A number of years ago, my family and I were invited over to a friend’s home for dinner around Thanksgiving time. After we ate, they handed each one of us a paper leaf and a pen and asked us to write down something that we were thankful for. Then they took each of our leaves and taped them to a metal tree that was sitting in their kitchen. This was their Thanksgiving tradition every year for their own family and every guest that came to their home during the Holiday season was asked to add a leaf to the tree with a note about what they were thankful for. Ever since that day, I’ve wanted to do something similar and this year I finally did with the help of some digital and traditional supplies.
Here’s what I used for my Thanksgiving Tree project:
digital kit by Mari Koegelenberg
Crispy, Crunchy Leaves element pack by Pamela Donnis
8 in. x 10 in. frame (mine came from Walmart)
clear acrylic sealer or Mod Podge
scissors (Cutterbees or some other fine point ones)
Mono Adhesive Permanent
The first thing I did was to create my background image in Photoshop. I used one of the papers from the Hooty Toot kit, but used the clone stamp to remove the pink accents so that only the sky and grass was left. Then I opened another copy of that same paper, extracted the tree from it and layered that over my first paper with a bit of a drop shadow for some dimension. The second document I created was full of the leaves from the Crispy, Crunchy pack, all of them shrunk down to a size appropriate for my tree. I printed both of these out and gathered up my supplies.
I added a coat of clear acrylic sealer to my background image, and while it was drying I began the fun part… cutting out all the little leaves. This was definitely the most time-consuming task of the project, but I worked on it a bit at a time, and pretty soon I had them cut out.
After that my project was pretty much done. I took the back off my frame, removed the included mat and the piece of glass, trimmed the white edge off my tree paper and inserted it in the frame. I put the glass back behind the paper for added stability, and then put the back of the frame back on. All that’s left to do is add our leaves of thankfulness to the tree over the month. My oldest two sons have each contributed an idea of what they’re thankful for (daddy and mommy respectively) and I wrote it on a leaf for them and added it to our tree. Now our tree is sitting on the dining room table with the extra leaves in front of it, so that anyone who likes can add a note of thanksgiving to our house.
I hope this little project sparks some ideas of how you can take some time to remember your blessings, and maybe even get your family and digital supplies involved! 😉
Other Articles by Jessica Pranaitis:
- Fourth of July centerpiece - July 2nd, 2010
- Greeting Card Organizer - June 4th, 2010
- Sassy Purse Gift Set - April 28th, 2010
- Gallery Finds - March 10th, 2010
- Chinese Takeout Container - February 3rd, 2010