Thanksgiving Hymn Garland – to color and create

Thanksgiving Hymn Garland – to color and create

Decorate your home for Thanksgiving with this fun craft the whole family can enjoy making together!  You can download our FREE printable, or you can simply let the idea inspire your own creation.  And if you would like book recommendations for some cozy Thanksgiving reading time, keep reading for some of our favorites at the end of this post… Cranberry Thanksgiving, Balloons Over Broadway, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, and The Lion and the Bird.

thanksgiving Christian banner

The banner has pencil sketch style leaf images overlayed with words from the hymn, “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

As the children colored, we realized that this would be a good opportunity to really look closely at fall leaves… there are often many different colors in each leaf.  


Our FREE Thanksgiving place cards coordinate nicely with the garland.  These are so fun for children to write on and color to make your guests feel welcome!  Click on the image to get your FREE place card printable.

fall place card
fall place card

If you would like to listen to the song as you create your banner, you might like to try this version by Michelle Swift.

Let’s make a garland…

Print the images on cardstock

Click here to get our FREE printable, and print the images on cardstock.  Some of the leaves have words from the hymn.  Other images have no words.  You can string them together in a pattern you like, using all or only some of the images.  Alternatively, you could draw your own leaves and write the words of your choice.

Color the leaves and pumpkins

Color the leaves and pumpkins.  You may want to look closely at real leaves from your yard for inspiration.  Fall leaves often really have many different colors in each leaf.

Cut out the images.

Some of the leaf shapes are quite detailed.  Don’t worry if they are not cut perfectly.

Punch 2 holes in each leaf/pumpkin

Punch 2 holes at the top of each pumpkin/leaf.  Punching 2 holes, rather than one, helps the shapes to stay facing forward when they are strung on the garland.

String the images to create the garland

Cut a long piece of twine, ribbon, or yarn.  Thread the twine (or ribbon or yarn) through the holes.  Consider the order of the hymn.  Add in wordless images if you would like to.

toddler thanksgiving craft

Toddler tip...

We found it was helpful to print some extra pages that our toddler could have all to herself.  She was quite proud of her own little banner (we love it too)!  These Melissa and Doug toddler scissors help make cutting safer.

If you enjoy making this garland, and would like to make one for another holiday (including Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and the 4th of July), you can find other garland printables in our little Etsy shop.

Our favorite books for a cozy fall and Thanksgiving family reading time…

(The book images are Amazon links if you are interested in finding out more about the books.)

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is a sweet story about a little fox who is so concerned about the leaves that fall from his tree, but then comes to learn of the beauty of the changing seasons.  The illustrations are adorable!

With Melissa Sweet’s illustrations, Ballons Over Broadway is a joy to read!  The book tells the story of the beginnings of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  We had fun making balloon puppets and having our own little parade after reading this book.

Cranberry Thanksgiving is a classic with some sweet lessons about forgiveness, hospitality, and not judging others from the outside.  We first learned about this book years ago when doing a 5 in a Row reading program, and have read it every year since then at Thanksgiving time. 

The Lion and the Bird is a beautiful story of friendship and care for others.  This book has very few words, and the pictures tell a sweetly slow-paced story.  A beautiful book to look at over and over again.

Note:  Some links on this page are Amazon Affiliate links.  Sparkles and Sprinkles is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Other links may or may not be affiliate links.  We provide links because we have found these products or services beneficial, and we think you might too.

French Advent Calendar

French Advent Calendar

Join us to learn French Christmas words this Advent season!  We have a variety of activities prepared for you to learn Christmas words in French as we wait for Christmas – an Advent calendar, printable mini-books, fun vocabulary practice pages, and audio to hear the words!

We know Advent is a busy time, so everything is simple to use.  Just print and learn a French word each day.  Have fun!

Our printable Advent calendar is available on Etsy.  This calendar features a Christmas tree with spaces for 24 stickers that become the tree’s ornaments.  Each space on the tree has a word in French.  The printable sticker “ornaments” have adorable images of many Christmas related words.

You can find the Avery sticker sheets here.  The printable stickers are sized for 94500 Avery 1″ stickers.  If you prefer not to get the stickers, the ornament images can be printed on plain paper, cut out, and glued on the tree. To easily cut perfect circles from paper, you could use this ek 1″ circle punch.

If your family is brand new to French, keep scrolling down.  We have recordings of each of the Advent calendar words so that you can easily listen and repeat to learn the words.


French vocab Advent calendar

We also have several FREE printables to go along with our French Advent calendar!

4 FREE Mini books with all 24 Christmas words found on our Advent calendar.  Each book can be printed on one piece of paper and then easily folded into a mini book.  Watch our quick video to see how easy this is.  (The book with images comes with the Etsy Advent bundle.  The free book has only words, and is meant to be illustrated with your own creativity.) To learn the pronunciation of the words, check out the clickable audio files at the bottom of this post.

4 different FREE vocabulary practice activities to practice all of the Christmas words:  a tracing page, a word search, a matching page, and an illustration page.

French Advent Calendar

Click on the play button below the images to hear how to say the words in French.

Ready to get the Advent Calendar and start learning French for Christmas?  Click here.

Joyeux Noël!  Merry Christmas!

Would you like to celebrate other holidays French style too? Check out our posts for

Saint Nicholas Day, Santons de Provence, La Chandeleur (February 2), and Saint Valentine’s Day…

Note:  Some links on this page are Amazon Affiliate links.  Sparkles and Sprinkles is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Other links may or may not be affiliate links.  We provide links because we have found these products or services beneficial, and we think you might too.

Dried Flower Jar

Dried Flower Jar

Create a beautiful candle holder (or pencil cup or vase) using just a jar, some dried flowers, and Mod Podge.  Have fun creating your own beautiful design.


Our YouTube tutorial shows you how to dry flower petals quickly with parchment paper and an iron.  Then you are ready to decorate your jar.  Have fun!

Does making YouTube videos sound fun to you?  Our oldest daughter took a wonderful class from Film School For Teens.  The online classes are created by a Christian family with expertise in film and YouTube.  If you have a child interested in film, you can check it out here:  FS4T

Hand-sewn doll clothes

Hand-sewn doll clothes

Ready to make a cute new outfit for your doll?  It’s so easy with this beautiful pattern book by Erin Hentzel!  We found this book to be so much better than simply using a packaged pattern.  The photos are adorable, and very helpful for the young seamstress.  Even if you have not sewn before, the book gives step by step instructions for making the clothes from start to finish.  If you are an advanced seamstress, this book is still wonderful!  Each pattern shows the level of difficulty, assigning a certain number of stars to show the level.  The patterns are for 18″ dolls (American Girl-sized dolls).

erin hentzel sew your own doll clothes
American Girl Doll Clothes hand sewn

We decided to try 3 of the patterns in this book, and sew them all by hand.  Of course it would be faster to sew the clothes with a machine, but they can all be sewn by hand as well.

We chose a coordinating solid and print to make this ensemble: a purse, a top, and shorts.  The best fabric to use for these patterns is light-weight cotton quilting fabric.

To get started, watch our YouTube video for tips on cutting out the pattern (especially helpful for beginners).


Some tips for sewing your ensemble by hand…

We made a few modifications to the instructions to make the hand sewing easier.  For the purse, we trimmed off the edges of the fabric to about an 1/8″ from the seam.  This made it so that when we sewed the front and the back of the purse together, we did not have to sew through so many layers.  (We made our first purse without trimming the fabric, and we found it could be a bit difficult to sew through so many layers of fabric, especially for little hands.)

We chose to use snaps to fasten the back of the shirt together. (Click here to watch our video on sewing snaps.)The pattern book suggests Velcro; however, hand sewing through Velcro can be a bit cumbersome.  We simply folded over each side of the back of the shirt by a quarter of an inch, and made a seam.  Then we sewed on a snap set at the top, and another snap set about 2 inches from the top.  Just for fun, we embellished the back of the top with little bows too.

The modification we made for the shorts was to use 1/8″ elastic, rather than the wider elastic suggested in the book.  This allowed us to not be as concerned about keeping our stitches super close to the edge of the casing.  We used a 13″ length of 1/8″ elastic and then tied a knot about 1″ from the end to secure it, rather than sewing through the elastic.

Another helpful tip for sewing these items by hand is to use a ruler and a pencil to mark off a 1/4″ from the edge of your fabric when needed.  This will help the stitches to be straighter, especially for beginners.

Of course for the clothes to stay together well, the stitches should be small.  1/8″ or smaller in length.  We used a running stitch for all of the items we sewed; however, to make them even sturdier, a back stitch could be used.  We chose to thread our needle and sew with double thickness of thread.

We found “finger pressing” – using your finger to fold and press the fabric, rather than an iron – worked well for these patterns.  (However, ironing the whole piece of fabric before cutting out the patterns is important!)  Using finger pressing, rather than an iron makes it easier for children to work on these projects on their own without having the use a hot iron.  It is helpful in some cases (such as the hem of the shorts) to pin after finger pressing.  

We have only tried three patterns from Sew in Style: Make Your Own Doll Clothes, but we can’t wait to try more!  If you would like to find out more, or purchase the book, please click on the image.  Happy sewing!

Enjoy your new doll outfit!

Our 10-year-old had fun taking these pictures with her doll playing outside, sporting her cute new outfit…

American Girl Doll Clothes hand sewn

If you love dolls as much as we do, you might enjoy some of our other doll ideas:  knit a doll hat and doll party ideas.

american girl doll knit hat
American Girl doll party ideas

Note:  Some links on this page are Amazon Affiliate links.  Sparkles and Sprinkles is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Other links may or may not be affiliate links.  We provide links because we have found these products or services beneficial, and we think you might too.