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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making a Family Tree as a gift

I never dreamed that so many people would be interested in learning how I made my family tree gifts for the family.  Due to the interest it was suggested that I share how I did it with all of you. Hope you enjoy, and I would love to hear about how your projects turn out.

In preparing for this project I went out on line and looked at a lot of different how-to sites on making family trees.  I really enjoyed the ones I found at Martha Stewart.  This one is the tree I based my idea on.  If you Google "making family trees" you will see a lot of different sites that you may get inspired by too.

Below is the description of how I made my trees.  Creativity comes from within yourself, so never feel that you have to do things exactly the way someone else did them.  Make these your own, express yourself, and show your family flavor through your creation.  Most of all… have fun!

·        Off white paper for background, I liked a textured artist’s paper I found
·        Brown textured artists paper for tree
·        Pedigree chart with the information you want to include on your tree
·        Clear glue
·        Ribbon glue
·        Ribbon, at least 1 ½” wide
·        Self-stick letters
·        Clear mailing labels
·        Place cards / card stock squares
·        Tree template/stencil
·        Decorations:  I went to several craft stores and searched the scrap book aisles for tree/nature items such as birds, leaves, flowers, animals and etc.

·        Depending on how much information you want to include on your tree will depend on the size of mailing labels you will need to use.  Since I only used names, clear return address labels were the correct size for me.  I printed these from my computer in dark green using a cursive style font.
·        With an overhead projector I enlarged the tree stencil to the size I wanted, sketched it onto the brown paper, cut it out, and then glued it to the background paper.
·        Using the mailing labels, create your tree.  I placed the “main person” on a white place card on the trunk of the tree to set it off.  Going up the left side I put the paternal line and the going up the right side the maternal line.  Along the bottom were their children and grandchildren making up the “roots” of the tree. 
·        Each family tree was unique, and the decorations were picked to match the personalities (and house decor) of the family receiving it.  The decorations were placed on the tree around the names to help set them off, and to fill white space.  My mother-in-law’s tree was blue metallic cut outs of flowers, bees, birds, dragonflies, and leaves.  For my father-in-law I used a fall theme of rich oranges and red with maple leaves, pumpkins, squirrels, and a rake.  The last one was for my parents; I know my dad loves dogwood trees and my mom spring flowers.  Their tree was made with 3D items that were dogwood flowers, lilies of the valley (my favorite flower), and daffodils. 
·        The title ribbon was made using a brown organza ribbon that had a satin border.  Using self-stick letters I created the titles for the tree on the ribbon.  With ribbon glue (glue that when dry will not show on the ribbon like regular glue) I bent them into a banner shape and cut the ends into pretty points.  When dry it was glued onto the background.
·        Finally I signed the pictures with the date they were created.
·        The frames I used were bought at a local craft shop, but if you have the time (unlike me) to wait for custom framing you can have a mat put on as well for more pizazz. 


  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing the details.

  2. Your welcome. Glad you enjoyed it too! I will make sure to post details in the future for any "crafty" things I do. :)