Thanksgiving Garland Tutorial

thanksgiving garland

I love this time of year when we reflect on the many things we are grateful for in our lives. The last couple of years, I wanted to teach my 3-year-old Kaye to express gratitude for the many blessings in her life. Thus began the tradition of our Thanksgiving countdown. A little tradition that began with construction paper chain links a few years ago. The main idea: Write down one thing we are grateful for each day in November. Each member in the family participate in writing down things they count as blessings. Then we display it somewhere visible as a daily reminder of the things appreciate in our blessed lives.

This year, I upgraded the construction paper chain links to a leafy garland. Here is a simple tutorial for you to count your blessings in November with a garland. If you make something using this tutorial, please upload pictures of it in our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.


  • paper – white, scrapbook, paper bags, construction, printer, etc.
  • scissor
  • pencil
  • pens
  • raffia

1. Draw your leaf pattern. If you need inspiration, collect some fallen leaves outside then trace. You will want to make the stem about 1″ long. Then cut out the pattern.

leaf pattern

2. Trace the leaf pattern on various different types of paper. Trace 30 leaves for each day in November.

trace leaves

3. Crumble the paper with the tracing on it. Then smooth out and cut.

crumble paper

4. Give each family members a few leaves and have them write their blessings.

5. This is an optional step, but it makes the garland look fuller. Cut out smaller size leaves to put in between the large leaves. Luckily, I had a large leaf punch.

piles of leaves

6. Gather about 6 or 9 strands of raffia then tie a knot on one end.

knotted raffia

7. Begin braiding. Braid about 3-4″ before adding leaves into ¬†your braid, sticking the stem of the leaf into your braid.

braid in leaves

8. If you are using the small leaves for a fuller garland, insert the small ones into some of the braids between the larger leaves. Keep going until all the leaves are gone or you have reached your desired length. Make sure to do 3-4″ of plain braids before ending the raffia with a knot. If you need a longer length, add more raffia into the braid.

garland front

A back and finished view of the garland.

garland back

thanksgiving garland hanging

If you make this garland this Thanksgiving, please leave a link to a picture of it so I can check it out!

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