Updated: Aug 6, 2021
After having two miscarriages, I often felt frustrated that our babies who died were not recognized as real and valuable members of our family. When we as a family have been able to acknowledge and love these babies, it has brought us a lot of joy and peace. That is where the inspiration of this craft came from. The Family Tree Art Project doesn't take many supplies to do, and it provides a beautiful visual of what is true: The family members we have lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death are forever a part of our families.
I want to give a shout out to Instagram friend Patricia and her family (@_hrtmnservrythng_). Their names are used in the tutorial below. Little sister Celia, who has become her family's "heavenly light," and big sister Adelina, who carries her sister in her heart, will always be "siblings still."
And remember, if your child completes this project or any art project memorializing their sibling(s), you are welcome to send a picture of it to mlacourrege1 (at) gmail (dot) com so that I can feature it under the "Art Spotlight" section of www.mysiblingstill.com. You can even feel free to write about your family's story so that it can be included with the picture.
Now let's begin!
Step 1: Gather supplies
All you need is
A white sheet of paper
Step 2: Trace child's hand
Using a brown crayon, trace the child's hand onto the bottom half of the white paper. The hand will serve as the tree trunk.
Step 3: Color in the trunk
Have the child color their traced hand in brown.
Step 4: Draw the leaves
Have the child draw in the leaves of the tree, filling in the top half of the paper.
Step 5: Write in names
Write in the names of your immediate family. We used a black crayon to help them stand out. I helped out my daughter with this part, but feel free to use this as a way to have your child practice her or her writing skills!
Step 6: Personalize it!
Part of what was so fun about this project were the endless options for the child to personalize his or her artwork! My daughter decided to add a beach ball, tire swing, and a sunny sky. Some other ideas could be:
Add things to the tree itself: flowers, fruit, birds in the branches, etc.
The sky: Is it morning or night? You could have a bright sunny day or a starry night.
Things on the ground: You can add things to represent your own backyard (toys, etc.), a beautiful garden, or animals
I think the finished project may just be one that would make a proud display on any family's fridge! If your child enjoyed this project, then he or she may also like making a sibling memorial bracelet or coloring a butterfly in memory of their sibling.
I hope that this tutorial helps your family create a craft that you all can treasure!