trees pop up all over the blogosphere, and I thought it was about time I made one for our home. I chose to put our Thanksgiving Tree next to the front door. While it's not an easy spot to photograph, it is certainly easily visible as we rush in and out on our way to various commitments. When I'm cranky and busy, it's nice to have a reminder of the wonderful blessings in our life together!

Here's what you need to make your own simple Thanksgiving Tree:

  • Kraft Paper (mine is crumpled because my girls were using it as a modeling runway and a pretend picnic blanket, go figure)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper and/or colored paper for leaves, or pre-cut leaves from craft store
  • Tape
My first step was to find a wall large enough for a paper tree.

I settled on an unfortunately cluttered area next to our front was filled with a box and bags of donations for Salvation Army, a basket of stuff I have not looked at in 3 years, and a bag containing a binder and plastic paper sleeves that I bought weeks ago to make a "Family Binder" and have not gotten around to yet.

It looked awesome. Here's a "Before" shot:

I measured the wall for a rough size of the tree I wanted to make and marked those off on my kraft paper before free-handing a tree-ish looking shape with my pencil. My 5 year old wanted to help too, and I love how you can see my laundry baskets in this photo too. Wow.

With the tree sketched out, it was time to cut:

Before we taped our creation to the wall, I decided to add some wording ("We are Thankful") to the roots on the tree:

How do we use our Thanksgiving tree?
Every day this month until Thanksgiving Day, the girls and I each write 1 thing we are thankful for on a leaf and tape it onto the tree.

I tend to write down more frivolous things (like shoes and mochas) so that the girls understand that there are all kinds of things we can be grateful for. This is a great exercise for me too...I spend a lot of the holidays worrying and stressing out about pleasing both sides of our families and how we will manage to ever start our own little family traditions. It's nice to take a break from that and focus on the good.

We all love the "After" (though it's still in progress). And the best part was that it was FREE because we had all the supplies!

Does your family do any "thankfulness" crafts or activities in November?

Linking to Thrifty Decor ChickHome Stories A to ZTatertots and Jello


  1. I love your tree, Amanda! It looks absolutely wonderful--and what a great, do-able craft! To be honest, a real tree trunk would not be all smooth, would it? It would be kind of rumpled-looking. I thought you were just going for authenticity. :)

    I used to do fun crafts with the boys when they were the age of your girls--you're building great memories. That's more important than laundry baskets.

  2. This is such a nice idea! I love that you involved your girls!

  3. Love this idea! And, have to agree...looks more realistic crinkled!

  4. Amanda your tree is too cute! I love that it was free and I love that you are adding a new leaf everyday! The newspaper print leaves are so fun! I posted today about a thankful project that I added to our decor this weekend:)

  5. That's a great way to count your blessings, Amanda! I bet the girls are really enjoying it.

  6. Looks great...I love that you are thankful for shoes and mochas :)
    We're going to do something similar, now that I have a preschooler I'm really getting into projects like these.

    BTW, super cute pic of your girls!

  7. This is so cute, and a great reminder of the upcoming holiday and it's true purpose.

  8. Oh, I LOVE this!! I should make one too. We're going through a really hard time financially right now and it's most likely going to be worse next month, but I'm trying to focus on the positive and all that we DO have. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration, Amanda! =)

    ~ Catie

  9. This is awesome! Such a good idea to teach the girls (and you) to ponder what you're thankful for daily. We don't have any thankful traditions, but this looks like a great one to start!!!

  10. What a wonderful idea!! I do believe I"ll do this fun little craft as well!

  11. What a great projects that lets your entire family be reminded each day everything for which you have to be thankful.

    Seeing this reminds me that I made a tree trunk years ago when I was student teaching that I never used. I could put this on a wall in my classroom and let my 7th graders add leaves like your girls did. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. What a wonderful idea. I love that you will use it until Thanksgiving. This might just have to be something I do in my classroom as well :)

  13. um, I don't see "nuggets" on that tree. surely Michaela is thankful for her most favorite food!

  14. What a great idea!!
    It's a fun way to be reminded about how blessed we are!

  15. That is such a simple yet great idea. I'm copying it--just warning you. Also, I feel like my whole house looks like your "before". I have work to do :).

  16. This is a great idea for the kids because it will create wonderful memories for them.

  17. Great idea!!! And I'm impressed with your free hand tree drawing ability! :) I know you all will have lots of fun adding thankful leaves each day!! Important to try to help our kiddos {and us} focus on positives!!

  18. Your girls are so cute! Great project. :-)

  19. This is so fun! I'd love for you to link up to my linky party

  20. what a wonderful family project!


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