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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.

Source: Martha Stewart


  • 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;


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

  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.

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