3D DIY Family Tree

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Family trees are typically diagrams with photographs of family members, but this DIY family tree is a three-dimensional tree made with branches in a pot. The family photographs hang on the tree as flowers, and as the family grows, additional photos can be added or updated. It makes a great conversation piece, as well as a heartfelt gift for Mother's Day or Father's Day, anniversaries, welcoming a new baby, and christenings.

A colorful family tree
(Jonathan Fong)

Things You'll Need

  • Photographs
  • Branches
  • Pot
  • Floral foam
  • Moss
  • Wood
  • 3-inch wood discs
  • Felt
  • Decoupage glue
  • Foam brush
  • Clothespins
  • Ribbon
  • Cardstock
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
Step 1

Place a block of floral foam in a decorative pot. You can purchase floral foam in the floral supply section of your local crafts store. Insert branches in the foam to hold them steady. You may need two to three branches to create a full tree shape.

Insert branches in floral foam
Jonathan Fong
Step 2

Roll some moss into balls and push the moss balls into the pot to cover the floral foam. Packing the moss tightly in the pot will help steady the branches.

Cover floral foam with moss
Jonathan Fong
Step 3

Trim the photos so they are the same size and shape as the wood discs. Apply a layer of decoupage glue to the wood, place photos on top, and then apply another layer of decoupage glue on top of the photos to seal them. Wood discs are available in crafts stores. You can also use heavy card stock or cardboard, but the wood discs are sturdier for this project. And don't forget to include pictures of your pets; they're family, too.

Decoupage photos onto wood discs
Jonathan Fong
Step 4

After the decoupaged photos are dry, place them on a piece of felt and draw a flower petal outline around them. Cut out the flower shape and hot glue the felt to the back of the wood disc. Vary the colors of the felt for each family member. Also, you can draw different shapes such as leaves or butterflies. To make it a family activity, each member can even create their own.

Glue felt flower shapes to the back
Jonathan Fong
Step 5

On the back side where the felt is, hot glue some clothespins. The clothespins will make it easy to clip the family photos on the tree branches, while allowing you to move them around as needed. Be sure to attach the clothespins straight up and down, so the photographs are upright when you clip them to the tree. Apart from the family tree, these family photo clothespins can also be used for clipping papers, as bookmarks, or to secure lunch bags.

Attach clothespins with hot glue
Jonathan Fong
Step 6

Using the clothespins, clip the family photo flowers to the branches. The clothespins make it easy to attach the photos to even the tiniest twigs. Place the parents and older family members at the top, and the younger ones toward the bottom. Or mix up all the pictures – it's up to you.

Clip the family photo flowers to the branches
Jonathan Fong
Step 7

For a finishing touch, hot glue a ribbon around the pot. Then cut out a label from card stock, write your family's name on it, and glue the label on top of the ribbon. Your creative family tree is complete!

Add a ribbon and label to the pot
Jonathan Fong

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are using color photocopies of your family photographs, have them laser copied at your local print shop, rather than printed at home with an inkjet printer. The colors on laser copies do not run or fade as much as those from inkjet printers.
  • Be sure to keep children away from the hot glue gun.
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