And the tree was happy….

I’m so excited to be a part of No Big Dill’s Once Upon a Thread this month!

One of my favorite children’s books (and Boo’s) is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. You can tell the book has been loved….


It’s cover and edges are worn from years and years of reading:

Some people think it’s a sad story….but I view it as a story of unconditional love…..

…..comfort and sharing……and the joy of giving:

Here’s a jumper I made for Boo inspired by The Giving Tree:

A simple, monochromatic colors…..reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s style:

I chose a plain light taupe fabric to silk screen “sketched” apples on. I used my Paper Doll Dress Pattern to sew up a simple jumper style……

…..similar to the one the boy in the story is wearing with a criss crossed back:

To silk screen the apples, first I drew some apples in the Silverstein style onto contact paper….I used my left hand so that they would end up looking more primitive:

Then using a razor blade I carefully cut out the apple silhouettes (disclaimer: an exacto knife is always safer, I use razor blades because I replace them often):

Once all the apples were cut I peeled off the backing of the contact paper and adhered it as a stencil to a screen (for screen printing):

Next, I took some scissors and cut off the marker lines……

….and placed the insides of the apples onto the screen.

I screen printed the apples onto my fabric (see the link to my detailed “Screen Printing with Contact Paper” at the bottom of this post):

The Giving Tree-inspired apples!

The finished apples on the dress!




For more details on screen printing with contact paper visit my tutorial below:



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About Ashley Hackshaw

Living a simple, creative life in #smalltownusa Bryson City, NC. Renovating a 1960s ranch house and an old train depot. Thank you for reading! Read more in my about section. 


  1. 1

    What a great idea! I love it!

  2. 2
    Danielle says:

    All I can say is wow! That is so fun. Its got my mind buzzing with creative possibilities! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. 3

    Awesome! I love that book as well.

  4. 4
    Jennifer Rizzo says:

    This is very super cool. I love the graphic-ness of the apples.

  5. 5

    Oh my goodness!!! This is beyond perfect… I think I love it even more because of the apples :) I hope you can make a tiny one for the friend I mailed today… xo

  6. 6
    Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    I am absolutely in love!!! I have no words to describe how much I love this…Shel Silverstein, sigh – definitely one of my favorites growing up – and you captured it in dress perfectly. Bravo!!!

  7. 7
    Bless by Tone says:

    you are just so super talented, you really inspire me. Tone

  8. 8

    That is one of my favorite books too. How could it not be? I love the dress. It is so perfect – especially on your daughter and with the striped shirt and socks. Love!

  9. 9

    i read all his poetry books as a kid and bought them when i became a mom. luv shel silverstein.

  10. 10

    For some reason, the fonts on your post are all wonky and unreadable… am I the only one experiencing this reading your blog? :(

    I just adore this project.

  11. 11

    I just looove this book and leave it to you to capture it so wonderfully in this dress. You are so creative. I love this idea. Thank you so much as always for sharing with us! :)

  12. 12
    stephanie says:

    I love the look of those apples! You did an amazing job.

  13. 13
    Sweeter Hours says:

    I just love this! What a wonderful idea.

  14. 14
    sarah*spunda says:

    Love it! The Giving Tree is my favorite book & we give it for every new baby gift!

  15. 15

    I agree about the story…and that dress is adorable!

  16. 16

    Love the apples!

  17. 17

    This is one of the most adorable things I have ever seen!

  18. 18
    The Other Sister Images says:

    Umm, that wasn't Harold, that was me Robin;)

  19. 19

    Giving Tree is a family favorite. We haven't read it in awhile…so you inspired me to read it again to my boys, AND I think I will be inspired to create something from another favorite book for my 3rd son!

    LOVE YOUR STUFF!!! Wish I had a girl to do all the dresses for!

  20. 20
    Heather :: AFD Jewelry :: says:

    The Giving Tree is one of my favorite books, but the first (and only) time we read it to Leila she bawled!

    Love the dress you made for boo!

  21. 21

    The jumper is so cute and I love the apples. Even more I love the idea of being able to do my own "silk-screening." thanks. This is my first time to you blog and I am excited to take a look around!

  22. 22

    my daughter brought this book home from the school library a couple of days ago! It is a very old and worn book but after reading the story I can see why the library holds onto it.
    I l.o.v.e. the Silverstein inspired dress – perfect.

  23. 23
    Melissa Lewis says:

    Just found you from over at WWC. Oh my goodness, I can't wait to swim around your blog for a while. Love your creativity and style. I am a lover of color as well, and your site is simple eye candy for me. As a new sewer and professional faux finisher, you can imagine how inspired I am over here. BTW, just subscribed to your blog.

  24. 24
    Elizabeth says:

    This is darling! The Giving Tree was always one of my favorites.

    Come by and enter my giveaway for a See by Chloe tote bag if you like!
    Have a good weekend!

  25. 25
    buttons and beeswax says:

    This is the cutest thing! I really love the style. I might have to check out that book too! I just stumbled across your blog but I love it so I'm adding it to my list :-)

  26. 26
    Babycakes says:

    Wow, that is so adorable and unique!

  27. 27

    Absolutly love the simple monochrome colours!! Right up my alley.. really stunning.
    You never fail to amaze me!
    Would love to try one of these for my Lilly ;)

    Katie from lillyandBoo

  28. 28

    I just love this idea and wanted to show you my outfits based on children’s books I posted my middle child’s outfit today and the other two will be up the fallowing next two days :)


  1. […] this year in the first series of Once Upon a Thread I made a dress inspired by The Giving Tree….it was one of my favorite books growing up. This time around I let Boo pick the book and she […]