Thanksgiving Sketchnote Boss Challenge Part 1

Thanksgiving Gratitude Garland

Welcome to the Thanksgiving Sketchnote Boss Challenge Part 1 and 2

Today’s post is going to preview our first Thanksgiving Sketchnote Boss Challenge. I want to show you what we’re doing and give you a list of the supplies you need to gather and get the printable. 

Video – me

Many of you may know Connie Denninger from Visual Faith Ministries. Connie also presented at the Be the Light Bible Journal Conference.  I was able to meet Connie and the other co-founder of Visual Faith Ministries, Pat Meier, in Fort Wayne Indiana earlier this year. Their visual faith workshop was amazing! What an awesome day that was and what a blessing to count these two ladies as friends. For our Thanksgiving Sketchnote Challenge, I am co-opting a project that Connie developed several years ago. We are going to make a Thanksgiving Gratitude Garland. 

Let me be the first to say that this project was way outside of my wheelhouse, I am not a crafty person, so this was a real challenge for me. BUT I persevered and my garland looks pretty good, and I am praying fervently that someday the Lord will bless us with littles so that I can abundantly add to my garland.

Preventing Spiritual Amnesia

Part of why we sketchnote our faith is to REMEMBER all of God’s blessings, I don’t ever want to catch Spiritual Amnesia – forgetting all that He has done for me. He wants us to remember all that He had done. This garland is a very tactile way for us visually remember all his blessings from year to year. This is not a cute craft project for the holidays, but a heritage project to document our gratitude and remember His blessings in our lives. Watch Connie’s video to explain the basics of how you assemble this. I have gathered a list of basic and optional supplies and have also created a packet of printables.

Sketchnote Thanksgiving printable packet

The printable can be found on my website on the members-only page. If you’re not a member you can access the page by signing up for my email newsletter and the link is always included at the bottom of my emails. Given that we are close to Thanksgiving and trying to save you a little money, instead of ordering a box of tags, I made tag pages of various sizes. I have also included leaf shapes and some verse tags. BUT we know that no Sketchnote Boss Challenge would be complete without an ICON challenge. So I have included a page of Sketchnote Thanksgiving Icons, and the challenge is for YOU to develop your own page of icons. How many can you come up with? I came up with 21 can you do more?

Thanksgiving Icons
Sketchnote Thanksgiving Icons

Thanksgiving Sketchnote Challenge PART 1 – Sketchnote Icons

Part 1 of your challenge is to create a page of Sketchnote Thanksgiving Icons. Try not to look at my sheet too closely and brainstorm a list of things that go with Thanksgiving here’s a shortlist of things to get your brain engaged:

  1. Turkey
  2. cornucopia
  3. pies,
  4. pilgrims
  5. hat
  6. Indians
  7. corn
  8. place setting
  9. fall leaves
  10. apples
  11. Mayflower
  12. pumpkins…
  13. Football

Once you have the list of Icons you will not only have increased your visual inventory, but you have them at the ready to doodle on the menu board, or on an invite. I’d love to know all the creative ways you use your Thanksgiving Icons. Adding Icons to the Tags on the Garland is a great way to doodle it up and keep our doodling skills honed.

Thanksgiving Challenge PART 2

Here’s  Connie’s 4 minute  video introducing the Thanksgiving Garland and how to make one. Connie provides many ideas for items to hang on the garland. Connie has been building her Thanksgiving Garland for about 10 years, so don’t be distressed if your garland does not look as full at first. You can always add tags with Icons and verses to make it look a little fuller. (If this link does not work, go to then select projects, then select seasonal)

Some variations you can consider for your garland are: 

  1. If you have a large gathering give everyone a small tag. Have them write their name on one side and something they are thankful for on the back, be sure to have them note the year on their tag as well. If you have time you could doodle a Thanksgiving Icon and write everyone’s name at the bottom on the front of the tag and everyone can write their gratitude on the back of the tag. 
  2. For the larger tags, you could write names on the front and have your peeps write one-line gratitude on the back and note the year, and add to it every year. 
  3. Add pics every year of your kids or grandkids
  4. Make this a before dinner project and have everyone assemble it on Thanksgiving day. It could be a great project to keep the kids busy.

Supply list:
I am hoping that with my printable packet you will not need to purchase much and just use what you have.

  1. Twine, Yarn, and or String – 1 strand each 4′-5′ long
  2. Printable OR Tags of various shapes and sizes
  3. Cardstock if you are printing my tag kit(5-10 sheets – depending on how many tags you need).
  4. Acrylic Paint – 2-3 colors
  5. an old credit card, a small piece of plastic or hard cardboard
  6. Water Color paints and paintbrush or ink spritzer
  7. Frog or Washi tape
  8. Pics
  9. Scissors
  10. Glue stick or double-sided tape

OPTIONAL Materials

  • Ribbon
  • Scrap Fabric
  • Silk Flowers, Leaves
  • scrapbook paper
  • Beads
  • Stamps, stamp pads
  • Ink
  • Thick Black marker or White Chalk (marker) or both
  • Regular black marker
  • small clothespins

Base Rope:

Cut three lengths of twine, rope, yarn approximately 4 1/2 feet to 5 feet long. The length will be determined by where you are going to hang in. Tie a knot in either end and then take some smaller rope or yarn and make loops for easier hanging. If it’s too short, you can always just tie on more length. As you add tags no one will see the extension. 

Rope, Twine and Yarn for Thanksgiving Garland

Adding tags: 

I created loops so the tags could slide along the rope for best positioning rather than tying it on the string tightly. For tags that will be removed for people to write gratitudes on the back, you might consider attaching with mini clothespins for easy access. 

Sketchnoted Thanksgiving Icon Tags

Thanksgiving Challenge PART 3

Ok, today’s post was to get you started and thinking about what you want your Thanksgiving Garland to look like. Friday, I will have a short video with three more tag ideas for your Garland. We will use watercolor paints, acrylic paints, and markers. We will learn how to make tags that say Thankful, or Grateful or your family’s name using our block letters that we have been practicing. I will also show you how to add a soft background to the tags with names and then we are going to doodle small tags with icons to add fullness. 

Till tomorrow….


One response to “Thanksgiving Sketchnote Boss Challenge Part 1”

  1. […] This is the second part of a two part series on the Thanksgiving Gratitude Garland. You can read the first part here.  […]

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