Before you start to read this post, please, click on this song and listen to it while reading!
As you probably already know, we are from Hungary but currently live in Germany and we get to see our families and relatives only a couple of times a year. I started to think how on Earth will my 18 months old son recognize them? Of course we speak with most of them on the phone regularly and we also skype occasionally but for example there is my older brother and his family, who has no internet, no land line and we rarely speak on the cell phone. My friend is in the same situation and she made a photo-album of relatives for her son which I find very inspirational but I wanted something different. Then it hit me: there is a huge white wardrobe in my son’s room and there is plenty of space to put pictures onto. Why not make a family tree then?
The next question was of course: HOW to do that? Should I paint it? Definitely not. I don’t want to ruine the furniture. Ok, then let’s use self-adhesive foil! I have been working on this project for a very long time now, mostly because there was always some material that I didn’t have at hand and I had to go and buy it.
I bought a wood-looking foil for the tree itself and green and red for the leaves and apples. It was a bit difficult to find these foils. First I looked in the local hobby-shop and they had a few to choose from but they were a bit expensive. Then we found more and cheaper in the hardware store (look where you can find wallpapers!).
First I made a sample on the wardrobe using my son’s drawing paper because it’s in a roll and was big enough for this. I taped it onto the furniture and started to draw.
Then I cut out my sample and transformed onto the foil’s back. Unfortunately I had to cut up my sample and transform it in peaces but it worked. Pay attention at this step: if your tree is not symmetrical careful which side is up and which side is down! Draw around your sample, remove it from the foil and cut it out!
All three foils that I bought had an instruction on many languages on the back side how to use them. Just peal off the back side and apply the foil onto the wardrobe following the instructions! I used a ruler to get all the bubbles out from underneath.
As the next step, I cut out the leaves of the green foil and applied them to the wardrobe.
Then I did the same thing with the apples.
And then I had to find good pictures of our family-members and make a collage out of them. At the end I had everybody (18 people) on three pictures (for this I used Picasa3) and we went with my son and printed them out in 13x18cm size. When we got back from the store I cut everybody’s picture out and taped them on the apples using double-sided tape.
TADA! It’s done! And we love it! My son started to point immediately at the pictures and I had to repeat the names several times, which was so much fun because he starts to speak now and he tried to say the names! He is so cute!
A couple more things about this project.
I choose the foil because it won’t ruine the furniture, but also because you can remove it any time and it won’t leave a mark! This way I can even change the tree whenever it is needed. Great, isn’t it?
I did not make our tree randomly, it has a concept: at the bottom of the log, the two apples are the great-grandmothers (from my son’s view), in the middle are the grand-parents (left from my husband’s side, right from my side). Up, in the middle is our family, where the two hart-shaped branches are. On the left side are my sister-in-laws, and the branches in the right side are my siblings and their families.
In addition I made a similar decor onto the changing table, where the birds are sitting on the branches and they are also the doorknobs.
I could have put the whole family-tree lower on the wardrobe, so my son can see it standing, but I wasn’t sure that he wouldn’t scratch off the tree. So he can take a look now from our hand and he will grow anyway…
The good thing about this project is, that you can customize it very easily. You can make the family tree as big or as small as you like. You can put it on a board, or furniture but even then, you can transport it to an other surface any time. The tree can grow with the family and I do hope that our tree will have many more little branches in the future!