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Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Family Tree

For Mother's Day, I wanted to create a special gift for my mom. I decided to make her a family tree.
I found it difficult to design a family tree for our small family.  I wanted to incorporate my parents, my brother, my husband, and my children.  I decided to make 3 branches (the center coming off of the trunk for my parents, the left branch for me, and the right branch for my brother). 

Once I had a plan, I started painting.  I painted a board solid green first. The green was only meant to peek through when I distressed the board. Then, I painted the board off white.  When that was done, I painted blue and green for a sky and grass.  To give it texture, I dry brushed. It still left more paint than I wanted so I went back with a damp brush and removed some paint. I really liked the  background.

I then made a tree pattern from paper.  I traced the tree on the board.

I then painted the tree in brown. This is the first coat.  I painted three.

After the board dried, I distressed the board with the mouse sander.

I then rubbed stain into the board to further distress the board.

The background is ready for the leaves to be added.

Using my Silhouette, I cut a lot of leaves in many sizes. I then used distressing ink around each leaf to define each leaf.

I wrote the families' names and birthdates on each leaf.  I also wrote our marriage dates. I then arranged the leaves and mod podged them on to the tree trunk.

Here's Mariella's leaf. Because we are a small family, most of the leaves were not written on.

After the bottom layer of Mod Podge dried, I Mod Podged the entire board and let it dry.

After the Mod Podge was completely dry, I coated the entire board in Polyurethane. 
When the first coat dried, I did a second coat.

After the Polyurethane dried, I drilled holes in the top of the board.

I then thread a wire through the holes and curled the end of the wire around a pencil to hold it in place.

Here's the finished product.
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