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Framed Silhouette Family Tree

A crisp, graphic take on the family tree, this display has a silhouette of each family member set in an inexpensive store-bought frame. Don't worry if you can't find suitable portraits of everyone -- showing people's bodies in motion, engaged in activity (tennis, anyone?), or standing in a characteristic pose is an unusual and elegant way to depict family members.




  • Store-bought frames (Ribba frame, 8 by 10 inches,
  • Printouts of photographs
  • Patterned artist's paper (Nepal mini dots paper in black, New York Central Art Supply)
  • Solid-color artist's paper (Indian Lime paper, Saint Armand paper in Elephant, and cave paper in teal; New York Central Art Supply)
  • Graphite transfer paper by Saral,
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Paste (Yes Paste,
  • Paintbrush (for glue), size 20, by Blick Academic;
  • White-ink pen by Pentel,


  1. Step 1


    Use frames to determine size of black-and-white silhouettes. On a photocopier, enlarge or reduce photos to desired size. (Play around with scale and shapes -- including full-body silhouettes, which are great in the mix.) Place patterned paper design side up on cutting mat. Lay transfer paper on top, graphite side down. Place photocopy on top; using a sharp pencil, trace outline. Using craft knife, cut out silhouette on mat.

  2. Step 2


    Brush paste onto back of silhouette; position on solid-color paper. Let dry. Write in name and birth date. Place in frame.

  3. Step 3

    Hang pictures in columns that move upward. Grandparents are lowest; their children above in a horizontal row. Add spouses next, then children. Consider using different-color paper for each generation.



Reviews (1)

  • silverspiralstudio 28 Jan, 2015

    Love this! Never would have thought to do it! Thanks for sharing!