Feb 01

The Rinehart’s DIY Family Tree Art

A man, his baby, and a roll of painters tape.  That’s how this fun DIY Family Tree Art adventure started.  I (this is Eric) have always wanted to paint a tree on a wall in our house.  I never seemed to find the time when we lived in Sidney, but Topeka on the other hand- this house was made for a tree in our basement.  And oh, how I love our new tree!
I started the process by finding out how much a wall decal would be. I couldn’t find one large enough for less than $75! I knew there had to be a cheaper way to make this tree happen. Kelli and I looked at some ideas online and settled on what we wanted our tree to look like. One of the coolest things about doing this on our own is that we got to customize it just how we wanted it to look.

One of the neatest things about this DIY Family Tree Art project is that it costs close to nothing to do.  The supplies I used totaled around $10.

The list of items used are:

  • One $3 roll of painters tape
  • White paint paint (which we already had lying around)
  • A kitchen sponge
  • The time and patience to “grow” the tree from the ground, up 🙂

DIY Family Tree Art

In our humble abode, we have this one particularly long hallway in our basement, which you will find as soon as you come down the stairs.  It spans the entire length of our ranch style home.  I paid the hefty price for this long hallway when it came time to get my latest guy purchase, a new (absolutely necessary) 60 inch tv.  To purchase this new toy, I made the dreadful deal with my then preggo wife to paint not only this hallway, but our family room as well…so pretty much this amounted to the entire basement. Three gallons of paint later, I had a blank canvas to paint my tree!  Please do let the record show; I absolutely hate painting.  I am a DIY kinda guy, but painting is the devils work.  Just sayin’
Let me introduce you to our hallway, aka the blank canvas.  I still have nightmares of painting this thing…

DIY Family Tree ArtNow it’s time to watch the tree “grow” 🙂

Honestly, this project turned out to be way easier than I thought it was going to be.  I just started at the base of the trunk and work your way up.  I ripped strips that were 6-9 inches long and let my imagination and creativity decide what I wanted the tree to look like.
You can choose how wide/tall you want your tree to be. Ours turned out to be 13 feet wide because we had a large area to work with.

DIY Family Tree ArtOnce I got to a natural “Y” in the tree, I decided how wide to make the next limb. I placed a piece of tape to start the other side limb.

DIY Family Tree ArtThen, I took it section by section.  I found it easiest to start getting the middle of the tree set up, so that I could envision how it needs to start taking shape.  The goal for me was to have limbs that would fill in all the dead space on the wall.

DIY Family Tree ArtAgain, if you look really close, you can see this is all done by those ripping off short sections of tape and placing each piece over the one right before it.

DIY Family Tree ArtCharley was able to get in on the taping as well.  She pretty much bossed me around when it came to where to put each piece of tape.  She’s her mother’s daughter!! 🙂

I also noticed in the above picture that it looks like my sleeves are about 6 inches to short.  Obviously, this is my night-on-the-town shirt.

DIY Family Tree Art I placed two pieces of tape on either side of the tree to give me boundaries to both reach for, but not pass.

As I got closer to the end of each limb, rather than using two pieces that slowly got narrower and narrower, I would just use one piece that would be a place holder for the “twigs” part of the tree.

DIY Family Tree ArtAnd voila!!  The taped tree.
At this point, I had invested about 2 hours into the tree.  Charley slept in the front pack for about an hour and a half of that. Multi-tasking at its finest.

DIY Family Tree ArtNext up, the painting.  As I explained earlier,  I hate painting!  So lucky Kelli, she gets that job.  It was fairly easy for the most part-  just stay between the lines.  It’s like a grown-up version of a coloring book.

DIY Family Tree ArtShe did such a wonderful job!  We did two coats of paint since we picked such a light color against the grey.

DIY Family Tree ArtThis is where the creative side of Kelli was able to really shine.  I don’t think I had it in me to get the twigs to look just right.

I was very impressed with her work, as she did it all free hand with a basic inch wide paint brush.  She was in a groove!!

DIY Family Tree ArtThe last step–the leaves.  Unfortunately, I had to take this part.  Kelli cut out the leaf template out of an old kitchen sponge that we had lying around.

Tip– we cut out two sizes of leafs to try and went with the larger of the two. We were very happy with that decision.  I think they look better and more uniform.

DIY Family Tree ArtAnd here she is!!  Not too shabby for $10 and about 4-5 hours of work!!

DIY Family Tree ArtHere are a couple different angles to view the tree from.

Hallway lower - DIY Family Tree ArtOverall, our DIY Family Tree Art project turned out exactly how we wanted it to.  We’ve toyed around with the idea of putting pictures of our family on the tree. That’ll happen one day! With a new baby in he mix, there’s just not as much time as we used to have. But of course, it’s so worth it! One day, she’ll be helping us with all of our crazy house projects.

If we do decide to put the family pictures up, we’d like to keep the frames black and uniform. We have a vision!

DIY Family Tree Art

If you and your family decide to tackle the DIY Family Tree Art adventure, I would challenge you to put the exact number of limbs it would take to accurately represent your real family tree.

For you Missouri Tiger fans out there, I’m sure that means there’s just one limb so that will be easy for you to figure out.  Rock Chalk Jayhawks!(I was feeling feisty when I wrote this part.  But, I do really dislike anything Missouri Tiger related. Again, just sayin’)

Until next time. Build On!


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  1. mom

    That really looks GREAT and loved seeing the process! Good job!

  2. Roxanne Tesar

    So impressive! Your tree looks great! You will have so much fun adding family pictures to it.

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