Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Thankful tree

WOW, I can not believe it is already November! The holidays are right around the corner and another year is coming to an end.

I don't know if it's the holidays or the "closing of a chapter", but every year at this time, I take a look back my life and ask myself what I am most thankful for that year. Sometimes it's as simple as a new television or pair of shoes, but most of the time I find I am thankful for more intangible things and always for the people in my life.

One of our family traditions is to create a Thankful Tree over the course of a few days leading up to Thanksgiving. For those of you who are unsure what a Thankful Tree is, you collect a twig and place it in a vase or flowerpot. Next you cut out a bunch of construction paper leaves, poke a hole in the top and thread a ribbon though so the leaves can be hung on the tree. You can then set the tree out and on Thanksgiving Day everyone can fill out a few leaves for what they are thankful for and hang them on the tree. By the end of dinner, you have a tree full of leaves :D

In our house, the tree is created a couple of weeks ahead of time and new leaves are added day by day as we think of new things to be thankful for and some of the leaves are dated and saved and put into a scrapbook.

This has been one of our family traditions for several years now and over the course of the years, I have come to realize something... while we are often thankful for many new and different things each year, some things never change. Each year the first things I write down are family, love, friends, health and happiness. That realization is what lead me to create this project; a permanent Thankful tree. The leaves on this Creative Paperclay® Thankful Tree show the core things we are thankful for and can be displayed year after year, leaving the construction paper leaves for everything else :)

One of my construction paper leaves this year will be all of the amazing people I have met online, and YOU are on that list <3 Thank you for reading my blog and spending just a part of your life with me this year. I hope you will make a Thankful Tree, and maybe even start a new family tradition of your own. Happy Thanksgiving <3 . . . SUPPLIES - Wire for armature (I used 16 gauge wire that I found in the picture hanging department of Home Depot)*** Tools (pliers, needle nose, wire cutters, vice)*** Creative Paperclay® Modeling Material *** 16 0z empty glass jar (mine was from a used candle)*** Sculpting tools (I don't have sculpting tools, so I use whatever I have that will work. example - tooth pick, small toys stolen from my son's room, plastic handles or coffee stirrers)*** Xacto *** Craft paint *** Printout of what you are thankful for and leaf template. Be sure you have two of each word, one for the front and one for the back of each leaf.*** Fishing line or thread (for hanging leaves)*** Faux moss *** Submersible LED lights - These can be found at Michael's in the floral department and come in several colors. You can also find smaller (blinking) lights in the wedding department. See another project of mine using these lights here.

You can watch the full video tutorial below, but here are just a few pictures of the process. All photos can be clicked to enlarge.


leslierahye said...

What an awesome idea! Love it! Thank you for sharing!

Molossus said...

Fantastic idea. Thank you for showing us how to make a Thankful Tree for own! said...

Absolutely stunning! I love your project so much! Thanks for sharing! Great Thankful tree!!!

Lyneen said...

Great tutorial! Love the little light in the top of the jar, it really sets off the tree!

Jingle said...

Wonderful project!!