Memory Tree Do It Yourself Project from Repurposed Fabrics

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Home Crafts, Moneywi$e, The Journey of Motherhood

Happy Earth Day! Today is the perfect day to tell you about (quite possibly) one of my favorite crafts of all time.  The overall cost of this project is very low because most of the items are re-purposed from fabric you already have in your home (or can easily get from a thrift store).  I can’t wait to share it with you!

I found it in the book Handmade Home Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures which I got from my library.  I have already renewed my book once and I am not yet ready to give it up, there are just too many great crafts inside!

Here is how to make your own:

1)  Start with a linen background that is approx. 17″x17″ square.  You could use a number of fabrics or even an old bed sheet–be creative!

2)  Next, use brown fabric (felt, cotton or corduroy work well) for a tree trunk (there is a template for the tree trunk in the back of the book).

3)  Use fabric glue to cover the back of your tree trunk.

4)  Adhere your trunk to your 17″x17″ background fabric of choice.  I used a muslin fabric but as I said before, you could use part of an old bed sheet too.

5)  Using fabrics that are meaningful to you, cut out leaf shapes (again, the 2 templates for the leaf shapes are in the book).  Here is where you can get creative.  You could do a tree for your child using clothing that they have outgrown, one for a grandparent using old ties or scarves.   I decided to make a family tree using fabric from each of us.  As soon as I explained what the project was to Hunter and Ashlyn, Hunter quickly asked me, “Will we have some leaves for Sawyer?”.  I love that he voiced what was already on my heart.  Our leaves for Sawyer are represented with a maternity shirt that I remember wearing during his pregnancy (see below) and the tie from the adorable HodgePodgerie snap tee that we had saved of his. It was bittersweet to cut up his outfit but I love having it represented in a way that we can enjoy it every day in our home.

6)  Arrange your leaves in the position you like best around the trunk and adhere them to your background using the fabric glue.  Some thin fabrics may need to have the glue applied very carefully as it may bleed through the fabric (you may wish to test a scrap piece first if you are unsure).

7)  Optional: use embroidery thread to embellish your leaves by running a thread down the middle or outline around the outer edges of the leaves.

8)  Find a frame that matches the decor of your home and enjoy!  Another option would be to hem the edges finishing them off and then add loops to the top and hang it from a dowel rod.

I was so excited about this project that I was asked to share it with our Mothers Of Toddlers group at church.  Below are some photos from all the creative trees that the ladies made.  They are all so different and beautiful in their own way.  One was even made from mismatched socks!

After making my tree I decided to do this project with my mom as an early Mother’s Day craft.  We gathered up some old ties from my grandfather (her dad) and scarves from my grandmother (her mom) and together crafted her tree.  I forgot to take a photo of the final result but she liked it so much that she took it with her to Minnesota where she is currently on vacation to show her friend.  This makes me think it was a hit:).  I think this project would be perfect to give a mom or gra
ndmother for Mother’s Day, enjoy!

Do you have any fun crafts to share? I would love to hear what you are doing for Earth Day today or if you have a fun Mother’s Day project to share!

Looking for some fun Earth Day deals? Head on over to the Mom 4 Life facebook fan page.  We are going to be announcing special discounts on our Go Green! products throughout the day!

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010

12 Responses to “Memory Tree Do It Yourself Project from Repurposed Fabrics”

  1. Great idea! Since I don’t sew much, I don’t have a wide variety of “leftover” fabric, but I imagine it would be fun for those who do!


  2. Yes Dana I think it would! I love that you can do this product without ANY sewing or you can “jazz” it up with some optional sewing if you want too!


  3. This is an awesome project. Thank you for sharing! I may share this with my MOPS group as this is something we’ve never done. Thank you!!


  4. i LOVE this project. seriously right up my alley. it’s a rainy afternoon here…perfect timing!


  5. Corilynne, your MOPS group would love it! Let me know if you have any questions about how to do it in a bigger group. Jami, I am glad you have been inspired, enjoy the rain (it is overcast and wet her too) and create something fun today!


  6. I love that Hunter asked about Sawyer and that you were able to include him.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea. I’ve been thinking of different projects I can make from some of my kids old clothes. I’ll have to add this one to the list.
    Did you see the playdough suncatcher craft on my blog?


  7. That is a fun project Dara, thanks for sharing! Yes I love that Hunter thought of Sawyer too, he is so good about that. :)


  8. I have been wondering what to do with some of the clothes my mom gave Amira that Stella has now outgrown. Thank you for the idea Heather!


  9. Oh perfect, yes you are welcome Megan! It will be even more special now that two of your sweet children have worn them:)! Besides after two, it is hard to have them stain free anyway!


  10. Heather, I would love to do this for our group next year. If you don’t mind sharing all there is to know about doing this for a large group, I’d really appreciate it :) Thank you!


  11. Of course Corilynne, I will email you my phone number and you can call me. Then I can walk you though it on the phone.


  12. [...] are doing something that I want to do better or learn more about.  I previously showed you how to make a memory tree out of reporposed fabrics which was a craft inspired by Handmade Home Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family [...]

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