Although I had finally gotten around to updating our mantle for fall, it was still feeling incomplete. Inspired by all of the “I’m thankful for…” posts on Facebook, I decided that our mantle needed a little something that was truly about Thanksgiving. So I headed off to Michaels, armed with a 40% off coupon from a running buddy. I snagged a few basic supplies and got to work on this easy Thanksgiving garland.
To make your own garland, you’ll need:
- 8.5 x 11 cardstock in varied fall colors (I used 3 sheets in different colors, but had leftovers of each)
- Jute string or twine
- Brown marker
- Hot glue (of course!)
- Scissors, pencil & eraser
I started by free-handing some leaf shapes on my white card stock. After lots of erasing and head-scratching, I came up with 4 designs I liked (a quick Google search can steer you in the right direction if you’re coming up empty on leaf designs). Next up was cutting out the leaf shapes, so I was left with 4 lovely white leaves.
Then I used these leaves as tracing templates on my orange and green paper. Cue the scissors, and shortly thereafter I had an army of leaves waiting to be put to work.
Putting the glue gun to work was next on my list. While I was waiting for Old Faithful to heat up, I cut some jute string to size and draped it across the front of the mantle.
When I discovered that we were out of Scotch tape (oh, the horror!), I did a little improvising and grabbed some painter’s tape from the garage. I used it to secure the edges of my string, and then hid the evidence under some of my mantle decorations.
Back to the leaves now… I started by attempting to wrap the jute string around the leaf stem. But when I stood back and took a look, I realized that it looked like a Christmas tree ornament hanging from a noose.
Not exactly the cheerful Thanksgiving look I was going for. So I whipped out a marker and went back to basics, coloring the leaf’s stem a solid brown. Next I cut 12 pieces of jute to use as leaf-hangers, and then hot glued a string to the backside of each leaf stem.
Then it was time for my least favorite part of any project: being patient. I waited for the hot glue to set, and then tied the leaves to my garland, staggering the length of each string for a more organic look. After a little loose-end trimming, the garland was looking sweet and rustic. But it wasn’t quite done yet.
When the family got home, I explained to them what we’d be doing with each of the leaves: making a note of something we were thankful for. We started with one leaf each, and will fill up the rest of the garland over the next week. Tony and Livi were super excited to get started, which was a happy surprise for me. Here’s Livi’s leaf:
And here’s the whole garland, in its leafy glory.
I can’t wait to see the final list of the many things we’re grateful for this year. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a Thanksgiving tradition for our little family!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this penny project came in 79 pennies over my 500-penny budget. BUT, since I used just 1/4 of my roll of jute (which was $4.20 with my coupon), I figured I could still sneak this one into the Penny Project category!