During this time of year our hearts turn to our families and when I saw these simple, excellent trees (just $5!) at IKEA, I instantly knew what I wanted to do with them!
I started out by making a family tree for myself, but then I realized that my mother-in-law would absolutely love this and I set out to make one for her first.
I began by drawing the leaves on regular white card stock in waterproof ink. Since I did it free hand, I had to re-do a lot, but for just 18 leaves it wasn't a big deal. Then I wrote the name and birth year of each person on the family tree (using the waterproof pen).
I also made a plaque with my husband and his siblings for the trunk.
Next I used water colored pencils (3 of them) to color in the shading on leaves. Watercolor pencil marks can be washed over with water on a brush to blend the colors and I used this technique. After the leaves were dry, I pressed them into a clear embossing pad and used Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) and a heat gun to give the leaves a gorgeous shine as well as make them stronger.
To hang them on the tree, I used a box cutter to cut small grooves into the plastic coating on the tree. I looped wire through a small hole on the leaf stem, added some beads and tied a simple square knot at the back. I set the wire loops into the grooves and added some super hold glue with a really fine tipped tube. Voila! A family tree! (now, how am I going to wrap this thing?)