Give Thanks – Paper Quilt

by Amy on November 18, 2010

Post image for Give Thanks – Paper Quilt

I wanted to do a project with the girls that would help us focus on gratitude and all the many things we have to be thankful for. Last year, we wrote Thankful Poems and we enjoyed pulling those out and reading them again.

We’ve done all sorts of turkey projects in the past, which always turn out cute – I’ve seen some really creative crafts and activities out and about blogland this year. For some reason, though, I was not feeling inspired!

A few days ago, we were puttering around with craft stuff and ended up putting together a paper quilt project using things we had around the house. I love how it turned out – sometimes those spur-of-the-moment things are the best!

We started with an 18″x24″ canvas (that has been taking up space and needing a purpose). The girls helped me look through our stash of scrapbooking paper scraps for blues, greens, and browns. I cut 3″ squares and we used Mod Podge to attach them patchwork-style to the canvas.

We then set to work creating little paintings of things we are thankful for. We used 3″ squares of white cardstock, extra-fine Sharpies, and watercolors with tiny brushes.

We let our little paintings dry, then used Mod Podge again to glue them to the canvas. I just love the combination of the girls’ handwriting and their tiny drawings!

Here is the finished product, in all its simple-and-meaningful glory. We gave it a nice place of honor in our living room, and I can see myself enjoying it year-round.

Do you have any gratitude projects in the works at your house? Anyone using a gratitude journal with kids – I’m thinking of doing something along those lines and would love to hear your ideas!


amandab November 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Oooooh! I think I am going to do this as an inspiration board above my desk (when I finally get it properly organized!)

Melissa November 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

This is gorgeous! I just love it. My girls are a little younger than yours but I will file this away! One question, how did you put on the “give thanks”…are those cutouts?

Amy November 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

The “give thanks” letters are black chipboard letter stickers from my scrapbooking stash. :)

Light November 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Lovely and accessible to many ages!

Mary November 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I just love this idea! I guess you could do it any time of the year, too. I’m thinking I have so much company coming next week that I can’t swing it then, but it might be a very nice secretive Christmas present to daddy from the kids! Thanks for such a wonderful idea.

Amy November 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Yes, it would be lovely any time of year for sure and would make a great gift, too! :)

Leslie November 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm

What a beautiful craft and a lovely idea! I may give this a try! Thank you! :)

Jennifer November 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Super cute! Did you Modge Podge over the top? If so, did you experience problems with smearing the paint?

Amy November 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

No Mod Podge on top – I’m pretty sure that would make a smeary mess with the watercolors! I may have to think about a different way of sealing it… :)

jenny @ let the children play November 19, 2010 at 3:50 am

Oh, that is beautiful.

Andria November 19, 2010 at 9:31 am

Love this idea!! I might have to steal Mary’s Christmas idea, too.

Jen R. ( November 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

That’s absolutely wonderful! I think I might have to adapt that idea for the kids to give something to their grandparents. Very neat!

Drue November 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Love it. I am so stealing this idea!!!

Christy November 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

What a fabulous way to express thanksgiving. I plan to start one of these w/ my kids this weekend. I work at an elementary school and the kids in my classroom have been working on their quilt pieces for the last month or so. We are just getting ready to assemble our quilt at school, but we are going to use yarn to put the pieces together.

Have a blessed holiday season!

amanda November 20, 2010 at 5:51 am

wow i love this! yours turned out great and looks like a masterpiece!

Anne@LittleSproutBooks November 21, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Love it! I think the squares would be too small for my 4 year-old’s art, but we may have to experiment with larger and fewer squares, or a larger canvas. The gears are turning! Also, I have been keeping my own gratitude journal but haven’t started one with my son. Your suggestion got me thinking though – maybe I could start by having him choose one thing to add to my list each night…

Catherine November 21, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Oh, I love this idea so much!! I have a canvas taking up space that I have never worked out what to do with it too. I think we will start working on our own version tomorrow.

Nina November 22, 2010 at 5:50 am

My son and I write what was good about the day. Sometimes we also write about what wasn’t. I just use a regular notebook because after I write what I want and then what he tells me he writes – he’s 3 – and narrates what he’s writing and I’ll sometimes make notes on it. We have lots of family coming this year I think it’d be a neat idea to give everyone a square to draw or write what they are grateful for…

krista November 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm

love this, and my kids can’t wait to start. thanks for the inspiration!

Sally { with eager hands } November 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

I love this idea, I do! I think it would also be a great gift for a distant loved one (at least in our case, as all relatives are hours away!) — use the white sheets to write/illustrate as your wee ones did things you are thankful for, or sweet memories, or what you love about them. I can see us doing that for each set of grandparents as Christmas gifts! Thanks!!!!

Shawn November 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

In the past, I took a 12 x 12 piece of blue paper as my base. cut out from a brown piece of paper, the shape of a tree with lots of branches and then cut leaves in orange, yellow and red. As we ate dinner throughout Nov. we would talk about what we where thankful for and would write these items on the leaves and then on thanksgiving we would glue the leaves on the paper tree. The finished product becomes a page to slip into the scrapbook. My kids look forward to doing this each year. Love this new idea and will try it out this year.

Heather - Chickabug November 17, 2012 at 8:22 am

Hi Amy! I absolutely LOVE this idea : ) I shared it in a round-up on my blog today:

Thank you for the inspiration!!

julie August 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

This is so awesome! I was kinda thinking of doing it for my daisies at my church. Instead of doing it on canvas I was thinking of doing it on a big piece of paper about size of a place mat, use stick glue so the paper doesn’t curl use the scrap booking squares sparingly(just one here and there – the girls get to pick where), the girls would paint several pictures of what they are thankful for, I would place or write a thanksgiving scripture on maybe two or three touching scrapbook squares and then I would seal it(of course after the pictures are dry) with clear contact paper or something better. I am think that this could be a 2-4 week project.

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