“Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude.” – Nigel Hamilton
This quote spoke to me as I was starting this fun Thanksgiving craft. I have wanted to make a Gratitude Tree (aka Thankful Tree or you could even call it your Thanksgiving Tree) for quite some time now. My daily (I wish daily) quiet time consists of a list of things I am grateful for. These items are honestly simple day to day needs that I like to voice my gratitude on a daily basis.
There is a lot going on in my family right now, heck, a lot going on in our world these days that can cause a lot of emotions. Our reactions to negative situations bring out the best or the worst in each of us. As for me, it depends on my day and even the moods of my threenager and my opinionated 1st grader. Instead of a blissful early morning quiet time it turns into a constant call out for peace and patience throughout the mere minutes of the day. Honestly, when I voice aloud my gratitude for even the little things, it helps me brush myself off after an emotional mind game from one of my children. Simply give thanks for every little thing during your day. From a green light that makes you get to work on time or the person who holds the door for you while dropping off your child at school.
VOICE.YOUR.GRATITUDE. And make this fun Gratitude Tree! #gratitude #begrateful
Alright, so this simple craft is just that…simple. You can personalize it however you want.
List of Items Needed:
Multiple Fallen Tree Branches (at least 5)
Mason Jar or Small Tin Bucket or Glass Vase
Decorative Accent Stones (any color you want!)
Printed Labels/Tags or Purchased Labels/Tags
String or Twine (either natural or color of your choice)
Sharpie Fine Point Black Pen (or color of your choice)
Hole Puncher and Scissors
1| Collect your sticks. Fall is a great time to take a walk around your yard and pick up small fallen branches for this project. Try to use ones that have a little more character such as ones that are not just straight but have smaller branches coming off of them. Try to gather at least 5 or more.
2| Now print out your labels/tags or purchase some at a local craft shop. I made these free printable labels and then purchased black card stock paper at Hobby Lobby to place on the backs. It makes them thicker and more durable. I like the black and white contrast. There are also cute printable leaf labels all over Pinterest that you can print out on cardstock or colored craft paper that would look great as well. The leaves are cute and more common because it makes it look like leaves falling off the branches, of course! Make it your own and have fun.
3| As I mentioned above, I made these simple labels/tags and printed them. Then cut them out as well as the black stock paper just a little bigger so that you could see it behind the white labels. I glued the black paper circles onto the backs of the labels/tags with Elmers glue but you could use glue stick or rubber cement. Once they are dried then use a hole punch to punch holes at the top.
4| Now this part is fun. Sit around with your children and ask them what they are thankful for. Depending on their ages they may or may not know how to answer but you can lead them. When we pray at night, we always first thank God for our family and our house, etc., so these were items that my children mentioned. Think of all the little and big things that you are grateful for and add them to your labels. We ended up having 9, however, could have filled up plenty more and can continue adding until Thanksgiving and beyond.
5| Place the branches in the mason jar however you want. Try to fit them in the best way possible and make them aesthetically pleasing. Then hold them in place as best as possible and start adding the rocks into the jar around the bottom of the branches. The rocks or pebbles will start to hold the branches in place as it fills the jar. I used the whole sack of pebbles.
6| Cut the twine down the length that you want the labels to hang off the branches. I ended up using an army green twine that I found at the Target Dollar Spot. They almost always have different colored twine for only $1. Loop the twine in the punched holes on the labels and double knot it.
7| Now hang your labels all over and around your branches!
You can add thankful things to your tree and take away as you choose. This would be a great evening family time event to go over what you are grateful for each night and add one each day (instead of all at once) until Thanksgiving. If your children can write then have them write some out in their own handwriting…so cute! Also, you can make it a fun gift as well to give someone. It can be kept up all year long because we always have something to be thankful for and what better reminder than a Grateful Tree!
Some helpful links below to make your tree that much better. Print out your favorite quote, place in a fun frame and display in front of your tree.
Proverbial Homemaker: I found a really cute set of leaves on this blog post that I used.
What Thanksgiving traditions do you do to show your gratitude?