Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



gratitude: a family project

Project: Framed poster.

Participants: Everyone in our little family.

Topic: Gratitude.

Supplies: Frame (ours is 20″ x 28″), poster board, letter stickers, pen.

This here is the very beginning of a family project that will be ongoing throughout November.

Introducing the theme: Earlier this week we talked with the kids about gratitude. I shared this thought: “Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.” (Thomas S. Monson) It’s true. When we make an effort to be more conscience of how blessed we are and all that is good in our life, we will feel greater love. And feeling more love leads to making better choices. This, of course, brings greater happiness. So really — if we could all be a little more grateful, all the world’s problems would be solved.  ; )


Starting the project: I showed the kids this big, blank poster with one word on it: GRATEFUL (Letter stickers are “Text” chipboard letter stickers from American Crafts). Everyone was invited to think of different things they’re grateful for and then … start writing and drawing. No rules. If you’re grateful for it, you write it down. I love that Porter insisted on drawing something next to everyone’s words. I love that Claire thought of “prayer” … but only after dogs and cats. I love that Crew has a talking bubble that says “Einstein!” because that’s what we hear the most from him. I love that Diet Mountain Dew made the list (way to be honest, David). I love the misspelled words. I love that we’re doing this as a family. Most of all, I love that we’re all a little more focused on what we’re grateful for.


Moving forward: Every day we’ll each add a couple more things. In the frame, the glass is behind the poster board, keeping everything firm and in place. This also keeps it exposed and readily available to write on any time. We will hang this on the wall soon and continue to add and add and add until it is completely full of words and pictures.

Fun twist: We didn’t do this, but it’s something you may want to consider if you do a similar project with your family. Give everyone a different color marker so it’s easier to identify who wrote what.

This is one of my favorite family projects ever … and we barely started! I began with the end in mind. I see the finished project — full of words and art as an expression of our gratitude. Seeing this on a daily basis will remind us to feel gratitude and express gratitude — in our prayers, in our actions and words, in our choices.

Feel free to share what you’re doing in your family to increase awareness of your blessings and to express gratitude. I love when we inspire each other.


94 Responses

  1. marcy says:

    Love this idea Becky!!!!! Now I just wish the closest Ikea wasn’t 8 hours away so I could pick up a frame!

    • Karen R. says:


      I am about 4 hours from an Ikea, but I’m thinking a poster frame from Micheal’s, Hobby Lobby or even Walmart will work just as well. And they are very inexpensive!

  2. Tanya says:

    LOVE it! We need to be a bit more reflective on the positive in our lives…especially as our family is struggling through some TOUGH times right now. I’m headed to the store to start this project ASAP! :-) THANK YOU!!!!!

  3. Kristie says:

    I’m smiling—What a neat project. We have filled up a jar with papers written with things we are grateful for…I like that yours is on constant display, and the things to be grateful for are visible!!!!

  4. Amanda D says:

    We do something similar but it isn’t in a way we could keep it year to year. Each year, I cut out leaves in fall colors and we each write on one or two a day, and tape them to the back of the front door. It makes a fun fall decoration and helps us to remember how blessed we are.

    • julie says:

      as i read this fab idea – i thought maybe if you can get them off the back of the door okay at the end, then each year you could just hole punch and add a jump ring and you’d have a wee ‘mini book’ ( i use the term loosely) of your leaves. enjoy:>

  5. Pam says:

    This is such a wonderful idea! I cannot wait to see the outcome. It will be a beautiful treasure!!!!

  6. Becky says:

    I love this idea! We started a Gratitude Tree on the 1st. I made a tree without leaves on a large white poster board. My 3 year old son colored in the bark. Every night, we use leaves (cut from the cricut) to write what we are thankful and stick it to our board. By the end of the month, it should be full of our gratitude leaves!

  7. Kimberly J. says:

    I can’t wait to do this project with our little family! What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Carrie Leavitt says:

    where is the “like” button? what a wonderful idea and is coming at the perfect time of year…thanksgiving.

  9. Monica says:

    WOW!! GREAT idea!!! Thanks for sharing!!! …..Can’t wait to start!

  10. Shannon B. says:


  11. Banu H says:

    I loved this idea and going to start one at our home as well.

  12. Jen Taylor says:

    We make a “Family Tree of Thanks” where I draw the trunk and branches of a tree on a big sheet of poster board. Then we all cut out lots of leaves in fall colors and each of us fills in the leaves with things are are grateful for. It hangs in our kitchen and is a beautiful reminder to my 4 kids that they are very blessed and have much to be thankful for. Love your idea also!

  13. Carrie says:

    LOVE IT!
    We are doing something similar, but less permanent. I created a Tree (posterboard, paint) and hung it on a living room wall, visiable and accessable to all. Each day, we are tracing our hands on autumn colored paper (there are 5 of us) and writing something we are thankful for and placing the hands on the tree, as leaves. By the time November is over, we’ll have a HUGE thankful tree that is personal not only in our thoughts, but our handprints. So far the kids have things like their “loveys”, each other, and friends. Hubby and I have put each other :) and our children. We’ve been doing in separatly part of our daily routine, with little coaching about suggestions. We’ve all just been coming up with similar things. I love it!

  14. Emilie says:

    I did something similar for my son’s 1st Thanksgiving. I had cut out the word “thanks” and had everyone that was over for dinner write what they were thankful for. I thought it was a great addition to his scrapbook!

  15. hope says:

    i love love love this…and full intend to do this or something similar with my family.

  16. Sheryl Pyle says:

    What a wonderful family project. It will be such a wonderful keepsake to cherish and the kids grow and they will love looking back on it as they grow. You are amazing and I certainly wish I had thought of some of these ideas when my children were small. Thank you for always sharing so much of your family and life. I check everyday for inspiration. God Bless you.

  17. Nicky Hurt says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! You’re brilliant! Where do you come up with this stuff?!

  18. Angel says:

    Love this!!!!!!! I am SO doing this with our family. What a great thing to do and then have displayed day after day to remind you (on those tough days) that we all have things to be grateful for! Thanks so much.

  19. This is very similar to what we did. We kicked off the gratitude theme for November at family home evening on Monday (perfect that Nov first was a Monday night). We put a huge piece of butcher paper on the wall with the title “An Attitude of Gratitude”. It’s fun to walk by and see new things added. Some are funny, and some are serious, but it’s a great reminder to count your blessings.

  20. Becki Clark says:

    We do a “Thankful Turkey” at our home. Everynight we each fill out a feather with what we are thankful for and then put it on our Turkey! You can see our Turkey here: http://fclarkfamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/thankful-turkey.html

  21. Sheryl Pyle says:

    What a wonderful family project. When the children are older this will be an especially special
    keepsake for you and for them. You are so creative and I love all that you share with us. Wish I had some of these ideas when my kiddos were younger. This would also be a wonderful school project, if the teachers only had time. It would be such a positive thing for the children to think about. Thank you for sharing your family with all of us.

  22. Leah Larson says:

    Thank you for sharing this. What an amazing family you have. On a side note: your son’s artwork is so good. It would look great as a project life theme. I always enjoy his drawings.

  23. Amy Cline says:

    Absolutely Wonderful!! Heading to the store tonight to get poster board!!

    I am thankful for Becky Higgins!!

  24. Tina says:

    We are doing something similar. We call it our “Thankful Thoughts”. I made up little cards for everyone in our family (4 of us in the house) to write something they are thankful for each day. Then, we are using a mailbox that has our last name and fall leaves painted on it to put our cards in to. On Thanksgiving morning while we eat our breakfast we read them one at a time. We did this last year and we LOVED it!!
    I like your idea too…maybe we’ll try that one year!!

  25. RachaelCr says:

    I love this and am going to make it up today! We have been experiencing a loss at our house and this is just the thing to help pick us all up and be mindful of all our blessings!

  26. Lana says:

    What a wonderful idea, and a perfect time of year to do it. I was thinking how terrific it would be to adhere things to the board as well, giving it depth & color. Even items as small as a wrapper, logo, scrapbooking sticker, would speak volumes for the family member who adds it to the project.

  27. Lisa K says:

    You can see our Be Thankful banner on my blog: http://www.frannykatescreativestate.blogspot.com I even used leftovers from 2009 Project365 kit
    (sorry if this is a duplicate, I am having troubles getting my comment to post)

    • Paula (NZ) says:

      I think I might use this one – as I’ve been so bad with keeping up daily in this year’s P365 I have a few (!!!) extra journal cards I can use.

      One tradition we always do is when we go to a restaurant, we write a list of our favourite things in my current notebook. Some things stay the same (fav cereal, fav movie, fav TV prog etc) but from Feb-April last year an addition was baby names. I figure when Mason is a bit older he’ll be grateful for his name – it could have been a lot, lot worse! Plus it’s awesome to see what his siblings choices were.

  28. Sandi says:

    I love gratitude because it recognizes Who is the One giving the blessings! One November we wrote our blessings on punched (paper)maple leaves and put them into a pumpkin shaped jar. It sat front and center on our kitchen counter for the whole month. I kept the “leaves”. It was really unbelievable how many blessings we each had written down! The large jar overflowed….

  29. Jenetta says:

    What a great Idea!!

  30. Debra B says:

    Thanks for the wonderful idea.I bought my supplies at Walmart over my lunch hour.

  31. Chris says:

    Such a wonderful and beautiful idea. A great way to teach gratitude. And so true:)

  32. Diana says:

    I am using my project life album to take a picture and list one thing we are thankful for each day this month. On Monday I took a photo of my son practicing his guitar and wrote that we are thankful he can take guitar lessons (since that is his lesson day). On Tuesday I wrote that I am thankful I have the freedom to vote. My daughter took a picture of me dropping my ballot into the machine. (She told me her teacher explained that in some countries there are dictators and citizens can’t vote.)
    This is an easy way to remind our family of all the blessings we have.


  33. bdaiss says:

    Gratitude has been on my mind right now as well. Even more so after a sudden loss in our extended family.

    We always have a huge gathering for Thanksgiving each year. I want to get a sketch book to make into our “Book of Gratitude” and have everyone write something each year. I hope it will be a lasting treasure for our family as well as a way to get our family thinking about what we’re truly thankful for.

  34. Kris says:

    Love this. I’ve seEn this recently with butcher paper on a door. The family writes on the paper each day.
    Any idea when project 365 will be shown for 2011?

  35. Sue says:

    This is a wonderful family project! My kids are all adults now but the next time we’re all together, we’re going to do this project. For those of you looking for inexpensive frames for this project, check out the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Often you can find framed artwork (that you don’t want) in large sizes and you can paint the frame to match your decor.

  36. Nisha says:

    What a great idea! … will be fun for the kids too. Thanks for sharing Becky

  37. Jeanne says:

    Love this…made me stop and thank the Lord for things that are great in my life…made me wish my boys were young again–and home–to do this together. Great inspiration.
    Thank you.

  38. Linda says:

    Great idea
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, already 5 November here in Australia, actually already nearly midday. Have a greta birthday and may your year ahead be bleeseed with amny wonderful events and memories

  39. Alison says:

    Love love love this! We are Canadian so Thanksgiving is past but I think we will do it anyway. Maybe on 12×12 so we can do it year to year and add it to a scrapbook album… oh the ideas are flowing!!

  40. SharylFelice says:

    I’m buying the supplies for this tomorrow and starting it this weekend. I love this blog Becky!! You inspire me constantly and for that I am very GRATEFUL!

  41. I love, love this idea. I think I am going to do it too for FHE this next week. But based on your wonderful idea.. I think I am going to buy a frame with glass and put the vinyl words “grateful” on it and have the family do exactly what you did for the month. But then I will wipe the glass clean and store it away for next year. Doing it as a tradition every year.

    thanks so much for the great idea! Love so many things you do. I took on your painted hand prints too as a yearly tradition! thanks for inspiring!

  42. Ashley S. says:

    Great idea. I keep a gratitude journal and read through it when I’m feeling down or need a boost of happiness. When I was at Ricks College, my roommates and I created a gratitude chart that had hundreds of lines on it (several huge poster boards taped together on our wall). Whenever someone came to our apartment, we had them write what they were grateful for. It was uplifting to read it daily.

  43. Hailey says:

    i.love.this.idea!! I love ALL your ideas though! Thanks Becky! This is something I will be doing with my whole family. A great reminder + a great message. Speaking of your great ideas. My mom just got put in RS in her ward + is wanting to figure out a meaningful Christmas gift Idea for the ladies she serves with. I did your cute love note boxes for Valentine’s + told my mom what a cute idea that would be + that you had done it for Christmas. You mentioned you’d probably post the Christmas version. (I know, it’s pathetic how dependent upon you I am!!) But if you are going to post it again I will be so excited to help my mom get started on those. Thanks again for ALL you do! You’ve inspired me so much to want to be a better mother, home maker + friend. You’re the best!!

  44. Hilary says:

    I love the poster idea… we have been doing something very similiar for the past few years… I have a journal that we leave out for the month of November and each family member is invited to write down things that they’re thankful for that day, week, minute, etc…. not only does it get the kiddos thinking about how many things they have in their lives to be ‘grateful’ for but it’s also nice to see someone be thankful for something you did for them or something you said to them. I’ve used the same journal every year and it’s so fun to go back and read what we were thankful for last year or the year before….

    Love your blog…. have a great weekend and enjoy all that is.

  45. Amber says:

    Great idea. I did a similiar thing for our family (and then passed it on to the young women for a project) I used a cute 8X10 frame. Typed up a “Today I am grateful for:” followed with notepad lines. At the bottom is a fabulous gratitude quote from President Monson from recent conference. Slapped it onto some scrapbook paper (of course) and stuck it in the frame. We use a dry erase marker to write what we are thankful for, (today mine says “Diet Coke” and “Syd using the Potty” :) ) right on the glass. Fun to erase each night and see what my family writes.

    May have to do one like this too.

    Have a great weekend.

  46. Mara says:

    I love this Idea! Am thinking it would be fun to do each year and reflect on the previous year’s blessings as we replace the poster each November. Will have to buy a frame when out an about next year and try it!

    Thanks for the great suggestion.
    Have a super weekend.

  47. Marla says:

    Just wanted to share a fun “gratitude” tradition we started this summer. I bought a bunch of sharpie markers and introduced “gratitude graffiti” to the family. On the inside of our coat closet door, the kids can write anything that they are greatful for — in permanent marker!!!! Since I’m a little ocd about housecleaning, this was a shock to everyone.

    I love opening the door and seeing that our 7 year old is grateful for the “computre” and our 17 year old is grateful for his experience at EFY. We have a lot of illustrations, and it has been really fun to see what’s on their minds. We all write on it whenever we want to. Even the kids’ friends have contributed. Sometimes, if they’re having a hard day, I’ll give them the assignment to go write something they are grateful for. It’s definitely been a positive experience for our family!

  48. kimmy says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea… ~ kim

  49. Jo Freeman says:

    I was so inspired by your idea that I went out and bought some thick poster cardboard then came home and assembled it with a frame I already had. We began writing/drawing last night. My kids love it. And I am loving it especially taking note of what things they are grateful for. My husband likes it and said “that sounds like a Becky Higgins idea”. How cute and of course true. Thanks Becky for this fabulous idea. I am from Australia and we dont’ celebrate’Thanksgiving’ however our family is planning to do something one night later this month with a special meal and time for us to reflect on what we are thankful and grateful for. Thanks again I feel truley blessed to know about your blog.
    Love Jo
    P.S I will post a picture of our grateful project on my blog http://www.sjjtst@blogspot.com

  50. Doni says:

    Love this idea! I would take it one step further, and do a poster for the person whose birthday is coming up. Use letter stickers to put the birthday person’s name on the white poster board, and for the whole month of that person’s birthday, each member of the family will write down what they love about that person. I know the birthday person would treasure it. :)

  51. Kathy says:

    I LOVE IT…………and such a simple idea.

  52. annie says:

    Hi Becky,
    Would you be willing to do a little tutorial on how you put your terrific watermark on your photos? I love it and want to create one of my own, but I don’t even know where to begin.

  53. I got this up and going this weekend in my house (http://kirstensglimpses.blogspot.com/2010/11/gratitude-project.html)! Love the idea and thanks for sharing!!!

  54. Tiffany says:

    Hi Becky,

    I use Project Life to document what I am grateful for. I used to keep a gratitude journal but found I wasn’t keeping up with it. But since I got the Project Life kit, I take one picture every day of something I am grateful for and then journal about it.

    I then use the Project Life digital version for doing our family’s “Year In Review”.

    I am up to date on my gratitude journal and that is a huge accomplishment for me!! I love to start my day with the question “What can I take a picture of today that would reflect what I am grateful for”. It’s changed my outlook on daily life, that’s for sure!


  55. gracie mae says:

    Oh, I love this idea! Such a great way to help us all stay grounded when the season becomes hectic and overwhelming!

  56. […] Becky Higgins posted a family gratitude activity […]

  57. Devynn says:

    I’m starting this late, but going to do it tomorrow! I LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!

  58. […] Our gratitude poster is filling up quickly. (If you missed that post, it’s here.) […]

  59. Sarah H. says:

    We do a Thankful tree. I made the trunk from craft paper, then each year we color leaves and write things we are thankful for on each leaf. I keep all the leaves so we can see what has changed and what things are new. It’s a fun tradition and one that also keeps us talking and focusing on what we are thankful for. I love your poster a bunch. Very neat.

  60. Angi in CO says:

    Wow. So simple, but what an impact! I LOVE this idea, Becky! Thanks so much for sharing this idea.

  61. This is just my kind of thing. I love the simplicity of the poster you made and it is filling up quite beautifully. I am writing this down so I’ll remember to do it in a few years. I think my kids (ages 3 and 5) are just a wee bit too young yet to really make it happen. This year we’re doing a thankful tree (http://www.supermommoments.com/2010/11/thankful-trees/), but this poster is much more my style and I love that you can keep it up all year long.

  62. Melissa says:

    What a beautiful project. We just did a thankyou day this week along the same lines, but for younger kids. It was really wonderful. http://www.learningmommy.com
    Thanks for sharing!

  63. […] Our Family Is Thankful For November 11, 2010 In Things to Write Home About this week, I mentioned that the fabulous (and famous!) scrapbook designer, Becky Higgins, posted a family gratitude activity. […]

  64. […] read about this grateful project from Becky Higgins and love it. http://www.beckyhiggins.com/blog/2010/11/gratitude-a-family-project/  It’s basically a framed page that their family can draw and write about what they are […]

  65. Susan says:

    I love this. We really need this in our house right now. I am going to try to get the supplies and get started in the next few days.

  66. Renee J. says:

    Stacy, thank you for sharing such a special project with us! Warm regards to you and your family!!

  67. […] Higgins has a lovely (and easy) project on her blog – a gratitude poster board for her whole family to add to over […]

  68. […] Ok, for those of you who are scrapbookers, I am sure you are familiar with Becky Higgins.  She is the creator of Project 365.  I am an avid follower of her blog.  You can catch it at http://www.beckyhiggins.com/blog.  Recently she came up with the idea of creating a gratitude poster in her home and had her family participate.  Check out her description here http://www.beckyhiggins.com/blog/2010/11/gratitude-a-family-project/. […]

  69. […] Lists of things we’re grateful for […]

  70. […] Inspired by the Gratitude family project in this post. […]

  71. Kirsten says:

    When I read your blogs I sometimes think “WHAT would I do without her!” :)

    Thanks so much for helping us all to focus on the really important things in our lives :)

  72. […] 4. Create a gratitude poster. (via becky higgins) […]

  73. […] By Beth, on November 24th, 2011 This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to use this idea from Becky Higgins and have my family join me in listing some of the things we’re thankful for.  It was a […]

  74. Beth says:

    I see my pingback showed up over here — thanks so much for the inspiration to do this project, Becky. Our family did it and we had such great experience … my favorite part of Thanksgiving this year! Happy Turkey Day to you and your family!

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  77. […] the finished collage of thanks behind glass as a reminder throughout the year.  Head on over to Project Life for more […]

  78. […] always been so inspired by a framed project that Becky Higgins has shown on her blog before of a frame and the kids write what they are grateful for on the glass throughout the month. I wanted to […]

  79. […] seen this project on Becky Higgin’s blog http://www.beckyhiggins.com/blog/2010/11/gratitude-a-family-project/.  I decided to try this in a digital version for our family this […]

  80. […] 4. Create a gratitude poster. (via becky higgins) […]

  81. […] Our Gratefulness Chalkboard, The Creative Mama 3- Tree- Our Thankful Tree, Joyful Whimsy 4- Poster- Gratitude: A Family Project, Becky Higgins 5- Mobile- Gratitude Mobile, Twig and […]

  82. […] Thanksgiving around the corner and walls still to fill in our newly finished basement space, this family project seemed an answer to prayer. While mine is still an early work in progress, you’ll get a […]

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