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Thanksgiving family tree centerpiece

Thanksgiving is about more than just food and football. Remember to celebrate your family this holiday season with a simple and eye-catching DIY family tree centerpiece.

Thanksgiving centerpiece

This Thanksgiving, don’t just settle for a cornucopia centerpiece stuffed with plastic fruit. Instead, make your buffet line really pop with a family tree centerpiece that’s meaningful and unique. Simply round up a few supplies and a few helping hands, and you’ll be done within an hour.


  • A vase with a wide rim
  • Pruning shears and scissors
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Ribbon
  • Mulch
  • Floral foam
  • Tree stems from a branch
  • Several family photos



Select your branches

Thanksgiving centerpiece - Select branches

Go into your backyard and find either a small, dried-out tree branch on the ground, or prune a small section of a branch directly from a tree. Look for a branch that is long without being bulky, and that has many small stems protruding from the main section.


Prune your stems

Thanksgiving centerpiece - Prune stems

If you picked a branch from a tree, you’ll need to remove the leaves. Make sure that the branch is free of bugs and dirt prior to bringing it inside.


Place stems in the vase

Thanksgiving centerpiece - Place stems in vase

You can use any vase you like, but we liked this clear vase with a wide rim because it allowed us to position the stem at a wide angle. Cut a small piece of floral foam and place it at the bottom of the vase. Stick the stems into the floral foam at the angle you desire, and then cover the floral foam with mulch, gravel or decorative stones.


Cut leaves from scrapbook paper and photos

Thanksgiving centerpiece - Cut out leaves

Select several pieces of scrapbook paper that match your decor. Freehand a variety of sizes and shapes for your leaves, and cut them out. You’ll also need to select several family photos, and likewise cut them into a variety of leaf shapes.


Thread ribbon through leaves

Thanksgiving centerpiece - Thread ribbon

Poke or punch holes into the tops of each leaf shape, and thread colored ribbon through the holes. We used a brightly-colored ribbon because it matched the Thanksgiving place mats.


Add leaves to your tree

Thanksgiving centerpiece

Affix the leaves to the tree by tying knots or bows with the ribbon. We tied some of the leaves as singles, and some of the leaves as pairs to help fill out the tree. You can use as many or as few leaves as you desire.

Although this DIY project is perfect for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, you can use your new family tree arrangement as a decorative item year-round!

Image credit: Mary McCoy

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