Apparently I channeled my inner child again the other day. Although this time, I’m pretty sure it was the male version, because I was running with a sharp stick. For weeks I’ve had this idea in my head for a Thanksgiving project – actually, I’ve had it on my mind for years, I am just motivated to actually do it this year. For about ten days now I’ve been running past the same dead bush that would be perfect for what I have in mind. Every time I run by it I think, “That dead bush is perfect. I’m going to look like such an idiot if I run with that thing.” So I swallowed my pride and ran – but only about ten yards to the end of the trail where I could come back later with my car.
The Thankful Tree is finally here. My plan for this little baby is that it will sit on our kitchen table oozing warmth and goodwill and putting happiness in our hearts for the holidays. Each night we are going to pick something that we are thankful for and hang it on the tree. My hope is that as the holidays approach our focus will stay balanced, and, while we can be excited about the gifting part of the season, we can put in the forefront all the wonderful things we already have – like family, friends, people who love us and take care of us, a house to live in, food to eat, and our health.
In making this project, I discovered a new thing to be thankful for – that I have learned to squelch perfectionism! The project and the photos of the project turned out differently than I had imagined. I had pictured all different shapes of leaves – maple leaves included, but once I started to cut them out and the corners ripped repeatedly, I scrapped that idea and figured the same free-hand shape in different but coordinating colors would be just fine. And the photos? Well, let’s just say I think I need to invest in a couple new backdrops.
The project cost me nothing. Nada. I’m big on trying to use stuff I already have around the house. I do have a stash of craft supplies – which is where the paper and the paint came in, but the branch, the rocks, and the vase were found. The hooks are just paperclips snipped in half with a wire cutter and twisted with needle-nose pliers into small hooks.
Oooo – and guess what? I’m not late or even close to late with this one! Thank you for my punctuality!
1 dead branch (why does that sound funny to me?)
Some spray paint in your chosen color (I used gold because I think metallics scream ‘classy holiday’ – you might differ in opinion. . . .)
Craft papers in different but coordinating colors and patterns
A vase or pot
Rocks or other filler for your base
Scissors or other cutting tools
Wire cutter/needle-nose pliers
Clean up your dead branch – pull off dead leaves, brush off dead dirt. (I don’t know why the whole ‘dead’ thing is making me snicker. . . .)
Coat it with spray paint and let it dry. (I don’t really think I need to say this, but maybe I do – spray paint outside somewhere that it won’t matter if you get it on the ground or surrounding area – and don’t wear anything nice while you’re doing this.)
While the paint is drying, cut your leaves free-hand. Really, it’s OK. They don’t have to be perfect. They’re not even perfect in nature.
Punch a hole at one end of each leaf.
Snip a few paper clips in half with wire cutters and twist them into little hooks with needle-nose pliers.
Get your dry (dead) branch, pot or vase, and your filler. Put a little filler in the bottom, then balance your branch and fill the empty spaces around it with rocks etc. so it stays upright and straight.
Fill out your leaves and hang them!