family homestead

Creating a Tablecloth of Gratitude

No matter how planned the day is, Thanksgiving always feels so frantic. This year, I wanted to create a personal touch that could be a conversation starter and sweet contribution to our Thanksgiving and allow our family some time to reflect on the year. Since I love home decor and tablescapes centered around fall and family, I had the idea to make a gratitude tablecloth.

It’s easy to lose sight of our memories and what we are thankful for, so it was wonderful to all gather together to artistically illustrate our favorite moments from the year. I also love that the gratitude tablecloth is not too precious. I want it to live under our plates and trays and for every wine ring and gravy stain to add to the decor and the memories. It’s messy, just like we are!

I have to admit, it didn’t come out exactly as I was envisioning—it’s not quite as bright and full as I thought it would be, though I realize that will take time and memories. But it did its job to get the kids thinking about all the wonderful things they have in their lives, from family and friends to toys and food on the table three times a day. It was also a good lesson for me to see the value of enjoying the process instead of fixating on the outcome. And a reminder that it’s usually the imperfections that deepen our gratitude.

If you’re curious how I made our gratitude tablecloth, I’m sharing a step-by-step guide below. Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments!

What You’ll Need

4 yards of thick cotton fabric (I found a heavy muslin cloth, just shy of canvas weight, in the upholstery section of Joann Fabric)

4 yards of braided trim

4 yards of floral trim

hot glue gun

hot glue sticks

embroidery thread in a variety of colors


fabric markers


  1. Wash and dry cotton fabric on delicate cycle to make the fabric a bit softer.
  2. Lay the cotton fabric out on a table. Use hot glue gun to glue floral trim (or any trim that fits your fancy) around the edges of the cotton. Then glue the braided trim to the inside of the braided trim.
  3. Do a quick basting stitch to divide the tablecloth into squares. I did eight, but you could do more or less than that. 
  4. Decorate each square with something memorable for your family. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, it’ll it will still be a fun activity and a great memory. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • michaela kilbride

    love love love this gen 🙂 I will have to try this out and let you know how it has gone. I am creative in nature – being a drama teacher. Thanks for sharing this with us and the time and effort you put into your blog. It is appreciated x

  • Alyson

    Great idea. Perhaps you could plan on adding to it each year. Adding special memories or events, maybe using photo transfer and a little of embellishment around/through each one.

    I think it might be something I will start when my slow-starting children give me some grandkids!

  • Maddie

    I love this Gen! It’s so cute!!!

  • Erika VanDyk

    This is such a cool idea! I love that you are investing yourself in your decorations instead of simply buying them. Things are so much more meaningful when we are willing to spend our time and effort on them. Nothing precious comes easy! Any chance we can see the finished product? I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Angelica

    This is a Wonderful idea.Sometimes we don’t take the time to smell the roses.I am doing this my children are grown and now that our family includes daughter in laws its a gr8 way to show how are family is growing. I’m grateful that I’m Cancer Free that makes me a 3 yr survivor.Wishing your Family a Season of BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES. Much Love to You ,Jared,Thomas,Shep and Odette🎄🎅🎄🎅

  • Sarah Simmons

    I love this idea! I know it’s supposed to be for Thanksgiving, but I kinda want to keep it on the table year-round as a constant reminder.

    Also, I really like that mirror. It’s gorgeous.

  • unecatastrophe

    This is a wonderful idea! The blank spaces to fill individually and maybe add some next year: it’s like a vivid scrap book and does invite everyone to contemplate and appreciate!♥

  • Bobby Salitrik

    Maybe a table cloth that everyone would write what each was thankful for in a permanent fabric marker and added to each year.

  • Karla Jacoby

    What a great idea. I will have to see if I can make one. It will be interesting to see what people will do.

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