Thanksgiving Gratitude Tree Display

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are grateful for. Create a family thankful activity for your family using a real tree branch and paper leaves.

Practice gratitude and share the thankful season out in the open this year with this sweet and simple gratitude tree. This tree is a great family Thanksgiving activity to get everyone into a thankful mindset. Family and friends can write what they are grateful for and display it on the tree—we like the idea of making this a daily activity that happens around the dinner table. Defy nature and add leaves to this tree throughout the month while you watch them fall outside.

  • Working Time 30 Minutes
  • Start to Finish 30 Minutes
  • Difficulty         Projects Easy

What you need


  • Vase
  • Hole Punch
  • Pen


  • Tree Branch
  • Printable Leaf Template
  • Colored Paper
  • Twine

How to do it

Step 1 Place and Trace

Download, print, and cut out our free template to start the leaves of gratitude. Grab colored paper and cut multiple leaves using the stencil you just cut out. We chose autumnal colors like red, orange, tans and browns for our tree. Remember that darker colors may be harder to write on.

Step 2 Build the Tree

Venture into the great outdoors (or just the backyard) to find a small branch for this project. Place the branch into a vase, and add two or three smaller branches to the vase, allowing them to arch to one side. We recommend using branches with multiple small offshoots—this will give you more places to hang your gratitude leaves. Punch a hole in the top of each leaf and string a loop of twine through it; this is how you'll hang the leaf on the tree. Every day, write things you and your family are grateful for onto the leaf and hang them from the branches, or wait to do the activity together on Thanksgiving Day. Display for Thanksgiving on a buffet, centerpiece or mantel to showcase all you have to be thankful for.

RectangleCreated with Sketch. Rectangle Copy 3Created with Sketch.


  1. Having the template made it very easy to copy and cut out. I have a 5 year old Sunday School class and they enjoyed it. I had to print what they were thankful for but it was fun.

    1. it became fun, and started a great conversation

  2. Can not get the template to open up.......

  3. Thank you for alerting us. The download patterns have been updated. -BH&G
    1. This is so cute! I am doing it this weekend :)

  4. Easy project. I was excited about having family members write on each leaf and hang them on the "tree". But maybe my 2 grandchildren (teens) were just too old for this and the fact that no one else offered to pick up the pen and write down what they were thankful for made me feel like all the work was for nothing so this year I'm trying it again but I'm not filling out any in advance and hanging them on the tree (for examples). Maybe it will shame them into writing something down that they are thankful for! But a great idea and something you can add to year after year. Even date and put your name on the back and have everyone just write down one or two things each year. Carry it over from year to year and see how it changes. Especially as the children get older

  5. Very hard to cut out leaf patterns when the template you attached is that of a whale:)

  6. The templates should automatically download once you have clicked the link.

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