Thanksgiving tradition

crafts, gratitude

Here’s one of our favorite family traditions for Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving tablecloth!

We started this tradition over ten years ago. I think it originally came from a magazine. I purchased an off-white cheap tablecloth from Wal-Mart, some acrylic paints, and a leaf stamp.

Every year, whoever is at our house for Thanksgiving signs the tablecloth. We always put our name, the year, and something we’re thankful for. It’s so fun to look at who visited us in years past or what we wrote last year! Some of us write paragraphs, some only a word. For the younger ones, we ask them what they’re grateful for, then write for them until they’re old enough. It’s also sweet to see how our kids handwriting has changed through the years, along with their priorities.

Some write a little, some write a lot. We love to see both.

Honestly, the next two pictures are the cutest ever! You’ll see both of our kids quotes for different years, but close together.

Christian (who is now 20) at 11 years old says he’s thankful for his life and friends. When he was 8, he says “food”. I love it!

Danielle is now 14, but when she was 2, she says she’s thankful for God. At 3 years old, it was her brother. She was too young to write, so I did it for her.

Yes, there are a couple of grease stains here and there, because we actually serve food and eat on this tablecloth each year. Just use stain remover on the wicked stains and overall, it’ll be okay. Nobody cares about the stains, and I know that it’s clean.

Here’s how you can start your own tablecloth:

Mix brown, red, and orange paints on a paper plate and stamp the leaf in paint. Stamp on paper first to make sure you have the desired color combo and amount of paint you like. Then stamp on tablecloth in different directions. Have a couple of Sharpie markers available sometime before or after your meal and ask everyone to write something they are thankful for with their name and the year. Be sure to have some paper for underneath where they are writing so the permanent marker doesn’t transfer to your table!

Yes, I still try to initiate a verbal gratitude moment. I often ask everyone to state out loud something that they’re thankful for. It’s guaranteed eye-rolling, and everyone may or may not participate. But everyone likes the tablecloth.

Complete first Pinterest project, check!


Inspiring idea from Pinterest, originally pinned at

Since I am a HUGE procrastinator, I am thrilled to have completed my first project that I found on Pinterest. If you haven’t discovered, then you should. And then you’ll quickly change any profile with your hobbies to include “surfing Pinterest”. It’s kind of addictive but also inspiring if you like art, photography, crafts, decorating, or anything else on planet Earth. I am excited that my first Pinterest undertaking is complete!

These handy and cute toothpaste travel pouches are great. What junior high girl doesn’t want this cutie in her camp bag? We made them just a few days before mission trip and loved the idea that they can be thrown in the washer with all of the other dirty laundry when the kids come home.

Here’s my finished product:

Are you impressed? Just a little??

I have a real problem. Whenever I see cool artistic things, I refuse to buy them because “I can do that!” The problem is that 99.9% of the “I can do that” things never get done. Oh, I buy the stuff and have great plans. The fact that I bought the stuff for this project and then finished it is what’s startling and noteworthy. So noteworthy that I felt ┬ácompelled to post it for the world to see!

Here’s how we did it…We have a small group of middle school girls that comes over each week for crafts and Bible study. That’s where my inspiration met followthrough! I purchased washcloths at Wal-Mart in various colors. They were $1.98 each.

This project only required a few items that you might have already:

washcloths, ribbon or rick-rack, needle to hand-sew or sewing machine, pins, tape measure, and coordinating thread

Note: Wash and dry your washcloths before you begin project. This will avoid shrinkage and puckering after they are sewn.

Washcloths are 12 x 12 inches

Wal-Mart Mainstays brand was the cheapest and most colorful washcloth we found

We prefer the way ribbon looks, but rick-rack holds up a little better when washed.

Step one: Fold over washcloth and pin in place.

Fold over and measure it so that toothbrush and toothpaste will fit well when sewn. We made our pocket about 3 1/2 inches.

Step two: Sew! Sew easy….You can hand-sew or use a machine. It took about 5 minutes to complete each toothbrush holder sewing with the machine. Hand-sewing was more practical because we had a group of girls and we wanted each girl to finish on her own. Some girls learned to hand-sew for the first time….it’s a basic skill we should all learn. ­čÖé

Nicky hand-sews her craft

Girls hand-sew their travel pouches. Although the photo is blurry, you can see that we have snacks!

Step 3: Secure 26 inches of ribbon/rick-rack in place (on outside of pouch) 3 1/2 inches from bottom. Tack it down in the middle of your ribbon length (13 inch mark) wrap around travel pouch, and tie a bow.  Trim to desired length.

The end! Now you have a cute travel pouch for your toothbrush and toothpaste. When it gets yucky, throw in the washer and dryer. I have now completed my first Pinterest project and documented as proof!