Thursday, March 7, 2013

Guest Post: Family Tree Project

Our guest post today come from one of my college friends - (since I've been working on some Photo Books from way back when, I thought I would include a picture from the past...)

I had a few Women's Ministry classes with Lydia in college and was able to see her creativity and craftiness first hand. I am loving her latest creation, and I am sure you will too. You can see her putting her education classes to use, even at home! Her two little girls are truly blessed to have such a fun mommy!

I had been wanting to put up pictures of my family on the fridge or on the wall where my daughter can see them and practice their names for awhile but I just wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it. I finally decided on making a family tree that she could play with and learn from.  Of course I started by looking on Pinterest to see what other people had done and gathered some ideas. Next, I decided we would create the tree at the end of the hallway which was looking pretty bare. 

Then it was time to design the tree and figure out how to get everyone on it. 

Step 1: I used craft paper and sketched a tree and used post it notes to practice putting everyone’s names on the tree. 

This helped me decide how big to make the tree and how many branches I would need to hold everyone. I made the left side of the tree my side of the family and the right was for my husband’s side. I started with the great grandparents at the top and then the grandparents on the branch below. On the next branch I added my husbands siblings on his side but I needed a few more branches on my side for my 6 brothers and their wives. The nieces and nephews filled out the bottom branches and I decided to put Marcus and I in the middle with our kids next to us.

Step 2: Once the planning was complete I scoured the craft room for supplies I could use. I found some brown paint and grabbed a brush and a pencil. I sketched the tree on the wall with a pencil and kept erasing and making changes until I was satisfied that it looked like a tree. Once I put my daughter Julia down for a nap (I knew she would be happy to volunteer to help with this project) I began to paint over my sketch with some small craft paintbrushes.  

Step 3: The next step was the most time consuming and took me the next several days to complete. I gathered pictures of all our family and began printing them out along with their names. Next, I borrowed my mother-in-laws ricut cutting system and began cutting out leaves in several different colors and sizes. 

I mounted the pictures on cardstock and the names onto leaves and used my mini laminator to cover them. Next I put Velcro strips on the back of each picture. I used scotch tape and placed everything on the tree until I had everything fitting just right. Then I peeled off the back of the Velcro and mounted the pictures and used my hot glue gun to mount the leaves with the names on them underneath each picture. I wanted Julia to be able to take the pictures on and off the tree but the leaves didn’t need to be moved. I also laminated a few owls from some stickers that I had and put Velcro on them so Julia could move them around the tree as well. Finally I glued the rest of the leaves on the branches to fill it out.  

Step 4: The last touch I wanted to add was a sign that said family. I used the existing frame I had on the wall and just took out the glass.

I changed out the pictures for some burlap and fabric and used some fabric scraps to make a flower. I used the letters already in the frame and glued them onto the burlap and added some ric-rac to complete it. 

Step 5: After I finished I let Jules start playing! 

She loves to take everyone’s pictures down and name them. Sometimes she lines up the pictures on the floor and sometimes she carries them around the house with her.  It has helped her remember everyone’s names and I love seeing all our family every time I walk down the hall. 

I’m still waiting to get pictures of the great grandparents to add to the top branches but it will be awhile until Jules can reach that high!

Thanks, Lydia for sharing your interactive project with us!

You can check out Lydia's Pinterest boards here.

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