Creating Your Own Pictorial Family Tree Using Inexpensive Frames, a Little Paint and a Photocopier

Updated on April 26, 2018
alifeofdesign profile image

Graham is a former magazine stylist with a passion for crafts. She writes for various magazines and blogs when she's not playing with glue.

Many people decorate their homes with photographs of their family. There are endless ways to display beloved photos and not all of them require expensive frames or leather bound albums.

I had several old family photos that my mother had given to me that for the longest while remained tucked in a small box in the back of my closet. I wasn't certain how I wanted to display those pictures, but I knew they were much too beautiful to be hidden away where no one else would ever have the pleasure of seeing them.

While I was trying to decide how to show off these pieces of my family's history, I was also in the midst of researching my family ancestry. That's when I decided to use these photos as my own family tree.

Source

I chose frameless picture frames from Michael's craft store. I wanted the pictures to be the focal point of this display, not the frames. Each came with a plain sheet of thin cardstock to protect the glass and tiny silver clips that held the glass to the backing. I used that paper as the matte for each photograph.

I used three coordinating paint colors and painted each of the card stock sheets using several coats of latex craft paint. Using bright colors for each frame would be a very bold design. Painting the frames all the same color would also be quite dramatic.

I arranged all the frames on the floor and lay each photo atop a frame. This allowed me to get a rough idea of which photos looked best next to each other. Once I decided which pictures I would use, I traced the outline of the photograph onto the card stock and then using an X-Acto-knife I cut a hole large enough to show the photo, hence, using the paper as a matted frame.

The most difficult stage of this particular project is hanging the frames. It is very important that the frames hang evenly and that the spaces between each frame are identical. When I worked on this project I hadn't yet purchased a laser ruler and therefore hanging the frames was a tedious task. You can see that my frames are not perfectly spaced.

I cut the hole for this picture a bit too large. To remedy this, I simply painted a small slip of paper and taped in to the back of the 'matte'.
I cut the hole for this picture a bit too large. To remedy this, I simply painted a small slip of paper and taped in to the back of the 'matte'. | Source
Here is a front view of that same picture, shown above.
Here is a front view of that same picture, shown above. | Source
I liked the idea of using these clip frames. They were very inexpensive and once hung, they looked rather attractive.
I liked the idea of using these clip frames. They were very inexpensive and once hung, they looked rather attractive. | Source

Several of the photographs that I wanted for my 'family tree' were borrowed from my aunt. A few other were simply too important to me to risk any potential damage so I opted to make copies of the pictures I would use for this particular project.

At most print centers they offer a few methods for copying pictures. My local FedEx store has a machine that can re-print photographs for very little money. I would recommend you try a color copy of your original picture, as well. Although your photos may be black and white prints, there are slight nuances that remain undetected by the human eye. If you create a black and white copy of your black and white picture it will very likely not look like the original. Therefore, I suggest you make a color copy of your black and white photo.

Source
Source

Designing With Odd Numbers

In design, it is often considered best to use odd numbers. Items placed in groups of three or five look better than groups of two or four, for example. This concept, called "the rule of odds" assumes that an odd number of objects is visually more interesting to the human eye and therefore more appealing. You may, of course, choose to hang any number of frames that you think look best (which is the whole point of design-is it not?)

I've gotten many lovely compliments on my family tree. Having the photographs where my guest can see them allows me the opportunity to share different family tales. I'd like to eventually add more pictures. I think an entire wall would look amazing. Perhaps that will be my next project.

Questions & Answers

    Comments? Questions? Please Leave Them Here. Thank You .

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • alifeofdesign profile imageAUTHOR

        Graham Gifford 

        6 years ago from New Hamphire

        Hi Millionaire Tips, thanks for stopping by! I have always disliked the idea of my photos stashed in a book and kept in a closet. We also change a few of the pictures out from time to time to keep it interesting for us.

        Best Regards,

      • Millionaire Tips profile image

        Shasta Matova 

        6 years ago from USA

        These are wonderful ideas. I have been trying to think of ways to display my older family photographs. Voted up.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)