Gratitude Tree Advent Calendar {With download}

I often feel that Thanksgiving is not given its own due credit.  I am often guilty of jumping straight from Halloween into Christmas.  The last year or two, I've been trying to make Thanksgiving more meaningful for our family.  
I saw this Halloween advent calendar at Heartland Paper, and I was completely inspired!  My idea is using this magnet board gratitude tree as a sort of advent calendar.  At the start of the month, we will begin with a blank tree.  Each day, we will take turns as a family mentioning something we are grateful for.  As we do this, we will add a leaf onto the tree!
You can make your own gratitude tree for your family, too!  Come along with me and I'll show you how!
I already had a magnet board collecting dust, so I got to work creating the tree. I sketched a tree outline on the back of a piece of brown scrapbook paper.  I am NOT an artist so I looked at a tree picture while I did this.  
I cut out my tree and cut out several layers of "leaves" to fit the tree.  There was definitely no exact science to this.  I just cut out layers of scrapbook paper and overlapped them to create the shape of foliage.  I mod podged the leaves and tree onto the magnet board.  I also painted a layer of mod podge over the top to protect the whole tree!
Next, I created these leaves in Photoshop and cut them out.  I created 30 leaves so we could add a leaf to the tree every day during November.

I am excited to tell you that I made my first Etsy purchase!  Now I know why I stayed away from Etsy for so long... it is addicting!  I purchased 100 resin glaze drops along with 100 bottle caps at Sun and Moon craft kits.  (You definitely don't need to buy these to make your own, though.  You could use clear glass pebbles to make these, too!)  Now I attached the leaves to the resin glaze drops.
Now, I used E-6000 to attached the resin drops to the tops of the bottle caps and the magnets to the bottom of the bottle caps. Again, remember that you could use clear glass pebbles to create magnets in the same way!  It's much cheaper!  ๐Ÿ™‚
Aren't those bottle cap leaf magnets lovely?!
I hung my magnet board with green ribbon.  Now I can stand back and admire it!  

But for now, we're starting with a bare tree at the beginning of November.... can I just add the first leaf to tell you how grateful I am for YOU?!  I so appreciate your kind comments and thoughts.  They really make my day!

If you wish, you can download your own set of leaves here.  I would love to see pictures if you make your own gratitude tree advent calendar!  You could even make a tree on your refrigerator and add leaf magnets every day during November.  **These leaves were made to fit my bottle caps, so you may have to resize these just a smidge smaller to fit clear glass pebbles.  Or just trim them up a bit!**
Enjoy your weekend!
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  1. Cupcake Dessert says

    Loooove this!!! My LO is still a little small for this so I might do it next year but I AM doing it lol.

  2. Alison –

    You inspire me each day when I visit your blog. My son who is 4 years old loves to countdown to anything and this is a beautiful way to countdown. I am going to make one to countdown to Thanksgiving. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Megan R.

  3. I love this idea! I agree that Thanksgiving get overlooked. This is a great way to remember the things you are grateful for and to teach the kids as well.

  4. What an absolutely adorable idea!!

  5. Pati @ A Crafty Escape says

    Love this idea… and we all have a lot to be thankful for!

  6. So cute! Love this!!

  7. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} says

    So cute with the bottle caps! And I love the magnet board. Where did you score that?

  8. Dolly and Jon says

    What a cute idea and I LOVELOVE when you let us copy your genius. It really helps those of us who are a wee bit craft-challenged.

  9. Oh, I just Love this advent tree. Adorable. Seriously. Such a cute cute idea. I think I might incorporate it into something I am teaching some women soon. Love love it.

  10. Melissa Stewart says


  11. Beverly @ says

    Alison this is soooo sweet! I love the little leaves in teh bottle caps – what a great way to do an advent calendar. So cute!

  12. Sawdust and Paperscraps says

    Cute idea!

  13. Laura@Corner House says

    The leaves on the bottle caps are SO cute! I love this idea. I am need to find the time to make one of my own.

  14. You are so generous with your time and talents. May many blessings come your way for sharing. Thank you!

  15. Mod Podge Amy says

    This is so very cute!

  16. Stuart and Kimber says

    You are so fabulous. Love the idea.

    Although, I think I'll just print up your leaves, laminate them and then stick magnets to them. (I think that would be even cheaper than adding the glass pebbles.) But I will also admit, I'm lazy and I don't want to make an extra trip to the store! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your fabulousness!

  17. Young and Crafty says

    This is so cute! I need to make some Thanksgiving decor this year as well.

    I would love for you to link up to Scraptastic Saturday!

    Hannah @

  18. What a lovely idea! Thanks for the leaf downloads, too. I think I will tweak this a little by writing down what we're thankful for and putting in my scrapbook with our Thanksgiving photos this year. I'll invite our 3 married kids to do it, too. We could read them together during our Thanksgiving meal. I plan to try your Oreo pumpkins, too. I could spend all day just doing the fun stuff on your site! Maybe I will. :o)blessings on your day!

  19. This is a great idea, thanks for sharing. After seeing it the other day, I've made my own version as well! It uses a cookie sheet (that I had planned to make a 'cookie sheet advent calendar' with last Christmas but never did) and leaves cut with my Cricut. I glued it all down today, just in the nick of time to use tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the idea! ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Let'sMakeADifference says

    I found your blog while blog hopping. I am now a follower. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back! Beautiful advent tree!

  21. Hi!I love this idea, so much so, I just had to feature it on my blog! I hope you don't mind! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Oh my, this is SO cute! Thank you so much for sharing. I think this is something I can do. I am so excited! I too had to feature it on my blog, hope you don't mind :)

  23. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says

    Alison, Love this! Thanks for sharing the printables! Thanks so much for linking to The Sunday Showcase party – I greatly appreciate it. I have featured thison my first round of showcases; please feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Hope you are enjoying your week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  24. Michelle@Somedaycrafts says

    What a great idea! I've never seen a Thanksgiving advent. I am highlighting this at

  25. This is so cute! I love it! Love the paper you used and those little printables are great!

    Thanks for linking up to my party again this week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Mason/Sam/Family says

    Thank you so much for this idea! I ran right out and got my supplies and finished mine tonight. You can see a picture of it on my blog at: Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. Oh this is just wonderful!! I am going to try this out, I have a ton of bottle caps saved from this Summer's bbq's!!
    Great project!!

  28. Pam Ponder says

    I love this gonna have to make it thanks for the download

  29. love the bottle cap magnets! Thanks for sharing at Fantabulous Friday!

  30. Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden says

    Love this idea! What a great tradition to start with your family.

    I'll be featuring you this Tuesday! Thanks for sharing at My Backyard Eden!

  31. Jessica @ This Blessed Life says

    This is absolutely fabulous – Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I definitely want to incorporate this idea. Thanks for being so generous and sharing the printables with us!

  32. Hi!
    I just made my Thanksgiving tree. Thanks for the idea. Check it out…


  33. I googled "Thanksgiving advent calendar" last weekend, and your blog popped up. Thank you for such a fun, cute, creative idea! I made ours last week:

    Although my label for my tree isn't nearly as cute as yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe you could make that a free downloadable too someday?



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