Make a Burlap Thanksgiving Garland

For Your Front Porch

I've always wanted to create a Thanksgiving garland for our porch - one that spells out something fun or inspirational.

Since both Dave and I love Thanksgiving AND we both believe that being grateful is key to a happy life, we thought that creating garland that spells "T H A N K F U L" is perfect for us.



How about for you? What word or phrase sums up your feeling about Thanksgiving?

I made our Thanksgiving garland from burlap, a swatch of painters drop cloth and a little black paint. You could use a permanent marker instead, if you like.

thankful banner collage

Instructions for Our Burlap Thanksgiving Garland

Read through all the instructions before starting your garland.

Materials List

  • Alphabet stencils - unless you are going to draw your letters freehand
  • Burlap - a yard would be more than plenty. You probably could do it with much less. Depends upon how many letters in your banner and what size your letters will be. I only used about 1/4 of a yard.
  • Painters drop cloth or other backing fabric - similar amount as the burlap
  • Permanent marker
  • Black paint (optional)
  • Twine
  • Raffia (optional)
  • Fabric glue (optional if you prefer to sew)
thankful banner on our front porch

Steps for Making the Thanksgiving Garland

Decide upon the size of your letters.

Since ours is a banner on the porch, I wanted to be sure you could read the letters from the street. Our letters are about 5" tall.

Cut out burlap rectangles about two to three inches taller and two to three inches wider than your letters.

I made our rectangles to be 8" tall by 5" wide. You need one rectangle for each letter.

thankful banner - burlap with letters outlined

Draw your letters onto the burlap rectangles using your stencils and a marker.

Or outline them by hand using your marker. I found a free alphabet online. I downloaded one letter from it ("F") and then I hand drew the rest of the letters using the "F" as a guide. I didn't print out all the letters only because I didn't want to use that much ink.

thankful banner - painting the letter

Fill in the letters with a black marker or paint. I used a flat-bristled paint brush. It was easy to stay inside the outline.

Be sure to protect your work surface as the paint or marker will seep through the burlap.

thankful banner - burlap square with letter painted in
Here you see how a letter looks when it is filled in.

thankful garland - burlap squares centered upon background fabric

Cut out rectangles of the backing fabric that are about 1" taller and 1" wider than the burlap squares.

One rectangle for each letter. These will be the backing of your letters.

thankful banner - fold the backing fabric toward the front to finish the letter

Center the burlap squares upon the background fabric. Fold the sides of the background fabric toward the front.

By folding the backing fabric over the edge, you are stopping the burlap from raveling as well as giving your letters a finished look. You can crease the edges with an iron and secure with some glue - or sew the edges down. Whichever you prefer. However...

The only caveat is to fold down the top edge last and leave a channel on the top for the twine to pass through to connect the letters. So if you are gluing, only glue the edge.

thankful banner - granddaughter pulling the twine through the letters to connect them

To complete the garland, connect the letters by passing twine through the top channels.

Here you see our granddaughter, age 4, pulling the twine to connect the letters. I put a loop at the end of the twine and had her pass a crochet hook through the little channel at the top to catch the loop and pull it through.

Or you could put a safety pin at the end of the twine and pass it through the upper channel of each letter. It's easy stuff.

thankful banner - close-up of banner on porch
See the little raffia bows between each letter?
I like putting a little space between each letter. I tied a raffia bow in between each letter to not only give it a little extra color but also keeps the letters from moving together.

Leave a good length of twine on both ends so that you have options when it comes to hanging your banner.

thankful banner shown on our front porch

Hang Your Thanksgiving Banner

Using the free ends of the twine, hang the banner from your porch, on your foyer wall or across your fireplace mantel. Of course, be sure it's not too close to a flame.

Do you enjoy burlap crafts? If you made something from burlap for your porch, please share your pictures with us.

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

Make this Thanksgiving turkey (link below) and use it inside or out. After we painted it, we added a little brown paint to give it a vintage look.

colorful thanksgiving turkey craft
Make Our Thanksgiving Turkey Craft


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