Gratitude tree: what are you thankful for?

One of the Big Picture Boot Camp prompts by Amy Powers was to make a “Celebration Tree.”  I like the idea of decorating the house for autumn and also of making the idea of gratitude more tangible to my young daughter.  This is a basic tree that I can change as each season or occasion comes about… I am picturing hanging cute pictures for a birthday or maybe some flowers in springtime.

I had ordered some manzanita branches in preparation for this project and bought some small wooden spools as well.  The other supplies were a $1 bucket, Plaster of Paris, a bit of scrapbook paper, various ribbons, glitter paints, clear glitter glue, sheet moss, and baker’s twine, most of which I already had on hand.

I arranged my branches and held them in place in the silver tin bucket with masking tape and then poured the Plaster of Paris mixture around them and let it dry overnight for a week.  It probably would have dried in 30 minutes but this project was accomplished in many tiny steps over a period of about two weeks!

I used some quick-dry adhesive to wrap little pieces of scrapbook paper and ribbon around the spools, and then added the words of what we are grateful for on top.  My daughter and I decided to have one for her school, one for each of the three people in our immediate family, and “taking care of each other.” The rest were from Amy’s printout and include words like togetherness, love, nourishment, family, kindness.  You can put anything meaningful to you.

Rather than sew or glue buttons to both ends of the spools as Amy did, I painted orange and red Martha Stewart glitter acrylic craft paint on the ends.  I just couldn’t see threading and unthreading and rethreading a needle that many times! I sewed the baker’s twine onto some colorful buttons, looped it through the spools, and tied a knot at the tops to form a loop.

I randomly sponge painted some clear glitter glue onto the branches just for a little sparkle.  Mine is a little bottle of studio g from the dollar bins of our craft store.  I don’t know why it’s looking green here…

Let it all dry, decorate the outside with the sheet moss and some ribbon…

… and involve your family as much as you’d like.  These little hands are my daughter’s.

I already love how it looks in our entryway! It’s another way to bring the outside in.

What do you think? Could you see yourself making something like this? I encourage you to try… each step is fun and easy.

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17 Responses to Gratitude tree: what are you thankful for?

  1. karenstout says:

    I love this! I think I may try my hand at a gratitude tree this weekend! Thank you for sharing! What a wonderful tradition to start with your sweet daughter!

    • Naomi says:

      Truth be told, I had to distract those little hands a bunch of times. She is still rearranging the spools every time she walks by it!

  2. Amanda says:

    Wow.. Good for you. Love the tree..

  3. jennspeak says:

    absolutely wonderfully beautifully glorious!
    thanks for the stir,
    Jennifer

  4. Naomi, this is a fabulous project!!! I don’t know that I could get to it this year, but if I don’t I’ll be keeping it in mind for next year!

    • Naomi says:

      It’s really fun and so so simple. Make it as easy as you like… collect just one branch from a walk outside and hang anything from it you like!

  5. Cathy H. says:

    I love this!! I’ve seen gratitude trees before, but none as lovely as yours!!

  6. Cathy H. says:

    P.S. I’m pinning you again on Pinterest!!

  7. RnR says:

    Looks great, Naomi!

  8. This is absolutely gorgeous! I am inspired…

  9. erin says:

    I too love this, so creative and beautiful as a tree on your entry table! Well done!

  10. I love this idea. Am thinking of how to put one together over the weekend!

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