Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pinterest Projects I Actually Completed: DIY Gratitude Tree

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
~ Melody Beattie

Tonight at our Wednesday night Bible Study class, I heard two ladies talking about a topic they had been discussing in their small group:  gratitude vs. thankfulness.  I had never really thought about the difference.  To me, they were two words that essentially meant the same thing.  When I got home, I was still puzzling about it, so, I did what every self-respecting nerd does:  I googled it.  Most of the hits were about the semantics and grammatical uses of the two words.  But I found the quote by Melody Beattie and it really spoke to me.  Another post explained it this way:  "Gratitude is a state of being and thankfulness expresses that gratitude.
Yes.  Yes!  A state of being.  I want to always be led to express my thankfulness, but I want it to come from a state of gratitude, no matter my circumstances.
I saw this beautiful craft and tablescape on Ella Claire's blog and I had to use these precious leaves somewhere in my house this fall.

The idea was to make a Thanksgiving Tree, but after thinking about it, this tree will instead be my Gratitude Tree.  I want that in my heart year round.

So, here's how I'm using her cute printable.  I took some fall patterned scrapbook paper that I got at Michael's for 10 cents a page and cut them down to 8 1/2 x 11 so they would fit in my printer.  

I made sure to get one-sided paper and printed out the words on the white side (obviously).  I wanted the back side to have some pattern and not just be plain white.  You could tea-stain these to make the background behind the words brown, but I liked the white.  I punched a hole near the stem and used a skinny peach colored ribbon to tie them onto the branch.  I got the branch off a tree in our backyard (free-yea!) and used a galvanized bucket I purchased at a garage sale eons ago.

I stuck the branch in a quart size canning jar and was debating on what to fill the bucket with so it wouldn't show.  I didn't want to spend much money on this and I had quite a bit of scrap book paper left.  I decided to cut it into strips and "curl" it like a ribbon.  I cut them into 1" strips and if I had it to do over again, I would probably do  1/2" strips to make them look more like ribbon.  I took some old packing paper and wadded it up to fill up the bottom of the bucket.  Then I went to town curling the paper with some scissors.

Don't be jealous of my fancy scissors.  

Ella Claire included some blank leaves so that you can write down things that you're grateful for (or thankful for, if that's how you roll).  Either way, this is a beautiful way to decorate your house with things that have meaning and help keep you mindful and intentional in the way you celebrate this season. 

I hope you're all enjoying this fall season with your family and loved ones.  I would love to hear about some of your traditions and how you keep your focus on the most important things!  

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