Now that the good folks of Shady Pines Story Town have shown you the fun and importance of gratitude this season, why not make your own Gratitude Tree? There are so many ways to do it. No one way is better than another. This idea is from Mindy who has a Blog called, The Inquisitive Mom. Here’s how she discovered how to make one for her family.

How to Create Your Own Gratitude Tree (Thanksgiving Tree)

I was covered in flour, hands deep in pie dough yesterday when Ella approached me with a children’s magazine open and enthusiastically asked, “Can we make a gratitude tree?” A list of materials needed and the accompanying mess ran through my head, but I quickly set them aside. What’s a bit more mess – especially for a cool project like this.

A Thanksgiving or Gratitude Tree is a paper tree decorated with colorful leaves sharing the many things you are thankful for. The supplies needed are simple and you probably have them on hand.

This would  make a great Thanksgiving Day project for kids or the whole family, especially if you think of it less as a decoration and more as a creative project and a fun way to focus on gratitude.


  • Brown paper for the tree. You can use construction paper, paper bags, or even brown packing paper like we did.
  • Red, yellow, and orange construction paper for the leaves. You could also print colored leaves and simply cut those out as well, but we had fun drawing ours.
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • Scissors


Create a tree with branches to the scale you would like for your wall space. You can trace the tree before cutting or free form cut. You can also crinkle your paper to give it a cool effect.

Tape the tree to the wall.

If you would like to cut a hole in your tree for a squirrel or other animal friends, do so before taping it to the wall. Fold your piece of brown paper in half, then cut out a half circle away from the folded edge. After the tree is taped to the wall, you can add in scrap pieces of paper to give it dimension.

Trace and cut leaves from the red, yellow, and orange construction paper. Gather some leaves from outside or pull up a few different types of leaves on your computer screen for inspiration. Remember, leaves come in many varieties and have imperfect edges.

Write something you are grateful for on each leaf. Tape the leaves on the tree branches.

Step back and enjoy your creation.


The magazine provided leave patterns to cut out, trace, then cut out again. Luckily, Ella has inherited a bit of my “experience over end results” mentality and we quickly decided to simply free form our own leaves. Printing leaves and cutting them out is also an easy option for this project, but we enjoyed sitting together, drawing, and cutting the old fashioned way.

Ours was an impromptu project and we lucked out with the large brown packing paper that arrived in our shipment of Molly’s Suds today. I love how it is crinkled and gives the impression of tree bark and looks more dynamic than smooth paper would taped to a wall. Given more time or preparation, we might have stressed more over the lines or cutting, but writing on our leaves of gratitude together proved the best part anyway.