Happy Thanksgiving prep week, and to celebrate, I’m offering this free Thanksgiving Day coloring page download to add to your Thanksgiving Day table! It’s a way to preserve the memory of the day and it just might be therapeutics well. Experts call it “color therapy” and it can be used as a great stress-reliever during the holidays. Great ideas and businesses historically were drawn up over dinner on a napkin or butcher paper at a restaurant. Maybe this placemat will be the start to a new family business or at the very least, a way to document your gratitude for those you spent the holiday with. It’s a fun interactive way to get family and friends talking and thinking about their blessings. And yes, even the adults can have one. Click on the link at the bottom of the post to get your free 11X17″ download. Most home printers won’t print 11X17″, so you may need to download it onto a flash drive and take to your local printer that can print 11X17″.
To create a quick photo booth backdrop you could use a shower curtain, wood doors or panels, a tablecloth, a large fabric piece, or just use a plain old-fashioned wall! Pick up those 3M picture clips (pictured below) that won’t damage your wall from any discount or home improvement store. If there is a folded sewn edge, there is usually enough of a lip that the fabric can just slide in and be held securely in place. A little more expensive, but a an easy option is the photo backdrop stand kits that can be purchased for under $50 on Amazon. Or I have seen some great DIY’s with how to build a backdrop stand out of PVC pipes on Pinterest, check out HERE.
I used a drop cloth from Home Depot found in the painters section of the store. It has a natural look to it and seemed to work well for the fall season. I then gessoed some muslin fabric so I could then paint it with a couple coats of black chalkboard paint. Then I ripped the fabric into a large strip 60″ L X 6.5″ H to hand-letter in the center “Thanksgiving” with a chalk marker. I cut a little “snake tongue” on each end and then scrunched up the fabric and tied ribbons to trim out each end of the banner. I did another small strip with the date, “2016” on it. To trim out the the top of the photo booth backdrop, I sewed real oak loves together just by attaching the leaves with a straight stitch on the sewing machine, spacing them out and used varying leaf sizes until I had a couple yards in length. (To save this strand from getting tangled, just roll it up on a piece of cardboard, and it’s easy to use again and again.) For additional texture and dimension, you could drape pom pom trim and other ribbons and flags at the top of the backdrop.
Don’t forget the photo booth props. Party stores always have a wide variety of novelty hats, headbands and glasses to go with the current season and holidays. But you can also save yourself some money, or even accent what you’ve got available with these illustrated and hand-lettered props available by download in my Etsy shop HERE. Assemble with a pair of scissors to cut out the cardstock props, bamboo skewers from the grocery store or 12″ wooden dowels from the craft store, and packing tape.
Now just grab a prop, strike a pose, close in tight with those you love and say, “Turkey!”
A family Thanksgiving Day guest book is an easy way to remember the years of guests and family that have come through your door to celebrate. You can use just a blank journal and have guests sign-in upon entering your home, but they are simple to make if you want to have a special one that you can easily add more paper to the stack, year after year.
GUEST BOOK SUPPLIES AND INSTRUCTIONS:
- 20-30 blank sheets of text weight paper
- 8-1/2 X 11″ decorative paper for cover
- Color print of “Gather Here with Grateful Hearts” artwork. Find the free download provided at the end of this post.
- Print image on a smooth cream cardstock, I used a Neenah brand in Natural White with a smooth finish.
- Using 2 different decorative papers, create a 3-mount collage for the front of your guest book. I machine stitched around the edges of the artwork to attach the 3 layers, but you can just phote tape or glue up the 3 mounts. The artwork was cut to 2-2/4 X 4″. The kraft mount was cut to around 3-1/2 X 4-3/4″. The last border was roughly 3-1/2X5″.
- 8-1/2 X 11″ piece of chipboard for back cover of book
- Use a punch to punch out 2 holes about 1-1/2″ down and 3/4″ from the over from the left hand side of the book on each sheet of paper. I used a drill punch from a leather supply store. You simply line up the stack of paper about 10 sheets at a time. Place the hand punch over the paper with a self-healing cutting mat underneath, and with a hammer, hit the top of the punch until a few times until the hole is punched all the way through the stack of paper. I purchased my hand held drill punch from Tandy Leather.
- Take 3/4 yard of 1-1/2 wide ribbon and feed through the two holes of the book and then tie in a bow.
- Mount the art collage on the front using a glue gun or craft glue.
- Add polaroid photos if possible and leave markers and pens for guests to write their blessings and signatures down.
Below there are two free downloads. The first one is just the art. The second one is an image of a collage I created using the artwork for the guest book, but I stitched it onto decorative papers and sewed the 3 layers together.
Now just sign your own John Hancock and leave it at the door for annual guests to sign-in documenting the day!
Forward to the 70th Birthday Celebration post.
Burdell Moody, 2005 (photo courtesy of Roger Hawkins)
Burdell Moody (on right), US Army
Combat Artist for the Vietnam War
What can I say of my father? He turned 70 this month. He is a very talented artist, recently featured at The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia with other works from American soldiers. His painting, “Point Man”, pictured below was the painting on the cover of the art exhibit’s program handed out on opening night. Can I further brag and say this piece was chosen out of 16,000 works in the entire collection? To see his work printed on keychains and mugs in the museum’s gift shop seems like iconic art to me.
All artwork courtesy of U.S. Army Center for Military History, Washington DC
Burdell Moody, US Army
“Big and Little Fire Power”