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Easy DIY Thanksgiving Family Decoration!

Unique DIY Thanksgiving Decoration

Last year we had our sweet family together and I knew changes were coming. For the past few years, my little brother and my husband’s little brother had lived with us. We knew that both of them would be moving on soon and after functioning for years as a family unit, it was going to be hard. We were unbelievably proud of their accomplishments and sad to see the end of a season as well. Our family transitioned from 8 to 6 pretty quickly! So, I decided I wanted to have a touch of everyone that could be remembered. I came up with an easy DIY thanksgiving family decoration that would remind us of that sweet time for years to come!

Thanksgiving dinner
Uncle Danny and Jireh!
Thanksgiving games
Puzzles after dinner!

Thanksgiving 2021

It was a pretty unique thanksgiving for us. Typically we have a bunch of people over and we have a feast. Last year, with quarantine, it was a slightly different scene. So we decided to shake things up. We woke up that morning and played a couple of family games then spontaneously decided to drive an hour into town to watch a movie! It was a blast! Who knew movie theaters were open on thanksgiving? I sure didn’t! And we had the theater to ourselves! I’m not sure if that was a COVID thing or a Thanksgiving thing. Once we got home we ate TONS of food and then finished off with my favorite part. The canvas! We ate pumpkin pie and passed around the canvas as we talked about things we were thankful for that year.

The movies on Thanksgiving! We live in the country so we drive an hour to the movie theaters!

A couple of notes:

  • You can purchase supplies here at Amazon: 

  • We had a 2 and 3-year-old. They can’t write well, most of the time we would write their answers for them, but sometimes I let them write their own! 
Unique DIY Thanksgiving Decoration
  • Make sure to print the printable that will serve as your guide for the overlay. 
  • I lay down a tableclothe before painting. If I dont have a tableclothe, I use a trash bag laid flat.

Start your Easy Thanksgiving Family Decoration

First, start by painting a base coat. This can be done days or weeks before. I would suggest doing it before so that it has time to cure and then it shouldn’t have a problem being handled. *I* of course, did it the day of, and we had to be careful about not being too rough.

Canvas for Unique DIY Thanksgiving Decoration

The paint I used:

For the first one, I used FolkArt acrylic paint in the seamist color. This year I used craft smart brand in dark copper. I am obsessed with both colors! They are gorgeous! Both of these particular paints (in my experience) tend to be super thick and I’ve only needed one coat per canvas! 

The seamist color looks much more teal on screen than in real life!

How to make a tape grid for straight thanksgiving lines

Next, place three pieces of painter’s tape at the top of your canvas. This will serve as a guide as to where to write. It also prevents kids from accidentally writing on the previous column.

Following that, you will remove the top piece of tape and place it underneath.

Start writing your thanksgiving. We use a permanent marker to write these, you could use a paint marker but I find that more difficult. Also, I like the look of putting a bullet point between the words. You can separate your words any way that you choose! Once you finish a column of thanksgiving, pull the bottom tape and place it back over the top column.

Next, remove the middle piece of tape and place it underneath.

Favorite Unique DIY Thanksgiving Decoration

You will continue this pattern down the whole canvas. Write until your whole canvas is full of thanksgiving! 

Paint your overlay

The following day I took a few minutes and painted my word. You can paint anything over it; I just wanted the thanksgivings to be a focal point so that we could remember where our family was that year. One of my favorite aspects is our family’s names. This year our brothers may not be here so it’s special to remember our last year together.

If you want a similar look to ours, feel free to print out the free printable I’ve included! 

Once you have printed the free printable, cover the back with charcoal. I prefer using compressed charcoal sticks but I’ve used pencils in a pinch as well!

At this point, you should be able to flip it over and use it as a grid. Position your paper exactly how you want it, take a pen, and outline your word. This should transfer your word to your canvas.

Here are the faint lines on my canvas!

Easy Thanksgiving Family Decoration!

The next step is to paint your word following the lines of your transfer! 

Unique DIY Thanksgiving Decoration

Woohoo we’re done! I went ahead and framed our original canvas. I love how complete it made the piece feel. I’ve already pulled it out for fall decorations this year! Here’s how it turned out!

Unique DIY Thanksgiving Decoration

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11 thoughts on “Easy DIY Thanksgiving Family Decoration!”

  1. What a cute idea! I love the way that even the smallest kids can contribute. Thank you so much for sharing this Thanksgiving DIY project. What a nice keepsake!

    1. Yes! I love hearing what is on their little hearts and then seeing the change and growth from previous years. So precious!

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