Gratitude Tree….{{made from tree branches}}

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Okay, one more project (or, maybe 2) for Thanksgiving.  And then I have several things that I want to make for Christmas gifts this year that I’m dying to share. 


However, this little project may be my favorite of all the Thanksgiving posts this year.  Mostly because it gave us some great things to think about, chat about, and share together as a little family.  One thing that I hope to really instill in my little wigglers…….is gratitude.  I know they’re small and their understanding is limited but I want them to grateful.  And happy.  And appreciative for even the smallest of blessings.


So, my sister Robin (remember she’s staying here in our home…) came up with this great little Gratitude Tree.  And I just took the pictures.  And contributed minimally. :)






And you know, I really REALLY love it. 


And it sits perfectly up on that big mantel that we recently constructed (with that rad big brother of mine!). 






I think I enjoy looking at it….mostly because it reminds me of the conversation we had with our littles, while talking about anything and everything that we are really grateful for.  I could see their little eyes light up, as they rattled off their most treasured blessings.


Each of those items were written on paper, attached with a little jute string, and hung from each of the burlap leaves on the tree.  Oh, and each of those little leaves have wire attached……and are bendable and stay right where you want them.






For 2013, this definitely made the list.  The kids feel the same way….because having our home means no more moving.  And they remind us of this fact often.






Some items are more serious……while others are a little more trivial.  But hey, Elli appreciates the small things too.






And Chloe appreciates the vain things.  (That 2 year old of mine could LIVE in her dress up high heels.  Or the ones from my closet.  Grrr.)






It sure is a perfect fall decoration.  And a lovely center piece for Thanksgiving.

grateful tree







And the cost is minimal.  A few branches from outside, a little jute string, some pebbles from our landscape, and a metal container that was stored away, unused.  The only thing I purchased was the metallic marker, to write out each item of gratitude.


My heart is feeling full.  And this little tree helped fill it right up! :)




Would you like to make your own Gratitude Tree??



First, find a container of any type (glass, metal, wood, ceramic, etc) that is sturdy enough to hold your branches.  Keep in mind the pebbles will help give the base some weight too, so the container doesn’t have to be super heavy, just sturdy.  Then, gather old dried out twigs and branches and arrange them into the container, just how you’d like them.  Don’t be afraid to break off branches, re-adjust, etc.




Then, pour pebbles into the container, completely surrounding each of the branch bases.  (If you don’t have access to pebbles…… could use sand, marbles, bigger rocks, etc.)




Next, cut out leaf shapes out of some burlap fabric.




Then weave thin wire through the length of the leaf, allowing the leaf to bend and hold its shape.




Cut the wire off at the base of the leaf and then place a blob of epoxy glue at the base.  (You could use hot glue too but I found the epoxy to hold a little better.)




Then, attach the leaf to the branch, molding it around the branch.  Use a clothespin to keep the leaf in place until it dries…..otherwise you’ll have to hold it with your fingers.




Then, wrap some jute string several times around the base of the leaf, completely covering the glue and base of the leaf.  But leave one end of the jute string long, to hang your paper later on.




Now remember, since there is wire in the leaf, you can mold it and bend it however you want.




Then, cut out ovals in card stock paper and write a “gratitude” item on each piece of paper.




Then hole punch one end of the paper.




And then string it onto the long end of each just piece and tie a single knot.  Cut the excess jute off…..and let the paper hang.




This is optional, but I wrapped more jute around the container several time and tied it in a knot at the back.




And that’s it.


Your own little Gratitude Tree.








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15 Responses to “Gratitude Tree….{{made from tree branches}}”
  1. 1
    Patti says:

    I just made one of these over the weekend with my youngest granddaughter…we called it our “thankful tree”!! I used a “copper” planter pot from the Dollar Tree, florist foam, sticks from wayward limbs hubs had cut down, and silk fall leaves I had from another project…oh, and moss to cover the foam. It’s proudly displayed on the kitchen island at present! I had thought to let anyone who came in and out during the Thanksgiving holiday add their own “thankful” to the tree, but the granddaughter and I got carried away with all our own “thankfullness”! :)

    • 1.1
      Ashley says:

      Ha…..that’s awesome that you just did the same! :) And how funny that you got carried away filling the tree…….feeling grateful catches on like wild fire. And is truly a cure when you have the blues! :)

  2. 2
    Cristina says:

    lovely and easy to make! thanks for sharing

  3. 3

    A wonderful project for the whole family to participate in. Love this idea. Can see the little ones
    gathered around the table so excited to make one. Shared and thanks.

  4. 4
    Emily says:

    We made a gratitude turkey and the kiddos add feathers to his tail each day as we are grateful. It has been wonderful to spend the last week talking about all the things we are thankful for…such a cute idea with the tree though! May have to do that next year :)

  5. 5

    This is absolutely adorable! I love it! And I love that I could keep it up through January/February as well. What a sweet decoration! :)

  6. 6
    Michelle Nielsen says:

    Ashley, I love your wood frames. Where did you get them?

  7. 7
    Subha says:

    Lovely… You are such a creative person !!! I shall do if This weekend. Thanks

  8. 8
    Chel says:

    I love the simplicity of that tree, Ashley. I wish we had Thanksgiving here in Australia. Such a lovely celebration.

  9. 9

    I have seen so many examples of gratitude trees on line, this is hands down my favorite.

    I think my girls will enjoy collecting the tree branches to make this one happen.

    Thanks for sharing this idea!

  10. 10
    Love says:

    Love the idea & it looks so beautiful, thank you for sharing it <3

  11. 11

    Great idea!! I shared a link to this project on my blog today. Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. 12
    Judith Edwards says:

    Hi Ashley I made your gratitude tree with a group of orphans that I work with in malawi. They loved it especially the boys as they had never seen a hole punch before!! Even these children who come from appalling family backgrounds had something to be grateful for! Many of them said Thankyou to Jesus. Thankyou for the lovely idea, it really worked well, it is so good to be thankful! Judith