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Perfect Thanksgiving Activities for Kids | ‘What I’m Thankful For’ DIY Wreath Craft


If your kids are anything like mine, about this time of year, they get a bad case of the “ooh, I want this-I need this-I must have this right now.” Stores don’t do a mom any favors by setting up the holiday decorations while I’m still facedown in the candy the children collected so kindly from the neighbors. I wanted to build on the wreath I showed you last time and use it as a multi-holiday, kid-friendly craft with a lesson. Because if there’s anything a kid loves more than his mom eating his candy, it’s crafts with lessons.

ALSO ON PRIME PARENTS CLUB : DIY Halloween Decoration Wreath Craft

 

‘What I’m Thankful For’ DIY Wreath Craft

You will need: 

Thread

Needle (or glue, like Fabritak)

Scraps of felt (either wool or poly blend)

Paper in fall colors

Embossing powder in color of choice (silver)

Embossing stamp pad

Brown stamp pad

Heat gun

Wreath picks (like metal flower picks)

Marker or pen

Your grandmother’s pearl-handled scissors (or any scissors)

Your kindle with headphones so it can read to you while you craft and drown out the sounds of your chaotic house for ten minutes.

How to Make a DIY Mesh or Tulle Wreath 

If you made last month’s Halloween wreath, take it down and remove and little pieces you added, like the skull and spider rings. 

Someone put one of The Mister’s wool sweater vests in the dryer, rendering it far too small for wear. I cut 1.5” circles (roughly. I don’t measure, as a rule), out of the shrunken vest. Starting at the edge, begin to cut the felt circles into a spiral, spinning the fabric as you cut, and leaving a small circle at the end. 

Thread your needle and, beginning at the pointing tip of the spiral, begin to roll the spiral onto itself. I usually take one or two stitches here and then one stitch every turn or so of the fabric. Continue to stitch and roll until the tiny circle you left at the end can be positioned over the bottom of the spiral and tacked in place. When you turn it over, you’ll see a sweet little felted rose. Take this time to add any seed beads or pearls or sequins as your little heart desires. If sewing is not your wheelhouse, use fabritak glue instead, daubing a small dot of glue ever few turns of the fabric, and then securing the little circle on the bottom likewise. 

Set these aside and round up the youngens. To save time, I cut leaves using my die cutter. But you could either have your children (or yourself) draw a leaf freehand. Alternatively, search the internet for leaf cut-outs. For young fingers, 3 and above, this is a great time for practicing gross motor skills. Again, perfection is less than important. Allow for mistakes. 

Your kids can also use markers or crayons to add veins and other leaf characteristics to the leaves you cut out. Cut as many leaves as you’d like. A great idea would be to keep several left over to use when the “I want this right nows” start. 

I used the brown stamp pad to add some color to the edges and fronts of some of the leaves. This is optional. With the clear embossing stamp pad, I ran it around the edges of some of the leaves, and then poured the silver embossing power over them. It’s important to work quickly when the ink is wet on the leaves so that the powder will stick. I chose to do all my inking and pouring first. Then, when all the leaves I wanted to emboss, I used my heat gun to apply heat and create the embossing effect. You can just as easily use a hairdryer. 

When all the leaves are cut out and embellished as you wish, have your children write on them the things they are most thankful for. My early writer chose “cookies” and his “mom.” So, of course he gets extra dessert for that. But allow children to practice writing, spelling and thinking of things that they have already. 

Attach the completed leaves and flowers to your tulle wreath. As we progress from November 1 through Thanksgiving and on into the winter holidays, this little wreath is a fantastic reminder of our blessings when we’re constantly being urged to buy more.

I'm a Pittsburgh transplant in Tulsa, OK, where I live with my husband of 17 years and our 3 wild things. They are 14, 12 and 8. I keep my feet, fingers and head busy running, crafting and writing. My first book, "Run With Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo," is available on amazon and b&n.

3 Comments

  1. Jackie (WritRams)

    November 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I REALLY loved this idea.

    I also like the idea of making it in neutral colors and keeping it up all year in a place in the house. (Or, even making one for each season.)

    • Jennifer Luitwieler

      November 1, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Absolutely. It would be so easy to take the orange off and add red for Christmas and Valentine’s, blue for New Year’s,s some green for St. Patty’s, pastels for Easter….and you could pin in different colored flowers or change the theme so easily. Glad you like it.