Easy thankful tree for thanksgiving

Easy Thankful Gratitude Tree for Thanksgiving Free Printable

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Sarah McCubbin

A gratitude tree is the perfect Thanksgiving craft to remember all the things that we have to be grateful for. Using simple supplies, it can be a wonderful way for a class or family to make a thankful tree that represents the many blessings we have in our lives.

As my children have gotten older and some are now adults, I have had to become increasingly intentional about creating focused family traditions. I love it though. And it is so fun to hear my kids planning and looking forward to a tradition from the past.

Creating a gratitude tree is an easy tradition to start and continue. And it can be done with all ages. You can buy precut leaves or print them on cardstock. White leaves can be used for small children who want to draw a picture instead of write words. It only takes a few minutes for every person to participate which makes it a great activity to do after a meal or in a classroom.

gratitude tree

What is a Thankful Tree?

A thankful tree can look a lot of different ways, but it usually includes some kind of tree base plus paper leaves that are cut out. On the leaves, each person in the family or class can write down things they are thankful for. Many people use this idea to make a simple Thanksgiving tree that can be used to decorate during the month of November.

The Gratitude Tree Meaning

The main objective of a thankful or gratitude tree is to create an object that serves as a visual reminder of the practice of being thankful. In our busy lives, it is easy to rush from one thing to the next and forget to slow down and appreciate our many blessings.

A thankful tree is a wonderful way to practice gratitude with children and adults. It’s an activity that can be done anytime of year, but is especially meaningful at Thanksgiving.

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What supplies do you need for a thankful or gratitude tree?

The supplies you need depend slightly on what kind of tree you need. You can make a tree using only things you have on hand for FREE or you can design something more decorative using purchased coordinated materials.


  1. Choose your base: Thankful Tree # 1 can have a base like card stock, felt or it could be painted or drawn. Thankful Tree #2 needs a vase and twigs.
  2. Leaves printed on colorful card stock or on white card stock. Grab our template here.
  3. Crayons and markers
  4. Pens
  5. Glue or string or mini clothes, pins.
  6. Possibly a hole punch
Get Your FREE Template!

Two Basic Types of Gratitude Trees

There are two basic variations of a thankful tree: a flat tree and a three dimensional tree.

Thankful Tree #1: Bulletin Board Style Flat Version

Step 1:

Choose the background for your thankful tree. You could use a bulletin board, a large piece of felt or some other flat background. We wrapped a canvas that normally hangs on the wall with brown paper to use as our background.

Step 2:

Add a tree base to your background. You can use brown colored paper, felt or draw the base using markers or paint.

Step 3:

Print the leaves on colored card stock or on white card stock. White card stock is great if you want to have something for young children to color.

Step 4:

Cut out the fall leaf printables.

Step 5:

At your gathering, have each person write at least one thing on a leaf that they are thankful for. If you do this in a family, you may want to have each person write down 2 or more things on separate leaves so that you have enough pieces to create a full filled out tree.

Step 6:

Attach the leaves to the tree using glue or double-sided adhesive.

Put your thankful tree in a place where you can see it and talk about it often.

thankful tree

Thankful Tree #2: The Centerpiece

This style of gratitude tree makes a beautiful fall centerpiece or room decoration. You can easily make it fit the rest of your decor by choosing leaf colors that accent the room.

Step 1:

Choose a large vase that you can use on your dining room table or as room decor. If you don’t have a vase, you could also use a mason jar or another container with a narrow neck

Step 2:

Gather a variety of thin sticks that are about 18 to 24 in long

Step 3:

Place the sticks in the jar and trim if necessary to make them the height that you would prefer

Step 4:

Print out the leaf template on colorful card stock or on white card stock.

Step 5:

Cut out the card stock leaves

Step 6:

At your gathering have everyone write at least one but maybe more than one thing on leaves that they are thankful for.

Step 7:

Use a small hole punch to put a hole at the bottom of each leaf.

Step 8:

Use a small piece of string to tie each leaf to a twig in the arrangement

Optional: you could also use mini clothespins to attach the leaves to the branches by clipping the leaves on.

Display the thankful tree arrangement wherever you will see it regularly to remind you of all the things you’re thankful for.

Fall Tree Variations

Not everyone has the space for a large thankful tree or wants to make a kids craft out of construction paper. But it is easy to replicate the idea of a thankful tree many different ways….even making a gratitude tree for adults.

  1. Make a gratitude journal for the month to keep track of your daily blessings.
  2. Make a tree with Bible verses about thankfulness on the leaves
  3. Make a tree with November bucket list items on it!
  4. Make a personal gratitude tree on a piece of 8.5×11 paper.

Celebrate Gratitude This Thanksgiving Season!

However you choose to celebrate, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to slow down and focus on the big and little things you have to appreciate. Whether you dine alone or in a room full of people, take a few minute to consider life’s many blessings.

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