Create a lifetime of memories with this simple Thanksgiving tablecloth idea in which family members write down what they are thankful for each year.
New Family Tradition – “Giving Thanks” Tablecloth.
I created my “Giving Thanks” Tablecloth idea when my children were small. It’s a fun and easy craft project to make with your kids. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much this simple tradition would mean to our family in the years to come.
Each Thanksgiving, we continue to write notes of gratitude on the family tablecloth. We’ve been able to look back at these notes that span multiple generations. There are messages from my grandmother who died the year after we started this tradition, my aunt whose Alzheimer prevents her now from even knowing us most of the time, and family members that have moved away and are no longer able to spend the holidays with us. Each Thanksgiving, we are reminded of them as we eat our traditional meal and give thanks to God for our blessings.
And, it’s always fun to read the “Thank You” notes our children have written over the years. Our daughter was just learning to write when we began this tradition, and our son was in third grade. We can readily see the changes in their handwriting, their thoughts, and their word choices as they grew older. Reading them, we are also reminded of the different events that were going on in their lives as they wrote each note.
There have also been years when the tablecloth wasn’t used. Our family is now scattered across the country, and we can’t always be together for Thanksgiving.
But when we can, the tablecloth is ready to be unpacked. Then we look back at the messages already written and add our thanks for another wonderful Thanksgiving together. And as our children have families of their own, we will share this tablecloth with them, and hopefully, the tradition will continue.
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Easy DIY Thanksgiving Tablecloth Directions
Would you like to start your own family tradition by making a “Giving Thanks” Tablecloth?
It’s so easy. You need a plain, light-colored tablecloth (preferably white, cream, or beige), leaf stencils and fabric paint in your choice of Autumn Colors.
Wash and dry the tablecloth before you begin painting. Then stencil the leaves on the fabric and allow the paint to dry completely. That’s it! Your tablecloth is ready to use.
On Thanksgiving Day, let everyone write a short note saying what they are thankful for. Don’t forget to include the date, so you will know when it was written. Also, you will want to be sure to use Permanent Fabric Markers or pens to write your messages.
If you haven’t stenciled on fabric before, there are a few tricks you need to know. This video from Michael’s shows you how in less than two minutes!
Short on Time? Not Feeling Crafty? Try This Alternative!
You don’t have to make the tablecloth; however, to start this tradition. If you aren’t the crafty type or don’t have time to stencil on all those leaves, purchase a tablecloth to use instead. Find a light-colored Thanksgiving tablecloth you like that has plenty of space for family messages. Don’t forget to wash and dry it, though, before you use it.
A note about fabric. Be sure to choose a material that can be easily written on. Cotton and cotton blends work well. Fabric markers tend to bleed on shinier, satin material. Tighter thread counts work better for writing on than loosely woven fabrics.
The “Giving Thanks” Tablecloth Makes a Great Hostess Gift!
Are you attending Thanksgiving dinner at someone else’s home? Why not give this Thanksgiving Tablecloth as a hostess gift? It’s a great way to introduce them to a new family tradition. Don’t forget to provide a couple of fabric markers with the tablecloth, so it is ready to use.
You can also use a table-runner instead of a tablecloth; however, you won’t have as much room for writing.
I hope you will try the “Giving Thanks” Tablecloth this Thanksgiving. It truly is a wonderful tradition that you and your family will enjoy for years. Please let me know if you make this and how it worked for you and your family.
Do you have a special Thanksgiving tradition? I’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments below.
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