How to Build Your Own Printable Family Tree

by Kara Page

Building a family tree is not only a great and educational activity for kids and parents to do together--it gives your family a meaningful work of art to display for years. Depending on how detailed you want to be, creating a family tree can be a time-consuming project. With a lot of work and a creative touch, you can make a family tree and print it out to show off your family's unique history.

Open an Internet browser on your computer and go to a website that offers printable family trees, such as, or

These websites offer a selection of family trees. You can choose from trees that allow room for two or more generations. There are also special templates, such as "Family Trees for Non-Traditional Families," trees with graphics, trees with photo space and templates for kids. Click on your family tree of choice.

Browse through all of the templates in your chosen category. Consider what you want to do with your printed family tree when choosing your template. For example, if the tree is going to be a gift, choose a template with graphics that the recipient will appreciate. Click on your template of choice.

On, decide whether you want the free PDF version or the editable version, which in 2010 costs $4. The free version is printable, and you can add names and any other information with a pen or marker after printing. The editable version can be opened in any word processor that opens .doc files, so you can customize it with labels on your computer. Click "Download" for whichever version you choose.

If you chose the editable version on, enter your PayPal login information on the PayPal login page that comes up. Choose from the drop-down window which program you would like to open your family tree in, then click "Open." If you chose the free version or are using a different website, move on to step 6.

Go to "File," then click "Print." Take the printed family tree and your pen or markers, and write in any names, labels and other information you wish.

If you paid for the editable version, enter all of the information you wish. You can also get creative with graphics and colors, rearranging the template as desired. When your family tree is complete, go to "File," then click "Print."

Items you will need

  • Computer with Internet
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Pens or markers (optional)

About the Author

Kara Page has been a freelance writer and editor since 2007. She maintains several blogs on travel, music, food and more. She is also a contributing writer for Suite101 and has articles published on eHow and Answerbag. Page holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas.

Photo Credits