DIY Giving Tree

by Mindy Lockard on November 1, 2009

tys-giving-thanksA huge part of living graciously is living with a grateful spirit.  When we approach life grateful to be alive, grateful for various situations, grateful for what we have, or grateful for the people we are blessed to know it’s more natural to live graciously.   Tonight I have the honor of speaking to my local Junior League Chapter about Entertaining a Spirit of Gratitude.  When we approach situations of entertaining, from the perspective of a hostess or guest, it’s very important to tap into our grateful side.

Here’s a little DIY: Giving Tree project I will be sharing with the ladies.  Perfect for family dinner table conversation for the month of November or when hosting friends or family on or around the holiday we reserve for Thanksgiving!

Step one… take a trip to the hardware store (or add a few items to the list when the honey is out picking up supplies for the “Honey-Do” list) and the curly willow from a local florist…



cover up the hole and add weight to the bottom of the clay pot…


followed by reading the directions and the warnings for the spray insulation.

It is very fun to work with, but I’ve made the mistake of not respecting the instructions and walked around town for a week with what looked like a prosthetic hand… I’m not kidding.

Put on the gloves and spray in the foam.


The spray foam is great as it doesn’t get hot and crack the clay pot, and once it’s dry the foam can be shaved down to the perfect height.  Remember the foam nearly doubles in size so don’t fill the entire pot full.

After the foam fills 3/4 of the pot, stabilize the curly willow in the foam.  It’s helpful to have a helping hand with the stabilization process when…


tightly wrapping string around the trunk and taping down the  on four sides.  Let the tree set and try for several hours.  It’s very important that the foam be 100% dry before you shave it down.

Once the foam is dry with a plastic knife shave the foam down.  And have fun with your new Giving Tree!


We decorate our trees with beautiful dry or preserved leaves…


tied with these notes of thanks from Paper Source


or sprayed gold…


and tied with these note cards from Paper Source


Our family will be using our Giving Tree this month to spark conversations of gratitude over family dinners. We also will be taking a stack of cards and a tree to each of our families’ homes over the Thanksgiving holiday to get the Thanksgiving conversation rolling.

We invite you to join us in a month of gratitude?  If you live locally and want to participate but don’t want to build a tree we have a Giving Tree and Gratitude cards with your name on it!

Wishing you a wonderfully gracious month of November!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer McIntyre @atthebluebarn 11.02.09 at 9:19 am

Once again, a lovely reminder for this time of year. I love the tree and note cards. . will have to fashion my own this week. Since I am a scrapbooker, I will have to thing of a creative way to display the cards in our Thanksgiving Book. Thank you for sharing and for reminding us to be grateful AND gracious! And enjoy yourself tonight at the JL meeting!
all the best,

Joanna 11.02.09 at 10:25 am

I just love this idea. What a great way to get everyone involved and really thinking about what they are grateful for. Beautiful reminder!

Jennifer 11.03.09 at 11:57 am

Love the idea – Can’t wait to make a tree for our family and guests!

Coniqua 11.05.09 at 5:21 am

I love this idea. I’ve been looking at wish trees and over the past few months and think this is a great way to use that concept on a daily basis.

It also reminds me of this “gratitude cake” segment from Rachel Ray

Erin 11.06.09 at 10:02 am

I love this idea. I’ve got some manzanita branches in a large-mouthed sturdy vase (currently ensconced in faux spider webs from Halloween!) that I think would work well too.

Thanks for a great idea!!

becky @ our sweet peas 11.06.09 at 11:06 am

It is beautiful. I am still trying to come up with an adaptation for my two and half year olds but this is gorgeous. :)

Mindy Lockard 11.06.09 at 12:45 pm

Hi, Erin, Manzanita branches are my favorite and perfect for this little craft. Please share pictures if you do use your web clad branches. I would love to see it

pamela 11.06.09 at 12:51 pm

what a great idea I found your site off of the everyday celebrating blog I might have to post this if you dont mind of course linking your blog and giving you credit thanks

Mindy Lockard 11.06.09 at 3:38 pm

Hi, Pamela, Thank you for sharing and giving credit! We love that you are excited about our giving tree! Thank you, Mindy

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