A Thankful Heart

Instagram Photo Display | Storypiece.net

Happy Tuesday and welcome to November!  Technically it’s November 5th, but all that I had planned to share on Friday has been bumped to today.  Last week, I started a new job which, in hindsight, is a crazy thing to do the same week as Halloween.  But you live; you learn.

Last year, in honor of Thanksgiving, I created this Give Thanks display:

Thanksgiving Activity | Storypiece.net

The idea was that each member of our family would write-out one thing that they were thankful for and put it in that days pocket.  Then on Thanksgiving, we would read together all the things we are thankful for.  It’s a sweet family activity that I really love, but I learned a few things about us:

1) We are a busy family and not everyone had time for/remembered to fill the pockets.  This led to me saying things like “Don’t you people care about the special holiday memories I’m trying to capture here?!”  Which also led to guilt-fueled family members writing “what I’m thankful for” notes which is pretty much the basis for any good family holiday, right?

2) We are a busy family and did not have time to read the notes.  After cooking and preparing, spending time with family and then having a “Black Friday” excursion, (which is a whole other story) I lay in bed realizing we never read the little thankful notes that I nagged over.


I think this would’ve been a great activity for when the kids were younger and our lives were a different kind of hectic.  Again… you live; you learn.

This year I knew I was going to do something different.  I wanted to do something that might bless my family instead of making them feel badgered.  So I decided to do something that would capture all the ways they make me feel thankful and display it in a way that would evolve all month long.

The inspiration for this idea started percolating when my friend Gilit from Shoes Off Please posted on Instagram that she would be partaking in the Joy FIlled Home Challenge for the month of November.

Joy Filled Challenge | Storypiece.net

Much like the Instagram challenges I’ve participated in the past, the idea is to share one thing that brings you joy for each day of November.  Many of the things that bring me joy are tied to people that I’m thankful for, so I’m putting my own twist on it that way.

I began with this frame that I found at a local thrift store.

Thrift Store Frame | Storypiece.net

The frame I purchased had no glass and no back… perfect for me.  What it did have were the little black tabs that hold everything together.  These proved enormously helpful.

Repurposed Broken Frame | Storypiece.net

Instead of using a staple gun to attach heavy threading, I just bent all the tabs back and created little hooks.

Handmade Hooks | Storypiece.net

Then I tied a knot on one end and zig-zagged heavy thread across all of the hooks, knotting it off at the opposite end.

Photo Display | Storypiece.net

To decorate the project, I created bunting with lettered stamps and scrapbook paper.  (You can read the how to on this process here and here)

Thankful Banner | Storypiece.net

Thankful Bunting | Storypiece.net

Instagram Display | Storypiece.net

Now throughout the month I’ll be adding photos to the display for the family to check out at their leisure.

Thanksgiving Display | Storypiece.net

Display for Instagram Photos | Storypiece.net

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Do you ever find yourself trying to get your family to do something that truly isn’t working?  Any holiday projects that you’ve found to be more frustrating than fun?

If you want to keep up with how this holiday challenge is going, you can find me on Instagram @Storypiece.

Also, there is still time to enter to win a $500 gift card to Lamps Plus.  The sweepstakes is going on until November 15th and you can enter every 24 hours.  To vote click here.  You can also read about all the details here.


    • Danielle says:

      It’s definitely low-key and the irony is that I’ve been continually behind on the daily challenges. (sigh) I think I’m finally caught up, but we’ll see how long that lasts. 🙂

  1. Stacey says:

    Great idea, Danielle! Last year’s project was so awesome but it’s so REAL of you to say “it didn’t work out as you had planned”. Totally understand how that happened. I just think it’s great that you’re making a creative effort to recognize all the many wonderful blessings you have. We all have them but don’t always acknowledge them. This will be so fun… visually and otherwise.

    • Danielle says:

      I still love last years project, but as I’m watching everyone dash off in different directions tonight, I’m so glad I let the idea of it go. Of course, I’m having fun with Instagram and I’m looking forward to continually displaying my favorite pics in the frame.

  2. Kelly Creason says:

    You constantly amaze me. Your brain must have a “Arts & Crafts & Imagination” section that many (like me) do not have. I could not even begin to think up the stuff that comes out of your head and materializes before our very eyes on this blog. Wow.
    And congrats on the job! Your Mom told me about it the other night! YAY!!

  3. Alex says:

    Love love love this idea! I was just talking about getting an Instagram collage pic going in our home and now I want one even more. And why oh why did I not hear of this challenge earlier?? I totally would have done it. Damnit!

    • Danielle says:

      Girl… you should totally still do it! It’s only the 7th and I’ve been behind all month long, so I’d gladly accept seeing your late pics.

      I think I’m going to leave the frame up for a while and hang my favorite Instagram photos on it. That is, until I can FINALLY get my custom mirror made like the one you guys did in your guest bath. That project is still on the “to-do” list. 🙁

  4. cassie says:

    love it! i also love the pocket idea…. we would forget, too, i am sure, but that’s because we have so much in our lives to keep us busy and be thankful for! 😉

    • Danielle says:

      Ha! So true. With all that is going on, I’m chronically behind with the photo challenge. I just have to laugh and keep going.

      Thank you so much for hosting the Link-Up! It’s so fun to see all the creative ideas. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks, Michelle! When I saw your display, I could only think that great minds think a like. Although your photos line up so nicely… they make my neurotic self less twitchy than my own display. 😉 Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

  5. Kim Woodward says:

    Thanks so much for linking up to Dare to DIY! This is a really cute project and great execution – even if it didn’t happen every day.

    Hope you’ll link back to Cassie at Primitive and Proper and check out some of the other projects.

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks for your kind words and thank YOU for the opportunity to share. There are so many creative ideas out there… it’s fun to be included in the group.

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