Bonnie Peters (@diamondandwillow) always comes up with unique, creative ways to use our lettering skills and has designed this amazing tutorial for making a family tree! This could be a home decor piece or a gift for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

Kelly Creates Supplies: Project Paper Pad (Kraft card stock), Deluxe Lettering Kit (pencil, eraser), Ink Pads and Stamping Blocks Kit, Floral stamp Set, Tropical Stamp Set, Fine Black Brush pen, Black Fineliners, Starlight Coloring Pencils

I ‘wood’ recommend making a list of family members you are planning to include and a starting point. It could be the day you and your partner met, married or perhaps you just want your grandchildren in the ‘tree’.

For my own ‘log,’ I started in the centre with my husband and myself when we were married. Then I added in our children, their spouses and then our grandchildren as they arrived. Each event is separated by however many years or ‘growth rings’ of a tree. Eg. One year = one ring around the tree, 5 years = 5 rings around the tree and so on.  TIP: You can also just have a random number of rings that don’t correlate to years.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!


I began by creating a pencil sketch on 8 ½” x 11 kraft coloured card stock (from the Kelly Creates Project Pad, of all the names I wanted to include and the necessary rings needed to separate the people involved. TIP: You could also add dates as well, either with the same Kelly Creates fine brush pen or Kelly Creates Fineliner.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

Using the Kelly Creates black Fine brush pen, I lettered in the names as I went along, and I drew the tree rings with the Kelly Creates Black Fineliner 01. Your sketch is just a guide. You will find your lines may veer off as you go along. That’s why I letter the names as I reach them and not beforehand. That way you can just make changes as needed, adjusting placement of names and rings.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

I went around the outside edge with the Kelly Creates 01 Fineliner and drew in a jagged line to represent the tree bark. Because I wanted to add some branches and leaves around the outer bark, I left three small spots open and used my pencil to sketch where I wanted the stamps.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

Next I stamped some leaves using the Kelly Creates Floral Stamp set and Kelly Creates black ink pad. Let dry well and then draw in the branch lines to connect them to the bark.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

Using the Kelly Creates Fine black brush pen, I went traced over the bark and made some of the lines heavier (wider) to create dimension. I also drew heavier lines along the one side of the leaves and branches to add some depth to those. Erase any other pencil lines.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

Lastly I used the two shades of green metallic Kelly Creates Starlight Pencils to colour the leaves.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

You now a new variance of your own personal family tree. This might make a nice Thanksgiving place setting if you were to make smaller copies for each family member.

Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial! Fabulous DIY Family Tree tutorial!

WOW!  Bonnie, this family tree ‘log’ looks stunning on your Thanksgiving table! I would love Bonnie to come over to my place and decorate for the seasons, wouldn’t you?

For more inspirational and creative lettering art, follow Bonnie on Instagram @diamondandwillow and her Facebook page Diamond & Willow Artworks.

Shop the supplies Bonnie used by clicking on the affiliate links below:

Kelly Creates Project Pad Cardstock Kraft white blackblack fineliners Kelly CreatesKelly Creates 3 pack brush pens have 3 sizes of tips: small medium and bold. LOVE THEMKelly Creates Starlight PencilsKelly Creates Floral stamp set flowerstropical stampsKelly Creates Ink pads and Stamp set with stamping blocksKelly Creates Deluxe Lettering kit


Fantastic tutorial for a family tree like I've never seen before


2 Comments on How to Hand Letter a Family Tree

  1. Bonnie
    October 4, 2019 at 5:17 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks Kelly! I’m available for styling any time 🙂

  2. Linda Epstein
    October 5, 2019 at 5:58 pm (5 years ago)

    Great project, Bonnie. Thank you.


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