Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gratitude Tree

Our family started a tradition a few years ago to sit down during our weekly family nights in November and write down some of the things we're grateful for. Last year I announced to my two little girls that I was grateful to have a baby in my belly. I will never forget the looks on their faces!

In the past, we would simply write our ideas down on leaves and put them on our kitchen wall. Well, this year I decided to "kick it up a notch," as Emeril would say. I took branches from outside, placed them into floral foam in a pot, and covered the foam with beans. Then I bought some tags from Wally World and started our tree.

We can't wait to fill it up - we have so much to be thankful for! It’s always fun to hear what my kids think up. Sometimes it’s “yummy food” or “fun toys.” But my five-year-old daughter came up with my favorite tag so far this year:

She’s a hoot! We also plan on keeping the tags from year to year, so we put the year on the back:

The tree looked a little lonely sitting there, so I thought I'd make a sign to go with it.

I think this chipboard tag sign adds just the right touch! I originally had ribbon on top of each tag, but I think it was a little overkill. I wanted people to notice the word GRATITUDE, not the swirls of ribbon surrounding it.

So, what’s my favorite part of this project? If you’re like me, you have boxes and boxes of holiday decorations. Those bulky items are a pain to haul around and cumbersome to store. Just imagine the small amount of space it will take to store this baby! I love it!

So, here’s how to make the sign. You’ll need:



Scrapbook Paper

Ribbon (two pieces - at least 40” each)

Hot Glue

Hole Punch

Adhesive (I used Mod Podge – you can use whatever you prefer)

Letters (I used vinyl letters – again, use whatever you prefer)

*Optional - One Office Tag (measures 2-5/8” wide x 5-1/4” tall)

I started with an office tag for a template and cut out 9 chipboard tags.

I found some paper I loved at Hobby Lobby called “Della Fantasia” by The Paper Studio. It’s classy and yet, has just enough personality to make sure the sign wasn’t boring. It’s tricky to find that balance, know what I mean?

Now you have to decide how particular you are about crafts. This project could be done the easy way or the hard way. The difference? Showing off your backside.

Easy Way

This way takes WAY less time, but you can see the ribbon & glue from behind.

Hard Way

This way is a little more difficult, but looks gorgeous any way you look at it.

Basically, are you a Martha? Martha Stewart would never, ever show off her backside (thank goodness). If you are a Martha, skip this next step and move on to lining up the tags. If you don’t mind showing your rear off, simply glue scrapbook paper to the tag. As you can see, it still looks great from the front & side.

Next, line up the tags as straight as possible. I separated the tags by about 1/4” so that they would fold up nicely. Glue one piece of ribbon to the top of the tags and one to the bottom (about 2-1/2” apart). A word of caution: Don’t skimp and do just one ribbon! It needs two ribbons to keep it from falling over. I learned the hard way on that one. ;)

If you chose the easy way – you’re almost finished! Just add your letters. I told you it was simple! If you’re a little more particular, like me, let’s keep going. Take your scrapbook paper and cut some 2-5/8” x 12” strips. Match up one side of your strip to the bottom of your tag and fold it over. Repeat for each tag.

Now glue start gluing. I started with the smallest portion on the bottom of the backside.

When you glue the front, make sure to smooth out any bubbles or ripples.

At this point, you’ll want to mark where the hole is for the tag. In the end, you’ll punch through the scrapbook paper and you’ll want to easily find where the hole is.

Glue the back down and finish the top edge by folding over the corners towards the back (almost like wrapping a present). When you’re done wrapping the corners, punch holes in your tags.

The final step is to add your letters. I used vinyl letters because they’re easy to use and I love the shine they give.

Time to enjoy your finished project! What was I grateful for the day I took this picture? It was 70+ degrees in the middle of November in St. Louis, Missouri and I did the entire project on my back deck in the SUN! Some of you lucky Californians may not realize what a small miracle that was!

Thank you so much to Kate at Centsational Girl for spotlighting my simple idea. I hope to see some of you on my side of the blogging world more often. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I love it. Want to make it..

  2. What a great idea!! I love how it looks.

  3. This is adorable - I absolutely love how simple but beautiful all your things are. Good work!

  4. I just found your blog and I'm a fellow Missouri crafter! I live in Troy, MO...about an hour from St. Louis...north of Wentzville.

    I would love to make this craft! It is a wonderful idea and I like that you are saving the grateful tags each year. What a wonderful thing for the kids to read to their own children someday!

  5. I just stumbled across your blog and I'm so happy I did! I really want to make Thanksgiving more meaningful to my little family this year and I love this idea!! Can you tell me how you made the GRATITUDE sign? I think I have it figured out, but I would love some instruction! You can email me too... jsnsl@hotmail.com THANKS!!

  6. This is beautiful. I have a whole slew of smaller tags at home where I can try this.

  7. So cute!!! You are getting filed at thecraftersfilebox.com AGAIN with this great idea!

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. What a neat craft! I love the "TP." Very cute. ;)

  9. I just saw this on Centsational Girl and loved the idea so much that I blogged about it and designed some cute tags to hang from the tree. They are a free download on my blog, so come in and grab yours! Here is the post: Gratitude Tree Tags - Sweetly Sweet.

  10. Wow, I came acrosss your site while looking at "Sonoma County on the Cheap" for holiday ideas to do with the family. What a great idea this is. It looks wonderful.Thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi. . .i am doing a post on intentional gratitude and making a list of all the things we are thankful for. . and the creative ways to do that. I found you thru a google search. . beautiful work. I am going to link to this post. Thanks for the inspiration!!


  12. I made it. I found the hardest part for me was to make the sign stand up. I ended up creasing and putting hot glue on the back side and holding it until it set. It worked wonderfully. I love your idea. The tree is absolutely beautiful!!!! Thanks for posting:) Oh yeah, one more note...I spray painted my tree gold.

  13. Hi Candi & Kate ~

    I'm the guest curator at CRESCENDOh this week, and your post was one of the ones I featured today: http://blog.crescendoh.com/crescendoh/

  14. I'm just now working on my own gratitude tree and am wondering what the holes are for on each tag/letter? Any response would be cool!

    1. Just decorative because they're made with tags, so if you don't want to repunch the hole, you could just leave it covered with the paper! That would be cute too!