I love this little breath between Halloween and Thanksgiving, don’t you? Retailers don’t seem to recognize it, but I’m ignoring them. Back off, Christmas.
Yesterday, I set my two big boys to work in the backyard, clearing fallen tree limbs leftover from last winter’s big storm, while I put the last of the Halloween decorations away, and started thinking about how to decorate the porch for Thanksgiving (the subject of my latest New South Style column). When an interesting branch caught my eye on its way to the curb, I intercepted it, thinking it would look pretty wrapped in lights for the holidays, or as a Jesse tree to count down Advent this year. But in the meantime, what?
I was about to do what I usually do when I have an attack of DIY, which is to go half-cocked to the craft store, and stay there until I am thoroughly exhausted, confused, and over-spent; and there is no time left in the day to do anything at all.
Then I remembered seeing some “Thanksgiving trees” on Pinterest when I was researching for the porch piece–branches hung with paper leaves on which family members write what they are thankful for. Perfect. While I was digging around in the craft box for card stock, I found some red felt, and remembered this fall leaves garland from A Beautiful Mess.
A little while later, our Thanking Tree was installed. So easy, and it cost nothing in either dollars or morale. Here’s how it came together.
1. Anchor a nice branchy branch in a container (shut up, spellcheck, branchy is too a word). I used rocks in a big tin can, then put the whole thing in a painted bucket. Yes, that is decorative mesh, which I condemned in my New South Style column, covering up the rocks. Later I will re-purpose them for busting out of my glass house.
2. Cut a leafy shape from card stock and use it for a template to cut the felt leaves.
3. Stitch the leaves together using a contrasting yarn and a darning needle. You could also punch holes in the felt and thread them.
3. Hang garland.
4. Looks pretty over the door, too. Really, this was so much easier than bunting.
5. Use the leaf template to cut out paper leaves. Punch holes in them and tie a length of yarn on for hanging. I wrote “Thankful for…” on each, and put them in a vase with a marker. This is probably asking for trouble from three boys with a keen appreciation of potty humor.
I’m thankful for them anyway.