DIY Family History Collage
Kids and their parents can craft a collaborative family tree using paper and glue.
By: Andrea Mulder-Slater
Family Tree Collage
At our house, you won’t find family photos hanging on the walls. But you will find art. Lots and lots of art.
And although we (my husband, my mom, my kiddo and I) all make art on a regular basis, we rarely collaborate on pieces.
Before he passed away, my dad became interested in genealogy and started piecing together a family history of sorts. I’ve always loved the idea of creating a family tree and have plans to (someday) organize the information my father collected to design something informative and decorative. However, until that day comes, I thought it would be fun to make a mini version – as a family – using materials we have kicking around the house.
To make your own collage – unique to your kin – all you need is a willingness to get messy, a desire to tear some paper, a few enthusiastic family participants and the following supplies…
- A variety of paper (construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, etc.)
- A canvas board or piece of cardboard (something stiff)
- An old paintbrush and a yogurt (or similar) container
- Mod Podge® (this is an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish but if you can’t find it, use watered-down craft glue instead)
- Old magazines
- Wax paper (to protect your work surface)
First, select some texture-rich paper and cut it into shapes. We decided on long and short rectangles, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
Using an old paintbrush, slather the canvas with Mod Podge®, lay down the paper and paint more Mod Podge® on top. In this case, more is more. Don’t be afraid to use LOTS of glue.
Once the first layer has dried, glue some torn tissue paper over top of the textured paper until you feel happy.
Next, each family member can start cutting out some shapes. Our collage features figures made up of long, narrow rectangles and three different-sized circles. I think they are reminiscent of people, or trees. My daughter insists they are lollipops.
Meanwhile, someone can start cutting out letters from old magazines for everyone’s titles. This is a pretty tedious task so I’ll come clean right here and tell you that after we cut and pieced together several letters, I went to my computer and printed out the rest. These were all glued (using my kiddo’s glue stick) onto rectangular pieces of paper.
I included my late father because – although he’s been gone for seven years – I like to think he still drops in from time to time.
Then, everyone can start to place the paper cutouts onto the prepared background.
One at a time, remove the shapes, paint a layer of Mod Podge®, replace the shapes and finish with another layer.
Voila! A wonderful keepsake for you and your kid(s) that you will be proud to put on display. Unlike our family photos. Kidding. Not kidding.
This post first appeared on YMC with the title: A Genius Way to Bring Your Family History to Life.