Remind your guests and family of the true meaning of Thanksgiving by making a DIY thankful tree with real fall leaves this year. Creating and decorating a thankful tree with real fall leaves is a gratitude craft and Thanksgiving tradition that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Make a thankful tree for Thanksgiving with real autumn leaves!
Write words of thankfulness and gratitude on preserved fall leaves and place them on your gratitude tree to decorate it. Learn all of the DIY details below!
Our thankful tree with autumn leaves pictured with turkey lantern fall leaf luminaries.
DIY Thankful Tree with Real Fall Leaves for Thanksgiving
There are many ways to use a thankful tree to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in the home. Some families use them as a Thanksgiving advent, while others use them as a centerpiece for their Thanksgiving table. Creating and decorating one is an activity that the whole family will enjoy.
Thankful trees also make lovely DIY fall home decor and look wonderful displayed on nature tables. Learn more about Thanksgiving thankful trees and how they are used in our top 10 thankful trees roundup!
Thanksgiving Thankful Tree Supplies
- Sand and/or pebbles
- Bare branches [We used fallen branches from the oak tree in our backyard. Go on a nature hunt to find your own bare branches and sticks you can use to make a thankful tree, or purchase willow, or lighted branches.]
- We used several different kinds of real preserved fall leaves. You can also use paper leaves, DIY clay or fabric leaves.
- Autumn colored pom poms (I picked out the warm fall colors from this pack)
- Glue gun with glue sticks
- Brown washi tape or wood grain washi tape
- Extra fine tip paint pens
You can also make the sweet little turkey leaf lanterns on the table with real leaves!
Thanksgiving Thankful Tree with Real Fall Leaves Step by Step Tutorial
Step 1 – Arrange bare branches in a vase to form the base of the thankful tree.
Step 2 – Pour sand and/or pebbles around bare branches to add weight to the vase so it stays upright.
Step 3 – Use a glue gun to attach pom poms onto the thankful tree branches. (optional)
Make sure you teach your children how to use caution when working with hot glue if you choose this option. Glue guns are hot and dangerous tools, and the glue is hot enough to burn little hands if safety precautions are not taken.
Step 4 – Place a bowl of preserved fall leaves near the tree
Step 5 – Write what you are grateful for on leaves to decorate the tree.
Invite your friends and family to use a paint pen to write what they are most thankful or grateful for on a preserved autumn leaves before they use wood grain washi tape to attach it to the tree to decorate it.
Use your thankful tree as a Thanksgiving Advent or an Interactive Thanksgiving centerpiece. Use extra fine tip paint pens to write what you are thankful for each day or set it up to decorate with your guests on Thanksgiving. Our family does both!
If your child is not writing yet, write what they are thankful for on the leaf for them. Then invite them to decorate the leaves in whatever way they wish.
Alternatively, you can make marbled clay gratitude leaves to decorate your tree with. Learn more about both ways to use a thankful tree, and see a few more gorgeous DIY thankful trees in our top 1o roundup.
DIY Thankful Tree with Real Leaves Step by Step Photo Tutorial
Update: The “THANKFUL” leaf pictured above has been preserved for over a year. I pulled it out of last years leaf box and it was still vibrant red! Learn how we did it in how to preserve leaves.
Related: Top 10 Fall Nature Crafts
Make a Thankful Tree for Thanksgiving with Preserved Leaves
Remind your guests and family of the true meaning of Thanksgiving by making a DIY thankful tree with real fall leaves this year. Creating and decorating one with autumn leaves is a gratitude craft and activity that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Making and decorating a thankful tree for Thanksgiving is a fantastic opportunity to discuss the concept of gratitude with your child. Reading Gratitude Books for Kids That Inspire Thankfulness also helps children learn about the concept of thankfulness.
For more gorgeous thankful tree ideas check out our Top 10 Thankful Trees roundup. You will find everything from creative and crafty to kid-made thankful trees you can try!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
Click on the link to learn how to make the sweet little turkey leaf lanterns on the table.
If You Liked This Thankful Tree with Preserved Leaves You May Also Like:
- 40 Thanksgiving Gratitude Activities and Crafts
- Turkey Leaf Lanterns
- Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
- Fall Leaf Lacing
- Best Fall Art Projects for Kids
- DIY Butterfly Tree
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…