Project: Thankful Tree

Craft & Design

CZ_CraftExclusive.gifProject by Vanessa Coppola

thankful tree_picture2.jpg

It has become a Thanksgiving tradition for my family to go around the table and say what we are each thankful for. This has become my favorite part of the meal. I want to carry over this tradition with my 1 year old, so I came up with the Thankful Tree. This tree is a throwback to my elementary school days. My classmates and I scribbled out what we were thankful for in crayon onto a construction paper cutout of our hand and placed it on a large tree stump that the teacher made out of butcher paper. Same concept – I just spruced up the idea a bit.

As if I needed an excuse to turn something into a chalkboard, I’ll be showing you how to make reusable chalkboard leaves to hang on the tree. You could use these leaves as place cards for your Thanksgiving dinner and then ask guests to erase their names and write in chalk what they are thankful for. It might also be fun to turn a piece of butcher paper into a chalkboard with chalkboard paint and use that for your tablecloth or runner. Guests would have a blast doodling on it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

thankful tree_picture3.jpg

Materials

Pumpkin carving knife
Pumpkin,
artificial or real
Paint
Paintbrush
Scissors
Floral foam blocks
Branches
Hot glue
Cardstock paper or cardboard
an empty cereal box works great
Leaf stencils or real leaves
Hole puncher
Chalkboard spray paint
optional
Jute or hemp string

Directions

thankful tree_step1b.jpg
Step 1: Cut a small hole at the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds (if using a real pumpkin). Paint the pumpkin, 2-3 coats, if you desire a different color. Allow time to dry overnight.
thankful tree_step2a.jpg
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Step 2: Cut the floral foam so it is small enough to fit through the hole at the top of the pumpkin. Fill the pumpkin with the foam pieces so they are snuggly sitting inside.
thankful tree_step3a.jpg
Step 3: Place the branches into the pumpkin and through the floral foam. You can add a dab of hot glue to the ends of the branches before you stick them through the foam for a more secure placement. If you don’t have access to branches in your backyard, many craft stores sell bundles of tree branches.
thankful tree_step4.jpg
Step 4: You can make cardstock leaves or chalkboard leaves, made out of cardboard from an old cereal box. Trace leaf stencils or actual leaves onto the paper/cardboard and cut out the shapes.
thankful tree_step5.jpg
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Step 5: To make chalkboard leaves, spray the cardboard leaf shapes with 2-3 coats of chalkboard spray paint. Use a hole punch to make a hole at the top of each cutout. String a piece of jute or hemp through the hole for hanging.
thankful tree_step7a.jpg
Step 6: Leave pens (for cardstock leaves) or chalk (for chalkboard leaves) out for Thanksgiving guests to write down what they are thankful for. Hang the leaves on the branches of the thankful tree.
thankful tree_picture1.jpg
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About the Author:
Vanessa Coppola Headshot.jpg
Vanessa Coppola crafts from her Arizona home, where she resides with her husband and 1-year-old son Logan. You can read her crafty ramblings at The Crafty Nest. She is very thankful for her family and friends this Thanksgiving season.

31 thoughts on “Project: Thankful Tree

  1. Linda Knight says:

    I love this and there are so many different occasions that you could use it for. I will be making this. Thank you!

  2. Anon. says:

    For a more earth conscious project seeing the pumpkin if not the whole project will wound up in the trash eventually: use any cardboard from boxes and write words in a contrasting color; no paints (harmful chemicals incl. airborne); polystyrene from old package instead of floral foam; hot glue if you must.

  3. 24 DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas That Will Charm Your Guests says:

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