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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in being crafty (10)


* a picture perfect family tree 

my creations!

I'm a crafter and I love decorating; when I saw the DIY ornaments using old family photo's from Sweet Paul Magazine I was inspired! A recent family tree project had been tabled and I already had pictures and labels perfect for this project. I will be using these as Christmas ornaments but I don't have a tree yet, check back for an update in a week with the finished tree. This project is not just for the holidays, keep reading for creative ways to use these family pictures in your everyday decor! 

This is an easy, inexpensive project! Materials:

  • Printed pictures of your family (any size/shape!)
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Card stock (any color/weight)
  • Glue Stick

mark the top of the photo!I wouldn't recommend using original photo's for this project, all you need to do is scan your images and then have some way of getting them printed. The pictures I had readily available were 2x3 inches but I think using pictures of all different sizes and shapes would add a unique touch. When you've learned a lesson, before I started gluing anything I marked the back of each photo with a light up arrow so I wouldn't glue the pipe cleaner on upside down! Once the glue gun is fired up simply cross the pipe cleaner in half and twist the bottom JUST ENOUGH so it stays, try to keep the knot as small and flat as you can. 

finished back with cardstock and label

 Just put a little glue on the pipe cleaner and stick it on the back. Believe it or not you could be done at this point! But I already had the labels printed up with names and dates so I hot glued a square of red card stock on the back covering the bottom of the pipe cleaner and used a glue stick to attach the label. Bonus! The hot glue and card stock gave the pictures weight and stability.

These pictures could be used in many ways:

  • Stencil or apply a tree applique directly to your wall, put some nails on the branches and hang the pictures for a unique 3d family tree
  • Get a shadow box frame and hang the pictures inside for a flexible decorative piece
  • Buy a metal rod or any sort of contraption to hang the pictures in a minimalist way

Example- I have a metal shelving unit from IKEA used for pots and pans, I cleared some space and hung the pictures with the ornament hooks. I love how this looks!




tips from a desperate genie- wrapping paper!!

I am constantly mapping out family trees, it really helps me visualize and understand who I am researching. In the beginning regular paper worked OK for these diagrams, but as my search expanded I found it harder and harder to keep it all organized. I started buying larger paper and even taping pages together, which lead to more and more diagrams.

Then one day it hit me: WRAPPING PAPER

I just happened to be going through some storage bins when I saw rolls of wrapping paper and it's white never ending canvas!! Ever since I have been using the back of wrapping paper to map out many generations all in once space. Seeing all the lines together gives such a unique perspective. This particular tree is in it's 2nd version, after a few weeks of research the first got a little messy.

wright family diagram The tree starts with Joel and Harriet Wright, my GGGG Grandparents from Bordentown, NJ. Wright is a very common surname and there are like 10 standard first names found in every family. This large tree is an excellent research tool for keeping my sanity with all the Joseph's, John's, Anna's, and Mary's.

 Joel and Harriet had 4 daughters and 2 sons 1812-1826 and after working on this tree I have realized that my Wright line is almost extinct! This probably explains my wild goose chases within the Wright surname.  I used a red marker for women and their descending lines without the Wright surname and a blue marker for males and their descendants with the Wright surname. This family had many who moved to Philadelphia and I wanted to keep track of each line's migration. To show the state they were born and died in, I marked a corresponding colored dot under their birth/death year. Another piece of information I decided to include was burial information, a star next to a death year means I know where they are buried.

It's cheap, you can buy recycled, and it's easily folded or rolled up for easy storage. 'Tis the season for purchasing discounted wrapping paper, just make sure it's white on the underside!

Do you have a special tip or unusual item you swear by for genealogy research??

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