Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Gratitude Wreath Tutorial - A Visual Reflection of Thanksgiving

It is so important to foster gratitude in children from the youngest age.  
I was inspired by two pictures on Pinterest to create a way to document our family's thankful hearts.

The idea on this site:
inspired me greatly, but I also wanted to help my son reflect on what he was thankful for. 

I wanted to use a similar structure to another fantastic Pinterest find:

So, here's what I can up with!
First I bought 8.5" x 11" card stock and 1 12 x 12" piece of striped scrap booking paper from Michaels.
  I was planning on using the paper in my printer to let the computer do all the hard work with the numbers, but then I found these adorable, black, sparkly numbers called "Thickers" at Michaels.  
I couldn't resist...

Step 1: Cut out circles with an easy 2" hole punch. I used yellow, orange, peach, pumpkin, and ruby colored paper.

Step 2: Adhere "Thickers" to each circle.  I planned out the order of colors before beginning to adhere the stickers.

Step 3: Gather wreath supplies
12" round wreath form from Michaels
Pack of Wooden Clothespins (36 pack for $1 at Dollar Tree)

Step 4: Trace around circle of wire wreath form with pencil to have circle template to cut out on striped scrap booking paper.  
This paper will comprise the center of your wreath.

*NOTE*:Although I did not do this, I would recommend attaching this paper to the center of your wreath (with hot glue) before proceeding to the next step.  
I would also use this opportunity to attach a ribbon hanger to the top of the wreath to facilitate display.  (These were more difficult to attach once the clothespins were attached.)

Step 5 : Hot glue clothespins onto wire wreath form.  The two center circles provided a great place to attach the clothespins.  I wanted to have a place to record what our gratitude for each day of November.  Since November has 30 days, and the wreath has 6 segments, it was easy to glue 5 clothespins into each section.  After I completed the gluing, I clipped all 30 days onto the clothespins so that the colored circles formed a circle around the wire wreath. 

I staggered the circles somewhat so that the numbers would be most readable.  I chose to put all of the numbers so that they could be read right-side-up, rather than orienting them around the exterior.

Step 6:  At this point, I adhered "Thickers" to say "thanks" on the striped scrap booking paper (which I had already cut into a circle).  I hot glued the paper to the inner circle of the wire wreath from the back.  I also tied a ribbon to the top of the wire wreath to allow us to hang it on our front door or in our dining room. As I mentioned above, these steps would have been easier BEFORE I added the clothespins, but it was still possible at this point.

Step 7:  Next, I used a smaller circle punch to cut 30 circles from some lime green 8.5" x 11" card stock.

Step 8:  I placed Scotch tape on the back of these circles, attaching them in a staggered fashion to the body of the clothespins.  Upon these green circles, I will write what we are thankful for each day in November.  Because they are attached with Scotch tape, I can remove these circles at the end of the season and place them in an envelope with the year to save for my son.  Now he will know what he was grateful for at the age of three!  I may add other colors of the small circles to write statements of gratitude for my husband and myself.

Since I wrote "thanks" in the center of the circle, I just continued the sentence on the green surrounding circles each day. What was my son grateful for on November 1?
"...for our bones because I like our bones.  I am thankful for our body and our food and our puzzles."
...from the mouth's of babes.  :)

If I had it to do over again...  I'd probably print the numbers on the card stock to save money and not use the Thickers (*gasp*) even though they are so, so, so cute.  Why?  Because I would probably attach the numbers where the green circles are, and I'd use the larger circles around the exterior to have more room to record our expressions of gratitude.  If I did it this way, I could permanently attach the interior date circles with glue, and use the exterior clips for the thankful circles (to make removing them easier to do each year and to eliminate the need for Scotch tape at all)!

I hope that my tutorial will help you to record expressions of gratitude with your own family this holiday season!

Peace, Amy

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