How to Make a Family Tree Project

by Megan Shoop

Family trees not only document familial connections and help people keep track of their ancestors, they can also be decorative. If you or your child needs to complete a family tree project, you can create a work of art that shows generations of your family clearly and decoratively. Family tree projects require few supplies, but a lot of time. Have patience and work carefully; it’s worth it to have an accurate tree.

Draw a large, multibranched tree on your poster board. Give the tree as many levels and splits in your branches as you can while keeping the trunk long and thick. Paint the tree brown and let the paint dry for an hour. Paint the area around the roots green and the area behind the branches blue.

Cut out photos of yourself and any siblings you may have. Glue them to the trunk, starting with the youngest sibling at the bottom and ending with the eldest at the top.

Cut your other family photos into oval shapes slightly larger than a quarter. Make sure to include your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and other ancestors as far back as you can. If your tree is large enough, you can include aunts, uncles and first cousins.

Glue all of your ovals to your green construction paper, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Cut a leaf shape around each photo and use your metallic pen to write the names, birthdates and death dates of the people in the pictures.

Glue the leaves to your tree in the proper places. Parents should be in the branches directly above the trunk, while aunts, uncles and cousins go to the right and left. Grandparents go directly above parents, and so on, until you’ve glued all the photos to your tree. Let the glue dry overninight.

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Items you will need

  • Poster board
  • Pencil
  • Brown paint
  • Blue paint
  • Green paint
  • Green construction paper
  • Family photos
  • White school glue
  • Scissors
  • Gold metallic gel pen


  • Scan your photos into your computer and print them in ocher or black and white. Not only does this give your tree a vintage look, it allows you to keep your photos safely in the album. French blue for the sky and green crepe-paper leaves complete the vintage look.

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