Thanksgiving garland

We can get so caught up in the food and the general holiday craziness sometimes that we forget what Thanksgiving is all about: gratitude. I love the tradition of going around the table and sharing something that you’re thankful for, and this year why not preserve those memories with a fun craft project? You and your guests can all work together to make this DIY Thanksgiving garland, and the elements make a wonderful keepsake for years to come.

You’ve probably got your menu all planned and are just putting the finishing touches on your tablescape. In addition to your place cards this year, set out some markers in whatever colors match your decor and let your guests write their note of gratitude on the back! You can display them on Thanksgiving day, then pull them down and save them in a scrap book. Here’s what you need to make your own interactive Thanksgiving garland:

  • Twine – how much twine depends on how many guests you’re having. Four feet should work fine.
  • Two tacks or nails
  • One clothespin per guest
  • Place cards or note cards
  • Markers

This is super simple to set up. You can do it on the day-of or hang your twine a few days before, so you’ll have one less Thanksgiving day preparation on Thursday! Grab your twine and tie one end around one of the tacks or nails, and stick it into the wall or mantle. Do the same with the other tack or nail, draping the twine across.

It’s easiest if you set up your crafts table near the twine. Put out markers in fun colors, and instruct your guests to write one thing they’re thankful for on the back, then let them clothespin it onto the twine. You can also set out decorations like stickers and stamps, if you think your guests would get into using them.

If you’re not using place cards at your table, you can also set out recycled note cards. Just ask folks to sign their note of gratitude or put their names on the back. That way, when you look back, you can see who wrote what!

It’s kind of nice to leave the garland up for at least a few days after Thanksgiving, and when you do finally take it down, keep the notes in a photo album or scrap book. You’re creating a fun memory to look back on next year, and you can even do this year after year and collect a whole book of gratitude!

photo by Becky Striepe