For the last few years, we've spent Thanksgiving morning writing things we're thankful for on simple Fall shapes. This year, I decided to turn it into a month-long tradition. Instead of listing what we're thankful for all at once, we'll add them to our tree all month long! This tree may look complicated, but you can do it! (I'll show you how.)
How to create a recycled Thanksgiving thankful tree
My tree is made from brown-paper packing material that arrived with a package earlier this week (perfect timing). You could also make it out of brown craft paper or recycled paper sacks (just tape the pieces together on the printed side). I want my tree to last from year to year, so I mounted it on a tri-fold presentation board.
You could also pin it to a bulletin board or just stick it right on your wall.
- Crumple your tree material. (This is the fun part!) I had way more than I needed. You need just enough to match the height of your board.
- Spread out the top half of the paper.
- Cut the top half into four or five sections. (I used five, but I ended up trimming off most of the fifth branch.)
- Trim each of the five branches into three smaller branches.
- Begin to shape your branches by crumbling them up and then shaping them into swirls.
- Continue with the other branches, allowing them to overlap and trimming branches when they are too long.
- Too many branches? No problem. Cut them off completely, or leave short stubs. (You can hide any crazy spots by creatively arranging the wrinkles and taping or gluing them into place.
- Affix the trunk and branches to the presentation board using masking tape, double-sided tape, glue, or a combination of all three! I used masking tape for the trunk and scrapbook tape runner for the branches.
Thankful tree version 2
I found this gem while looking through photos today (11/2020). This is our first thankful tree. If you look closely, you'll see lots of fun pictures drawn by my kids. I love the leaves created by my youngest daughter -- scibbles with a marker. Such a fun memory!
This tree was created with brown butcher paper that I crumpled up, spread back out, and then cut. I guess I really like the idea of a swirly 3D tree. You could easily make a flat tree with straight branches instead if 3D and swirly is above your creativity or effort level.
Now you're ready to display your board and start adding leaves. I've created printable leaves for you. Just print and cut. Click on the download link below to
*Since writing this post last year, I won a Silhoutte! (I know. So cool!) If you'd like a cutting file instead, I've linked it in this post.
Depending on the age of your kids, keep a marker, masking tape and envelope of leaves next to the tree, and let them add leaves whenever they feel inspired. (I plan to let them add more leaves every year until the tree is so full that we need a new one. It will be fun to read the old leaves at the beginning of November each year.) Inspired by this video, I'll be sharing something I'm grateful for on Facebook every day this month. Have fun teaching your family about showing gratitude every day!
Nichi - The Mandatory Mooch
Thanks so much for hosting. I have linked up 3 fun fall recipes. Enjoy!! Nichi
I love your thankful tree! My post includes a thankful tree but on a much smaller scale! Thanks for hosting the party! Lovin' all of the fall ideas!
Thanks for the party Heidi!
What a fun party....thank you so much for hosting. Had some trouble with my cropping, so sorry for the icky pic. I love your blog!!
JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose
That tree idea is super cute! gotta remember this one.
Love your thankful tree! Just subscribed to your site, thanks for hosting!
Bonny @ thedomesticatedprincess.com
This is such a cute way to get our kids into thinking about being Thankful all month. I'm going to share this link on my FB page.
It's not just about the recipe . . . .
You have a wonderful blog! I love your Thankful Tree art project - what a great idea! Thank you for hosting. Have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for hosting I'm all linked up and looking forward to hopping around Hugs and happy weekend wishes.
What a great idea!! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your sweet comments today. Love your blog! Can't wait to spend some time visiting the other links over the weekend!
Thank you so much for hosting! That adorable tree is right up my alley!! Have a wonderful weekend. :)
I love your tree!! I'm hosting a Thanksgiving party all month long (until Thanksgiving) and would love for you to come over and link it up! This is in addition to my normal Tasteful Tuesday party that runs every Tuesday. Thank you for taking the time to celebrate Thanksgiving and be THANKFUL for all our blessings. http://www.nap-timecreations.com/2012/10/pull-apart-pumpkin-maple-bread-and.html
Thanks for co hosting. What a cute idea. I love the tree. Have a wonderful weekend :)
K @ Claiming Our Space
I love this. Too bad I just threw away some of the same paper this week. Thanks for being a great co-host.
What a beautiful idea, thanks for sharing! Thanks, also, for hosting. :)
Great idea, that tree is adorable, thanks for linking up on Super Sweet Saturday.
OneCreativeMommy.com on Facebook
Thanks, ladies! Love your sites.
Sara - My Merry Messy Life
What a wonderful idea! I love how you used the brown paper and how it's a family activity! Stopping over from Earning My Cape's super link party!
I linked up 2 posts:
1. Twenty-Two Days of Thanks: Day Two (on Fibro, Fit and Fab!) where I talk about how I'm grateful for my family.
2. My recipe for Pumpkin Muffins (Soy, Fish and Nut-Free, Can Be Milk-Free) - my newest and fast-becoming favorite fall muffin recipe! :)
Thanks for hosting!
Love this thankful tree! great post! I gave our party another shout out!
Thanks for visiting up and linking!
Great craft, I can't wait to see what my four year old says he's grateful for! Thanks for linking up on Super Sweet Saturday.
Jessi @ Practically Functional
Great idea! I love that it helps you remember to think about being grateful. :-) Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!
Trish - Mom On Timeout
I love your tree! So awesome! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout! Have a great week!
Thank you very much for sharing your Family Thankful Tree Tutorial and Free Printable at the Real Housemom's Fabulous Fridays Link Party! I really love the idea of spreading the project out to make it a month long tradition. Great idea to mount the tree on a presentation board so you can use it year after year!
Debi @ Adorned From Above
Love your printable and thankful tree. Thanks so much for sharing at last Wednesday's Adorned From Above Link Party. This weeks party is live. The link to the party is
Can't wait to see you there.
Have a great week.
Hi! Just wanted to let you know I featured your thankful tree on my post yesterday :o) Love it!
Oh, this is so adorable! You are so creative!
Thanks for sharing at Foodies & Crafties Soirée!
Gosia | Kiddie Foodies
Thanks, Gosia! Congrats on your first linky party.
Nici ~Posed Perfection
Such a great idea to spur on those expressions of gratitude! Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!
Thanks, Nici! We love it. I'm off to check out your crescent rolls.
Absolutely gorgeous! And simple, too! Thanks for sharing at the Foodies and Crafties Soiree.
Pinned this to our Foodies and Crafties Soiree Best of Pinterest Board as one of my favorite projects- thanks so much for linking up with us!
Thanks so much, Sarah! I'm honored.
This is great! Absolutely love these! Thanks so much for sharing it on my Thanksgiving link-up! :)
Thanks for sharing at the Foodies and Crafties Soiree.....