Count down to Thanksgiving while learning the beauty of gratitude with a DIY leaf garland.
With its subtle gold highlights and autumnal color scheme, this simple garland makes a lovely addition to any table. It’s an easy project for anyone to tackle with a decidedly sophisticated aesthetic, as well as a great way to foster a sense of gratitude while getting dinnertime conversations rolling.
It’s also a great tool for counting down to Turkey Day. After asking each family member to write what they’re thankful for, kids can either add or subtract a leaf each night — adding makes for a beautiful centerpiece once Thanksgiving arrives, while subtracting helps younger kids visualize exactly how many days are left.
Whichever method you choose, pick one leaf each night and go around the table trying to guess which family member is responsible for writing it to add a game component.
- Brown craft paper or upcycled paper bags
- Red, orange, yellow and gold craft paint
- Sponge applicators and paintbrushes
- Small hole punch
Begin by free-hand drawing a leaf template onto a piece of cardstock. You can go big or small based on your preferred garland size. We ended up with a medium-sized template that produced about 5 leaves on the cardstock.
Cut your leaves from the cardstock template and trace them onto your brown craft paper. You will want 26 leaves in total — one for each day in November before Thanksgiving. Next, cut out the craft paper leaves with your scissors.
Use the sponge applicators, and a paintbrush if you like, to layer the paint onto your leaves. We did one layer of color, followed by one layer of gold paint and covered some leaves completely, while allowing the brown to peek through on others.
Once the leaves are dry, pass out some pens and ask everyone in your family to write one thing that they are grateful for this year per leaf. Then fold the leaves in half to create a three-dimensional effect. Lastly, punch a small hole in the end of each leaf so you can thread them onto your ribbon to create a garland.
Sprawl your new decor across the center of your dining room table and enjoy!
Photo Credit: Stephanie Morgan
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