I spent hours on Pinterest searching for a family tree design I thought would work well with our home decor. (That makes our condo sound so glamorous.) Finally, I decided Fixit Jen would come to the rescue. (That’s the version of me that has taken on most of our home improvement projects like remodeling the bathroom and refinishing furniture like I’ve written about here.) This was a DIY holiday gift to myself, but you could adopt the idea and create smaller versions for holiday gifts for family members.

For my DIY wall art, I started with a navy blue,  wooden poster frame that used to have poster of a sailboat my sister-in-law  Laura gave us. After discarding the poster, scratched plastic front and particle board, I was left with the frame. Rather than taking the time to sand it, I simply flipped it over. I figured the wall wouldn’t mind too much. You can hit up your local thrift store if you don’t have one somewhere already.

I bought some light weight  wire.  You can get some like I used here.

I used the metal tabs to weave the wire around and through the frame creating a grid.  I also made sure I left  enough wire to hang it from the wall. Trim any excess with wire cutters like these.  I like mine, because they can strip wire as well.  (I’m using them later today to hang the chandelier in my bedroom.)

I printed out my paternal family tree,  to reference dates, from familysearch.org.

I printed out 4×6 versions of the photographs I digitized on my home printer with photo paper. I used mostly black and white photos to create a consistent look.

I unearthed the scrap booking supplies from the corner of my office and created tags and used eyelets to create a strong surface to thread string through.

A map of New Jersey where some of my ancestors lived

A map of New Jersey where some of my ancestors lived

I used old clothes pins and modge-podged stickers and hot glued buttons.  Use your imagination and creativity.

WW1 draft registration card

WW1 draft registration card

Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of all of my relatives.  I used a WW1 draft registration card instead.  (You can use any document you have to represent the ancestor.)

It has been a wonderful way for my boys to get to know their ancestors better, as well as a way for me to express my creativity.

Genealogy Jen’s Weekly Challenge- Enjoy your ancestors. Frame a digital photo or record from one of your ancestors to enjoy in your home, or give away as a holiday gift.  Bonus points – Be creative! Repurpose an old picture frame, hot glue, modge podge, or paint. It’s ok to make a mess.

For another creative idea using digitized photographs of ancestors, check out my post DIY ancestor card game.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  Basically, if you clink the links and buy stuff, I might get a few cents.  I’m saving my pennies to upgrade my website and remove ads. 

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