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DIY Thanksgiving Dry Erase Thankful Board With Fake Leaves

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Heather Rode enjoys photography, baking, antiques, and hair care.

DIY dry erase board for Thanksgiving.

DIY dry erase board for Thanksgiving.

Thankful Trees and Thanksgiving Crafts

The Thanksgiving holiday lends itself nicely to fun arts and crafts projects. I especially like to do crafts that are reflective of giving thanks and thankfulness. In previous years, I've created large wall displays or table-top displays of "thankful trees."

What Is a Thankful Tree?

A thankful tree or Thanksgiving tree is decorated with colorful fall leaves. Each leaf is inscribed with something you are thankful for. The leaves can range from silly to serious. When multiple people take part in this activity, it's always enjoyable to read all of the different messages and see the different styles of handwriting—it truly becomes a very special and unique piece of art.

These projects are lovely but can require some time, space, and money. I decided that I wanted to do a different but similar project to serve as a decoration and activity for my husband and me to sit down and do together before Thanksgiving.

A Project for Expressing Daily Thankfulness

This time of year, Facebook walls and feeds are filled with posts about Thanksgiving and thankfulness. Many users post a different thing each day that he or she is thankful for during the entire month of November. I especially like that concept and wanted to create a craft that could change each day if desired. I challenged myself to create a "Thankful" project using items I already had on hand and without spending any additional money.

You Will Need

  • Picture Frame
  • Real or Fake Autumn Leaves
  • Chipboard Letters
  • Adhesive Glue Dots or Scotch Tape
  • Dry Erase or Non-Permanent Marker
  • Decorative Paper (optional)
The frame I used usually holds this image of penguins (above the recycling).

The frame I used usually holds this image of penguins (above the recycling).

For this project, I used a floating frame that usually hangs in my kitchen. A floating frame holds your picture or document between two pieces of glass. It looks best when framing something transparent and/or smaller than the size of the frame. The glass allows the background to show through, and this gives the illusion that the art or item is floating.

This floating frame is home to two penguins who oversee the recycling efforts in our kitchen. They're flying south for the holidays and will return when I'm done using their home for this Thanksgiving craft.

Thanksgiving and fall crafting with fabric leaves.

Thanksgiving and fall crafting with fabric leaves.

Dollar Store Fall Leaves

I bought so, so many fake fall leaves last year. I used some to recently make a fun fall wreath and still had a bunch left over. My favorite packages came from the dollar store; I purchased sixty leaves for just $1.00, and some are even decorated in glitter.

What can you do with chipboard letters?

What can you do with chipboard letters?

Inexpensive Crafting Supplies

I love shopping in the dollar section of Target for crafting supplies. Target has some great quality crafting items for $1.00 or $2.00, but I have learned that you need to buy something when you see it and not "next time" because they can sell out quickly.

I found these inexpensive chipboard letters (shown above) at Target last month. I didn't know what I would use them for, but I picked up two packages in silver and I'm thankful I did. Each package has one of each letter (26 total) so I bought two, figuring I'd need at least one letter twice. If using the same "thankful" message I did, you'll just need one bag.

Step 1: Disassemble Your Picture Frame

  • This is a good time to clean the glass in your picture frame. You want it to be completely free from smudges and fingerprints for your special craft. I used Windex and a paper towel or two.
  • If using a floating frame, be sure to clean both sides of both pieces of glass. If using glue dots or tape for positioning letters and leaves in later steps, a clean surface is important for proper adhesion.
  • If using a standard frame, trim decorative scrapbook paper or fabric to fit inside your frame. This will serve as a background for your board design.
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Read More From Holidappy

This is an easy Thanksgiving craft. First, you'll want to disassemble your frame.

This is an easy Thanksgiving craft. First, you'll want to disassemble your frame.

Step 2: Arrange Your Design

  • If your fake leaves have veins, you may need to remove them for your frame to properly close. They usually just pull right out or can be snipped off with a pair of scissors.
  • Plan out your design using your leaves and letters. Position them on your paper or fabric or the inside of the back piece of the frame if you are leaving it uncovered. Use a small glue dot or piece of tape on the back of each letter and leaf to keep it in place. You won't be attaching anything to the glass unless you are using a floating frame and the second piece of glass is the back of the frame.
  • Are you having difficulty with evenly spacing letters and creating a level line of text? ME TOO! I'm horrible at this so I just place some letters higher, others lower, and tilt a few to create a whimsical message. You can also completely forego the letters and just focus on the leaves (see example below).
Here's an example of the design with a "Thankful" message.

Here's an example of the design with a "Thankful" message.

Step 3: Reassemble Your Frame

  • Put your frame back together and ensure it closes securely and properly.
  • Clean front glass of frame one last time to prepare it for writing.
This is the design without the "Thankful" message.

This is the design without the "Thankful" message.

Step 4: Write Messages

  • Using your non-permanent marker, write something you are thankful for on each leaf. If you mess up or wish to change your list daily, simply use a paper towel and a little glass cleaner to start over.
  • Be creative and doodle on your Thanksgiving dry erase board.

Tips and Ideas

  • Write new things that you are thankful for each day.
  • Have a friend or family member take a picture of you holding your thankful art.
  • Use as a photo prop for Thanksgiving photos.
Thanksgiving crafts for couples: Here I am with my husband and our board.

Thanksgiving crafts for couples: Here I am with my husband and our board.

Heather Says

This project is a lot of fun! I can't even count how many times I've filled out the leaves and doodled all over the place. I can sometimes focus too hard on a project coming out great and looking perfect for photos. This was a nice project to redirect my attention and shift the focus to the meaning behind the project and not the project at all.

What are you thankful for? If you make your own thankful dry erase frame, I'd love to see it!

© 2013 Heather


Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on November 27, 2014:

Really nice project and something that can be given as a gift.

Judy Specht from California on November 26, 2014:

Fast fun and easy are prerequisites for my crafting. This fits the bill :) I was wondering what to do for decorations tomorrow.

thefedorows from the Midwest on April 08, 2014:

My mom did a yearly "Thankful Tree" each November. She would draw a tree trunk and cut out leaves. Then each day we would write something we were thankful for on a leaf and tape it on the tree. I have continued the idea and love it. But, I have wondered about making something that would last year to year. Yours is great because it is reusable!! SO cute!

Heather (author) from Arizona on January 24, 2014:

@randomcreative-- Thanks for stopping by. I'm always honored to receive a HotD award and I'm always happy when you visit and comment. Thanks again :)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 09, 2013:

This is such a simple, cheerful idea! There are so many possibilities for customization. It's perfect for the entire month of November. Thanks for sharing and congrats on HOTD. :)

Heather (author) from Arizona on December 07, 2013:

@ARsf-- Aw thanks! I will :)

@RTalloni-- Thanks so much for pinning! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving too :)

@stuff4kids-- Thanks so much for your great comment and your support! It definitely makes my day! :)

@ChitrangadaSharan-- Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you stopped by :)

@carlajbehr-- Aw, thanks! You've made my day for sure. I'm glad you enjoy my hubs :)

@pstraubie48-- Thanks so much for your comments, as always. I appreciate your views and all of your support. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving :)

@cheeluarv-- Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting :)

Heather (author) from Arizona on December 07, 2013:

@Crystal Tatum-- Aw, thanks. I'm glad you stopped by to read and thanks for all of the sweet words :)

@slackermom-- Thanks so much. I hope you and your son got to do this project together. Thanks for reading :)

@purl3agony-- Thanks! I too love when a project doesn't require a trip to the store or supplies. Thanks for stopping by :)

@rebeccamealey-- Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Heather (author) from Arizona on December 07, 2013:

@europewalker-- Thanks so much. I'm glad you stopped by :)

@Glimmer Twin Fan-- That sounds great! Thanks so much for stopping by. I am on twitter but I'm not very consistent with it because it's kind of my least favorite social media platform (I'm a very visual person). My username is HeatherRode. Thanks again :)

@MsDora-- Thanks for reading and all of the kind words, as always :)

@rebekahELLE-- Thanks again :)

ASIAN from PHILIPPINES on November 27, 2013:

Keep up the great work

RTalloni on November 27, 2013:

Cute, cute, cute project! Innovative, versatile, and nicely done. Congrats on your Hub of the Day award. Pinning to my Thanksgiving board.

Happy Thanksgiving to you two!

Amanda Littlejohn on November 27, 2013:

Wow! That's a beautiful hub about a beautiful thing. A very well deserved HoTD and really sets the standard. The photos are wonderful too and have really whet my appetite to get on with some creative stuff this season. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who sometimes doesn't empty out the recycling until it threatens to overrun the house! I've liked and ticked and reading your comment above about where you're trying to go with this I'll happily tweet it too (sorry I couldn't get the taste for Facebook). Fabulous Hub! :D

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 27, 2013:

This is so creative and looks beautiful!

Thanks for sharing these brilliant ideas and congratulations for HOTD!

Carla J Swick from NW PA on November 27, 2013:

YOU ARE SO TALENTED!! Love, love, love your hubs!!! Congrats on another HOTD!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 27, 2013:

Congratulations on HOTD. Keep on sharing your clever ideas with us...I love it when I can have a go to hubber to find ideas that I can actually use.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Angels are on the way to you today ps

cheeluarv from INDIA on November 27, 2013:

Interesting hub with brilliant ideas.Congratulations on Hub of the Day.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on November 26, 2013:

Great hub, worthy of Hub of the Day, I'd say. VOting up and more, sharing, pinning.

Lisa Palmer from Attapulgus GA on November 26, 2013:

This is a great project..I think I'll give it a try. My son is out of school all week and this may be just the project to occupy some time. Plus it gives him a chance to think about what he's grateful for. Great hub. Voted up

Donna Herron from USA on November 26, 2013:

This is such a wonderful project that reminds us of the true meaning of the holiday season! And even better, it's made from inexpensive materials and things you have around the house. You're my hero :)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 26, 2013:

This is really a cute and creative idea! Great instructions! Thanks for sharing a great idea.

europewalker on November 26, 2013:

I love the thankful board, it is beautiful.

Claudia Porter on November 25, 2013:

My daughter loves this idea so we will be doing this soon. It would fun to do with the whole family at Thanksgiving. Now if I can just get to the store in time..... Pinned. Are you on twitter? Just curious, because I don't see a link on your profile page.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 25, 2013:

Heather, you articles say much about your fun-filled life. This project is fun and inspirational too-so appropriate for the season. Thank you for sharing.

rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on November 23, 2013:

That's a great goal. We just need to get your name out there and give exposure to your website. I'll be sure to visit and share with my social media accounts. I've seen these kind of sites where bloggers showcase their sponsors materials/supplies. I see it often in the career I'm in. You have a very unique name and I like the way you've branded yourself and use your 'Heather Says' for a personal touch in your hubs. Dream big, you have a lot to say and share that others will love to discover and share with others... success!

Heather (author) from Arizona on November 23, 2013:

Thanks so much, rebekahELLE! I always love your awesome comments. I've had for about a year now which brings traffic to my hubs but also features original content that I only post there. My current goal is get sponsorship from craft supply vendors and companies who give bloggers like me hundreds of dollars worth of supplies each month but they gauge one's audience by social media likes and followers versus just raw traffic data. It's a challenge for sure, but once I get to that point who knows where I can go with this :) Thanks again

rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on November 23, 2013:

I love this! I'm always looking for creative ways of decorating cheaply and simply. Whenever I read one of your hubs, you get my creative juices flowing. Your talent is going to take you far. I easily see you with your own small business if you don't already have one. Keep up the great work!

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