Let’s face it, with Halloween on one end and Christmas on the other, Thanksgiving often gets a raw deal. I know that when the holiday season is in full force, being intentional with projects and decor gets really hard. I find it so easy to scoot right by Thanksgiving, without a second thought, and dive right into Christmas stuff, so I decided to tackle a project that would keep my family centered and focused on being grateful throughout November. A Thankful Tree that can be reused every year!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
Canvas (mine is 18in x 24in)
1/2 yard-3/4 yard of fabric
Mod podge (not pictured)
Baby clothespins (not pictured)
Step 1: Spraypaint the canvas in your color choice. If you want to cut back on some serious blinding glare, use a satin paint for a more matte look.
Step 2: Locate your tree image (there are tons of free clipart images listed in Google images) and enlarge it to fit your canvas. We love the engineer prints from Staples and use them all the time.
Step 3: Use a sharp-edge razor to cut the tree out. Don’t worry about all the little limbs, and focus on the larger ones. This seemed super daunting, but surprisingly went quickly and smoothly. I accidentally cut a branch that I wanted to keep on (doh!) but was easily able to use tape to fix it.
Step 4: Lay your image down on the backside of the fabric and trace it with a pen.
Step 5: Spray the fabric tree with spray starch and iron it to make it stiff. This makes cutting it out with scissors a piece of cake.
Step 6: Center the tree on the canvas. Starting at the trunk, lift small sections and lightly spray with adhesive. Smooth out all of the bubbles from the center out to the edges. A little spray adhesive may get on the canvas where you don’t need it, but that’s ok. We’ll be taking care of that later.
Step 7: Place stencils on your canvas and stencil away! I used Martha Stewart’s self-adhering stencils which are awesome because you don’t have to worry about them moving around while you stencil. (Insider secret: This project was originally posted on U-Create, so there was a deadline involved. I was actually stenciling this bad boy in the car in between a shift at work and tennis practice. Pure craziness, I tell you #cantwasteevenoneminute.)
Step 8: Mod Podge the entire canvas starting at the center of the tree and working out to the edges. This will seal the tree and make it more resistant to wear and fading. And remember that spray adhesive I mentioned before? The Mod Podge takes care of hiding that, too. Score!
It’s scary at first, but dries clear!
Step 9: Spraypaint the clothespins and adhere them to the tree with hot glue.
Step 10: Print out our fun “thankful” labels on card stock (download them here) and cut them out using scissors. Have your family write what they’re thankful on each of the tags and then clip them to the canvas.
Voila! You’re done and are left with an adorable, re-useable canvas that will help your family focus on what’s really important in the next two weeks. Plus, it’s super cute, so it’s a win-win!
So, that’s it! I love that I can use this every year. I plan on writing the year on the back of each tag and keeping them to look through each year. I’m hoping my son won’t say that he’s most thankful for Cinnamon Toast Crunch every year.
Aannnnnd since we’ve officially welcomed the holiday season here on the blog, we wanted to share something exciting with you! When we were looking around for cool Christmas vinyl options to share with you, we found very few that were modern and stylish. So, since we had several requests for the vinyl phrase we used on the front door last week, we decided to create a few just for you! A limited number of Be Merry Christmas decals are now for sale in our Etsy shop at a very reasonable price- only $8!! That’s a whole lot cheaper than buying a new wreath, people. And we have a couple more coming this week, so be on the lookout. Get yours now!
Let the holiday craziness begin!