DIY Thanksgiving Dry Erase Thankful Board With Fake Leaves
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 I 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)
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 that is 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.
Faux Fall 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 because I purchased sixty leaves for just $1.00 and some are even decorated in glitter.
What kind of leaves would you use?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 Lavelle