Poor Thanksgiving. Between the sugary excitement of Halloween and the festive in-Santa-ty of Chriskwanzukkah, Thanksgiving is like the holiday season’s neglected middle child. It’s always been my favorite, though. Making this centerpiece is a simple, lovely way to give Thanksgiving a solid nod, and to consciously focus November on gratitude.
(Don’t panic. This is a Thanksgiving craft for the un-crafty. Simple, cheap (like 50 cents worth of stuff), and it doesn’t have to be stored—just recycle it and make a new one next year.)
– Brown paper grocery sack
– Cardstock or paper in fall colors (perfect use for paper scraps you might have laying around)
– Writing utensil of choice
First, turn the grocery sack inside out. This is probably the hardest part of the whole craft. (If your sack doesn’t have a big logo on the bottom, this step isn’t necessary.)
Just reach in the bag, bunch up the bottom, and pull through. It might take a little finagling. Don’t worry about it getting crumpled—that’s actually the effect you’ll want.
Flatten the bag out.
Cut strips about 1″ wide from the opening to where the base creases. (I also cut along the fold on the strips on both ends, so those aren’t doubled up.)
Open up the bag, then grab right around the middle and twist. The bottom will pull up a little, but no worries. It’s very moldable. You could put a beige rubber band around the top of the twist at this point, if you’re worried about it coming undone. Otherwise, just twist again if it comes loose.
Have your family members write down things they’re thankful for on the leaves. We used gold Sharpie because we’re fancy (and a little Sharpie-obsessed).
You can have everyone make one leaf per day leading up to Thanksgiving, or make them all at once. You could also use this as a Thanksgiving gathering activity, having each guest add a few leaves to the tree. Just glue onto the branches, and voila! A homemade Thanksgiving centerpiece.
P.S. You can also make mini versions of these trees with brown paper lunch sacks (just make the leaves smaller).
P.P.S. When you’re done with these, recycle them if you have paper recycling services. Just pull off the leaves and chuck it right in the bin.