The things we’re grateful for—relationships, homes, lifestyle comforts, financial success, etc.—may not grow on trees, but in today’s post they will! We’re going to walk you through the steps of creating your very own gratitude tree!
To get you started, we’re providing a FREE Cricut Design Space™ file for the shapes of the tree trunk and leaves! These tree shapes come from a variety of our Cricut® collections, including Art Philosophy, Artbooking, Flower Shop, and more! !
Once you’ve downloaded our free file or have selected Cricut® shapes or metal dies of your own, select a variety of colored cardstock to cut your leaves. For our tree, we chose to incorporate vibrant autumnal colors, but color choice is completely up to you! Just make sure to select shades that will allow your journaling to show. (As a reminder, all Close To My Heart colored cardstock is two-toned, so you can use a single color and still end up with two shades!)
After your leaves and trunk are cut, it’s time to create your base page and attach the trunk. We kept our base page simple with a denim patterned paper from our Textures Paper Packet, featured in the 2021–2022 Core Products Catalog. We also decided to add a little more dimension to our tree trunk by cutting two trunk layers and positioning them slightly off set from each other. For even more artistic fun, we chose to use a wood grain patterned paper from our Wood Grains Paper Packet for our top layer and a solid Mocha cardstock layer on the bottom. (Attaching your top layer with thin 3-D foam tape can be another great way to bring dimension to your tree!)
When your base is ready, put it in a 12″ x 12″ frame and set it in high traffic area of your home. Place the cut, leaves along with a few colorful pens and adhesive, in a handy bowl. Allow everyone who passes by to write something they are grateful for on a leaf and have them attach it to the tree! Another way to use this project is to bring it to your Thanksgiving Day table for a fun family activity! Pass the leaves around the table and invite your guests to write what they are grateful for. When everyone’s finished, collect all the leaves, and watch your gratitude tree spring to life as you share the thoughtful contributions of your loved ones!
For our tree, we used 3-D foam tape, thin 3-D foam tape, and a glue pen to attach the leaves to the base tree, resulting in a nice variation in dimension from leaf to leaf. Once you’ve attached all the gratitude leaves to the tree branches, you can use any extras to create a small leaf pile at the base of your tree trunk, helping to fill out your page and give it a little extra flair. One of the best parts about this project is that it’s sized to fit inside a standard size scrapbook album! Add a bit of journaling to bring some context to the project, dress it up with a few embellishments, and you’re ready to put it into your scrapbook to cherish for years to come!
Recollections of days, meals, and even gifts may fade over time, but creating a lasting memory of gratitude and family is a sure-fire way to make this year’s Thanksgiving holiday unforgettable! Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Tell us about it in the comments, below!
There are so many great stories that happen around the holidays that deserve to be written down, cherished, and shared. In November, we released a new workshop kit from the Story by Stacy™ line called Holiday Stories I Love. Using this new workshop kit, a few of our Home Office employees, including our beloved founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton, explored the memories behind photos they treasure most, documented them with detailed stories, and shared them with us below!
Dolls have always played such a significant part of my life. I love them for their beauty and their representation of many fond childhood memories.
My love of dolls began before I can even remember. I cherish this photo of me with my mother on my very first Christmas. Our lovely tree, and my mother and me dressed in our Sunday best. My mother always said she thought of me as her little doll. She loved to dress me up in beautiful clothes with all the little details, just so. She said I even looked like a little dolly with my porcelain skin, big blue eyes and pretty pink lips. She called me her doll and I loved it. It made me feel so special.
By my second Christmas, dolls were my happy place. I took dolls with me everywhere I went. I played with them, gave them each a name, and fussed with their clothes and hair to make them look oh-so pretty. On my third Christmas, I went to see Santa. My mother recalls that when I sat upon his lap, the only gift I requested was more dolls! Dolls were such a happy part of my childhood and even now, bring such a feeling of nostalgia of a time where life was carefree and magical.
As a mother myself, I call my children and grandchildren my little dolls, just like my mom called me. It is a term of endearment that has carried on because it shows such love for these special and beautiful people who fill my heart and home.
Even today as a grown woman, I still find joy in collecting dolls. I’ve created quite a compilation over the years of beautiful dolls, each representing something special. I have dolls of every ethnicity, hair style, period of history, etc. They bring me a sense of comfort and joy to see their splendor and exquisite detail. I hope to one day pass these cherished dolls down to my daughters and granddaughters, that they might know of my love for dolls, but more importantly, my love for them. — Jeanette
A tradition that goes back as long as I can remember is a Christmas nativity that we act out ourselves. I did this as a child with my own family. I’m so happy we have carried it on with my own children and now grandchildren. The year we took this particular photo was December 2018. We had just moved to Lindon and went to our local ward (church) Christmas party. We were about to leave but Ariana insisted we take this photo. Even though I was tired from working all day I did it for the family. I’m so grateful I did. It truly represents all the nativities we have done as a family with better costumes! Lol. We usually use towels, sheets, and toys. No matter how hard, crazy, busy Christmas seems to be, our homemade nativity always brings the true Christmas spirit into our home. We are a forever family because of our Savior. — Monica
I think I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. We lived in Littleton, CO, and my dad had quit his job at Metropolitan State University a few months before. He had been asked to do some dishonest things and wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity. Money was very tight and even though I knew that, I still asked for a 10-speed bike.
My bedroom was in the basement, and so was my dad’s workshop. My parents told me that Christmas was going to be hidden in the workshop and asked me not to peek. I just couldn’t help myself. A week before Christmas I looked inside. I saw a very old, very beat up, white 10-speed bike.
I remember being so disappointed. My idea of a cool bike was a brand new bike in a pretty color with all the bells and whistles. I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t feel this way! I know Dad is out of work, money is really tight, and this is probably all he could afford.” I remember for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas feeling so guilty for peeking and trying to psych myself up to act grateful, surprised, and excited on Christmas.
Christmas morning came and into the living room we went. There, next to the tree, sat a brand new, bright yellow 10-speed bike. It had all the bells and whistles and it was just for me. I truly was surprised and so excited! It was not the bike I had seen when I peeked. It wasn’t until years later that I found out my dad had been so sad to give me an old bike that he asked around and found out about a police auction. He went and was able to find that new bike for an amount he felt he could pay.
Every time I think of that bike, even today, I get all choked up. It was so much more than a bike. It was a symbol of the lengths my dad was willing to go to make his little girl happy, and showed me just how much he loves me. — Karen
This photo was taken on Dec. 14, 2017. I have no idea who took it, or how this moment was captured, but I am so very glad it was. This photo represents a special tradition we have of getting a new Christmas book for our collection & reading by the tree before bedtime. The lights of the tree make it all the more magical.
The particular title isn’t a storyline I recall, but there is one Christmas book that has meant the most to this little boy. In 2012, the year he was born, President Thomas S. Monson’s book, “The Christmas Train,” was the one we added to our collection. As soon as Owen was old enough to understand it, it quickly became his favorite & we read it multiple times during the holiday season.
The story is about President Monson as a young boy, wanting desperately to have an electric train. I think the train topic definitely added to Owen’s infatuation with the book, yet I also know that the story itself has had an impact on him as well.
The story details the importance of sharing, & sometimes sacrificing, to see the joy it brings to others. Owen is one to pray each day for the homeless—that they can find food & shelter. He wants to donate to the Food Bank & worries about those he sees on the side of the road. He will often comment hours after passing someone, still thinking about their situation or what they might need. He has a very soft heart & a desire to love those less fortunate.
As much as we may try to instill these selfless traits in our children, I do firmly believe that Owen came to Earth this way. His special spirit is filled with compassion & caring. It is a gift especially given to him.
This photo will always be the perfect reminder to me that Owen embodies the characteristics of a prophet as a young boy—wanting so much for himself (Owen’s wish list is always exceptionally long!) yet, he acts on a stronger desire to give. —Jill
Each year a few weeks before Christmas my mom would use a staple gun to stick two long burlap banners to wood beams dividing the dining and living rooms in our home. Both of these were decorated with felt poinsettias and holly leaves hand-cut and hot-glued. To these we would pin the Christmas cards we received. I remember thinking as a teenager that they were looking a bit worn, but that I was ok with that. I liked Mom’s handmade holiday touches.
Geoff and I spend our first Christmases together in Chicago, and I was determined to make our little apartment homey. We purchased a pint sized artificial tree and I wanted ornaments, but other than the very breakable glass balls, these were expensive. I decided that I would clip coupons from the Sunday paper and that however much I saved on groceries I could purchase and paint at Michaels. Some were as much as .59 cents each, but the gingerbread men were only .29 cents. While Geoff studied every evening, I painted ornaments that have hung on our tree ever since.
By the time we built our current home—in 2006—I had fallen in love with bright, happy colors and with the help of fuzzy ball ornaments from IKEA, I created a bright and playful vision that included painted hat boxes and leather stockings in orange, pink, turquoise and green. The point of this story is that I LOVE to decorate for the holidays—just like my mom—with a mix of handmade and thoughtfully acquired things, and that while my style is very different, and a bit childish, it is magical and 100% me! — Stacy
All of our Story by Stacy™ products are intended to help recall and retell memories in a beautiful way, as you can see by our true-life examples, above. We wish you all a lovely holiday season, full of beautiful new memories for you to cherish, recall, and share for years to come!
The holidays are a time for fun, family, and tradition. One of the most anticipated activities of the year is decorating the house in its festive finest. From the Christmas tree to the lights outside, decorating for the holidays allows you to turn your home into your own piece of art! To help you in this artistic endeavor, we want to show you some fun ways to add a truly personal touch to your home décor with the Merry Little Christmas special!
The Merry Little Christmas special includes three wood ornament options and two wood tag options to bring some three-dimensional fun to your holiday decorations. These beautiful ornaments and tags are the perfect way to add your own festive touch to the boughs of your tree and the gifts under it!
These tags and ornaments are made of sturdy wood pieces, and they not only look fantastic, but are super easy and fun to make! Each ornament is constructed by fitting two interlocking pieces to form gorgeous 3-D decorations. Once they’ve been fitted together, they can be easily secured with a bit of glue and strung onto some decorative thread for a festive finishing touch.
Before you fit your ornament pieces together, you’ll want to think about how to decorate them. Each ornament and tag come with a coordinating digital file, so you can cut perfect paper overlays to complement your Christmas creations!
In addition to decorating with these digital art file cut-outs, you can also embrace the natural wood look and keep your embellishing to a minimum. This round wood ornament is lightly decorated with just a few dots of Liquid Pearls™, and the results are stunning!
For the Christmas tags that have small cut-outs, you can even put a piece of your favorite pattern or glitter paper behind it for a peek-a-boo effect, or two attach two tags together, back-to-back, for some added dimension. These wood pieces can also be stamped on, so add your own choice of patterns or sentiments!
No matter how you choose to decorate your ornaments and tags, or where you place them in your home, the Merry LittleChristmas special is a wonderful way to combine your Christmas cheer with your natural creativity! It also provides a great opportunity for you to craft with the people that you love! They’re incredibly easy to put together, and your loved ones will have a blast creating them with you! Who knows—this could even be start of a beautiful new Christmas crafting tradition!
As a crafter, you’re always looking for new projects and new ideas. With Valentine’s Day coming up, here’s one we’ve fallen head over heels for: a heart tree!
This would make a great accent piece for your living room, and if you made a few, you could make a really cute mantle display or centerpiece arrangement. These trees are super easy and affordable to make, especially since we’re going to show you how! We’ll even include some insider’s tips.
First, you’ll need to get a styrofoam tree (or trees!) and a bunch of ½” straight pins, which you can get from almost any craft store. Next, put your Cricut® to work cutting out hearts—a lot of them! ☺ We cut these hearts at 1 ½”. 2 sheets each of 4 colors of paper should be plenty to cover one tree.
Insider’s tip #1: You’ll want to turn the pressure up pretty high on your Cricut® machine when you cut the glitter paper.
After you’ve cut all your hearts, flip your first heart upside down. Using a straight pin, attach the heart to the bottom of the tree: The curved part of the heart should be in line with the bottom of the tree, and the pin should be placed near the point of the heart. Continue this technique to create a row of hearts on the bottom of the tree. Let the hearts overlap slightly. Next, add another row just above your first. Focus on filling the gaps between the hearts and covering the pinheads from the first row. You can either make each row its own color or alternate colors within rows—it’s totally up to you! When you get to the top of the tree, glue the tips of the hearts together to create a point.
Insider’s tip #2: If you plan on saving your tree to use year after year, use styrofoam glue instead of or in addition to the straight pins. The tree may take longer to finish, but it will be less delicate.
And that’s it—we told you it was easy! 🙂 Now you’re ready to welcome this holiday of caring and sharing into your home and heart, and with that . . .
Everything about Christmas fills me with wonder—its sparkling decorations, cheery music, and gift giving. The most wonderful part though is spending time with my loved ones, and I wish I could spend time with each one of you this Christmas, too!
Though we are apart, I’d still like to invite you into my home by showing you something special—my Christmas tree! Here are two pictures, one before it was decorated and one with all the trimmings:
I think Christmas trees are simply beautiful, and it’s magical watching a plain tree transform into a handcrafted work of art. Which decoration is your favorite? I can never decide between the gold striped ribbon, the pearl strands, the glittery red leaves, and the delicate glass ornaments. And of course there’s the golden star on top!
This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. When I look at my tree, it fills me with joy and reminds me of the beauty in this world. All the troubles of life fade away with the glistening of those Christmas tree lights.
I hope these photographs light a smile on your face, and I hope your own holiday traditions bring you and your family closer together. Most of all, I hope you feel peace, happiness, and love this holiday season.
Do you have some scraps or sheets of leftover holiday-themed paper in your stash? We’ve got a great idea that will help you add some Close To My Heart bling to your tree:
Aren’t they sweet? In addition to being an adorable touch to your tree, they are so quick to make! First, pull out your 1″ circle punch, and cut yourself a circle from your extra holiday paper. Using Glue Dots™, attach that circle to the center of a Base & Bling circle pendant—then embellish it to your heart’s content!
Simple, right? All you have to do now is string a piece of twine—maybe Poppy or Fern—through the top and hang it on your tree!
Unless you’d rather hang it on someone else’s tree!
We recently had the opportunity to donate the materials for this project to Primary Children’s Hospital—a local children’s hospital that is always looking for holiday crafts to do with their patients. We gathered up some of our older holiday papers, Base & Bling pendants, Glue Dots, and twine, boxed up all the crafting fun, and took it to the hospital. We felt privileged to visit a place dedicated to helping kids feel happy and healthy!
It’s rewarding to know that you’ve brought someone joy, even if it was in a small or simple way. If you’ve got a closet brimming with items you don’t use—and we know you do!—consider donating them to a worthy cause. That could be someone’s fundraiser, or else a local hospital, school, daycare center, church, or local arts program, just to name a few!
We know that helping those around you creates the merriest memories of the season, so join us in helping out your local community! Thanks and blessings to you in advance. 🙂
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3153 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Silver, Z1752 Clear Sparkles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots™
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3176 Picture My Life™ White Pines Scrapbooking Program, Z3154 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Gold, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots™
X7200B White Pines Paper Packet, Z3153 Base & Bling Circle Pendant—Faux Silver, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, 1772 Memory Book Glue Dots™
Don’t you love this festive time of year? Christmas seems to give us the most beautiful creations in every category, and papercrafting is no exception. For example, check out this adorable shadow box!
Wouldn’t you love to decorate your home with something like this? We can’t decide what we like best about it: the holly berry gems, glittery lettering, or dainty snowflakes. And you’re probably dying to put your favorite family picture inside the frame!
We have the lovely Michelle Snyder to thank for this beautiful piece of artwork—some of our readers will recognize it from Convention, where she donated it to our Operation Smile™ auction.
It’s no surprise that Michelle’s shadow box sold for a generous price. What did surprise Michelle was how many people asked her how she’d made it. In response to all these requests, Michelle graciously put together some instructions for the project and shared them on our Convention Facebook page. Many of our Consultants have since taken advantage of this and created shadow boxes of their own. Here are just a few of them:
A photo posted by Tina Jeselnik Sutton (@missgingerdots) on
Look how great they turned out! Don’t you want your own now? Well, you’re in luck—Michelle wants as many people as possible to have access to her instructions, so with her permission and blessing, we’re sharing them right here on the blog! This will give all of you the chance to make this Christmas masterpiece in time for the holiday season.
We’re so grateful for Michelle’s inspiring artwork and giving spirit. Thank you, Michelle! 🙂 Now check out her instructions at the link below, and merry crafting!
P.S. Before you start work on your shadow box, you’ll also need the White Pines paper packet. It’s only available for another month, so make sure to order it right away! For more White Pines artwork inspiration, search #ctmhwhitepines on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
We believe the heart of scrapbooking to be the relationships that we celebrate and preserve on the pages in our albums. Of all the relationships in our lives, family relationships are among the most cherished. Today’s artwork shows you a beautiful way to celebrate those relationships that make us who we are: This is a beautiful family, and we’re sure yours is just as beautiful to you, too, which is why we’re going to pass on some insider’s tips from the artist who brought this tree to life. Sharing a page like this one with your children and grandchildren is sure to give them a greater appreciation for their heritage and the art of preserving family history. Let’s take a closer look, then, shall we? First off, our artist made good use of our watercolors to create a breezy blue background. She then used the My Acrylix® Friend Tree stamp set to stamp the limbs of the tree. Because the stamps are flexible, she was able to bend the stamp to shape it just the way she wanted before inking and stamping it in place. This allowed her to plan out where she’d be placing her pictures and which spaces would need the most leaves.
The leaves were stamped using stamps from the same set and a variety of colors, including Pear, Fern, Topiary, and Sweet Leaf (how fitting!). When it comes to adding the leaves, our artist recommends starting with a lighter color and working with one color at a time to fill up your branches. Notice the textured look on some of the leaves? To create this effect, our artist stamped on a piece of scrap paper and then the page itself, making each branch and leaf on the page unique—just like every person in her family tree! The tasteful accessories our artist chose also add some class to this page. The page is anchored down by a torn paper strip from the Urban paper packet, the popped-out “family” title, and a twine bow that contributes to the natural feel. A dovetailed title, a handful of gold sequins, and elegant enamel triangles finish the ensemble nicely.
So, are you ready to memorialize your own family? No one knows them better than you do, and now you have a new idea for creating a visual reminder of their lives and of the relationships that tie you all together. Enjoy the family reunion!
12″ x 12″ Family Tree Page
C1633 My Acrylix® For Family, D1677 My Acrylix® Friend Tree, D1662 My Acrylix® Harvest Wreath, X7204B Urban Paper Packet, X7202B Kaleidoscope Paper Packet, X7197B Zoe Paper Packet, 1375 Kraft Cardstock, Z3146 Watercolor Paper, Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2650 Fern Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, 44751 Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z3123 Enamel and Glitter Duos Green Triangles, Z3093 Fern Thick Twine, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z3188 Paintbrush Set Z3170, Cricut® Artiste Collection