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How to Make a Thanksgiving Thankful Tree

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Thanksgiving thankful tree

Ever since I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner many years ago, I have featured a Thanksgiving thankful tree as our centerpiece.  I love bringing natural elements into our Thanksgiving table décor. 

To make my Thanksgiving thankful tree, I send Mr. Mountaineer out (nowadays there’s at least one little one following in his footsteps) to scavenge for some branches at a local park.  City living at its best.

Then, I create circles (or turkeys, leaves, pumpkins or any other festive shapes.  Sometimes, I even use blank slips of paper if I’ve run out of planning time.)  Guests write their thoughts of gratitude on them.  

It is also tradition at our house that we read aloud our thoughts of gratitude to our family and friends seated at our Thanksgiving table.  Then, we hang them on the thankful tree’s branches.

For all of the years that we have been doing this tradition, guests have come to look forward to it.  It also makes a beautiful way to get everyone talking together and kicks off our Thanksgiving celebration.  

Thanksgiving Thankful Tree

For our recent Thanksgiving kids table setting, I created a thankful tree similar to that a make for our Thanksgiving feast.  It’s an easy decoration to make.  Since our Thanksgiving kids table was inspired by nature, I brought some natural touches to this thankful tree.  

The branches are carefully arranged in a clear mason jar filled with golden acorns (affiliate).  These acorns can be purchased pre-painted or you can make your own with gold spray paint.

I also strung a Thanksgiving felted garland among the branches for a festive touch (affiliate).   

One of the best things about the thankful tree is that it also serves as a beautiful Thanksgiving table decoration.  If you don’t want to use it as a table centerpiece, yuo can also place it on a side board or entry table. 

It’s so sweet to watch guests read other’s thoughts of gratitude as they enjoy Thanksgiving Day.  We all have so many things to be thankful for.

You Will Need:

Colorful Medium Cardstock (about 60 pound) – a range of autumn colors works best

Feathers Template


Baker’s Twine (affiliate)

1/8 Inch Circle Hand Punch (affiliate)

Gold or Copper Permanent Marker (affiliate)


1.  Download the feathers template.  Print the feathers directly onto your medium colored cardstock.  Choose a variety of colors to make many different colored feathers.


2.  Cut out your feathers using scissors.  Make sure you trim them inside the lines to give them a clean look on both sides.  Add a small hole punch to the base of the feathers if you’re planning on hanging them.


3.  At Thanksgiving, have guests write what they’re grateful for on their feathers.  We recommend using a gold or copper pen so their writing is easily seen.  Hang the feathers from branches or clip them to a bunting.


To set up your own thankful tree, I recommend smaller sized branches from a bush or small tree.  You can place them in a vase or large mason jar.  I added gold acorns (acorns spray painted gold) as a vase filler or you can purchase gold painted acorns (affiliate).  You could also cover the vase in burlap, fill with small rocks or add some color with tissue paper.

Want to save this idea for later?  Pin me!


Need some more Thanksgiving party inspiration?  Check out our Thanksgiving Kids Table ideas and free Thanksgiving printables.  It’s the perfect way to set a nature inspired table at your celebration this holiday.

Happy Celebrating,


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