Clipped Letters & Wooden Pieces Come Together to Show Your Gratitude

Thanksgiving is around the corner, so create simple signs to express your gratitude for the holiday and this special time of year. 

While we are all thankful for each and every day, it seems like our awareness of our blessings increases around Thanksgiving.  Show your appreciation for all your good fortune while honoring Mother Nature, too, by reusing Goodwill-purchased items and letters clipped from old magazines.  

These mini-art pieces will show signs of your appreciation in your home or office and can be displayed all year. 

This is a family-friendly activity, too.  When the younger ones are on their holiday break, consider following these simple steps for a heartfelt time together.

Counting your blessings is always in style and always right on time.

Items Needed:

1.      Old magazines

2.      Scissors

3.      Wooden items like small picture frames, decorative items, wall hangings

4.      Flat, black paint

5.      Paintbrush

6.      Painter’s tape

7.      Mod Podge

1.      Count your blessings & the pennies saved when you find your good at Goodwill

Head on over to your favorite Goodwill nonprofit store and hit the aisle where wooden items are on display and for sale. 

Hunt for flat items to transform by adding meaningful messages to them. Several wall decorations, which were small and box-like, were found and were ideal for this seasonal project. 

Don’t let an item’s current look or message deter you from taking it home.  Also, wooden picture frames with wider and flat surfaces are great options.  Add serving trays and small storage containers to the list, too.

Most of the items upcycled for this blog were picked up for just a buck! At the end of your purchase, consider “rounding up” your total so the extra pennies or two may be donated to Goodwill to support their life-changing, transformational programs. 

Everyone gets blessed when you shop at Goodwill!

2.      Create a list of words & clip letters to spell them out

When you think about Thanksgiving, what words come to mind for you? 

Some that came up for me were: share, gratitude, family, blessed, and give.   

Make a list of these words, then go through old magazines to find and clip letters to help you spell them out. 

This is a fun step as you look for letters and see how many shapes, sizes, fonts, and colors they come in. 

3.      Create a blank—and black—backdrop for your words

  • With a medium-sized craft paintbrush or a foam paintbrush, apply a thin layer of flat, black paint over your wooden items’ surfaces to mask over and neutralize any existing words, messages, or images. 
  • Use painter’s tape to protect any edges or parts you want to keep paint-free. 
  • If need be, apply a second layer after the first one dries well.

Design Idea:

A black background was used to help make the colorful letters jump out.  You could use shades of white, gray, or beige if you have them on hand to keep the project’s cost as low as possible.  However, I think the black helps the final piece to make a bolder statement and feel hip and urban, too.

4.      Secure letters with Mod Podge

  • After your black backgrounds are completely dry, arrange your words in a way that makes you happy. 
  • Line the letters up, then carefully remove them, add a thin layer of Mod Podge to their backs, and return them to their place. 
  • After all the letters are secured in position, add another thin layer of Mod Podge on top to ensure they adhere well and completely. 
  • You may want to use your finger to push out extra Mod Podge from behind the letters gently. 
  • Let these dry well, too.

5.      Display with appreciation, give away in gratitude

Given the small size and their simple messages, you could add these to your Thanksgiving table décor.  

Place them around your home on a bookshelf or countertop.  Hang them as a group on a wall.  Or share them with those special ones in your life as a small token of appreciation.  

Wherever and however you use these thankful word art pieces, you will likely want to keep them up and around all year long as a reminder of your transformational talents—one of your things to be grateful for no matter what month is on the calendar!

Thanks to Finding Your Good, Carolyn Becker, and Goodwill of Greater Washington for the many ways you uplift others and our community.  I am grateful for our partnership and the chance to share DIY ideas and inspiration with others!  Thanks for all YOU do for me and so many people!

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Tim Kime

Artist, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach

Tim Kime is an artist, life coach, and connector. He is the President of Kime Leadership Associates, offering executive coaching, meeting facilitating, and motivational speaking. He is also the Chief Creative Force of Transformation Junkies which upcycles furniture and other household items into functional works of art. He combined his two passions—unleashing the potential in people and transforming items with the launch of the Art of Possibilities Workshops. These workshops are part upcycling, part dreaming, and part goal setting.