Genealogy-Gencrafts Getting your genealogy assets out of the file cabinets and onto your walls
Browsing all posts in: Family History and Genealogy Books

Family Memory Game – For all ages – Easy and Fast

November 19
Finished Cards

Playing your customized “Family Memory Game” is the perfect opportunity to get the elders in your family to tell stories from their past and or teach your children about their family.

  • You might consider producing extra pairs of cards so that you can customize the game any time you play it.
  • Use more photos small children would recognize if they are playing
  • Adding a few pairs of cards that start the elders telling stories when they participate.
  • Using less pairs at a time makes the game easier for children.
  • More pairs at a time makes the game more challenging for adults.
Photos face up

The absolute simplest way to make a memory game is to pick 10, 15 or 20 pictures and have 2 prints each printed at your favorite 1 hour commercial printer. You can even use current photos out of your phone, or use your phone’s camera to quickly take pictures from portraits on the wall or out of albums.

Scanning photos is best,

Getting it done before the family shows up is better : )

Photos face down on the table

    Put them face down on the table.

 

Turn over the cards

Each person turns over 2 cards.

  • If the photo matches they keep the set.
  • If not they return the photo face down and the next person turns over 2 cards, until somebody remembers where 2 matching cards were and picks them up.
  • You keep taking turns until all the photos have been picked up.
  • The “Winner” is the person with the most pairs after all the photos have been picked up.
  • Telling stories about the events in the photos as you turn them over is the perfect way to introduce children to relatives and ancestors that they may have never met.

A Little More Time – A Nicer Game

If you want to “Kick It Up A Notch” and avoid the word KODAK on the back of your playing cards, (or whatever other watermark is on the back of their photo paper) you can either create your own art for the back of your cards or download this piece of free downloadable art.

Art for back of Family Memory Game

Have an equal number of backs printed for the number of photos you choose to make for your game.

 

Cutting out the photos.

I chose to do my set of memory cards at wallet size which meant I had to trim the photos myself (because of where I had them printed) It is preferable to find a printer that prints the photos individually if you are in a hurry and want the cards to look perfect.

 

Cut out the matching number of backs to go with your photos.

 

Rubber Cement

I chose to glue my fronts to backs with rubber cement. It is repositionable until it dries if you put the two photographs together while it is still wet. If you let either side dry before you put them together the rubber cement behaves like contact cement and will not let you slide the two cards into alignment.

Align front and back cards

Align cards by holding the back art card face down between your thumb and fingers and placing the memory card face up over the back. Align them, press together and it should be an easy fit.

 

Trim

If you did not get your photos printed to size and have a little white showing from the back of the opposite card, trim with a sharp pair of scissors.

 

Cutting the corners round

Using a corner cutter makes your cards look professional.

 

Cutting the corners

Cutting through 2 pieces of photo paper takes some extra strength, but is definitely worth the time and effort.

 

Rounded corners

A simple rounded corner is adequate.

 

Photos Face Up

Rounded corners also show less ware and tear.

 

Finished Card Set

You can make this professional looking set of cards in just a few hours, including the time it takes to have the photos printed. If you print the cards at home on photo paper or card stock it will take even less time !!


I have designed some Photoshop templates to add boarders to photos that would be printed 2 up on 4×6 prints. Leave a comment if you are interested in seeing a more advanced version of this project.


CLICK HERE

for more great Family Genealogy Craft Ideas

 

 

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Present your Mexican Lineage on an Antiqued Sugar Skull

November 8

 

 

 

 

 

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Using Vintage Postcards in Framing and Scrapbooking your Ancestors

November 5

How I use a vintage postcard to make this custom matte for a Civil War Ancestor.

 

Photo of GAR Postcard

I found this vintage GAR postcard on ebay for $3 plus $1 postage

 

Picture of vintage GAR Card

You could use the original, but I have another project in mind for it, so I scanned the card and deleted the area where the soldier was.

Step 2

Then using the clone tool to keep the original color and texture, I deleted the words “To My Comrades” on the banner

 

Adding the name on the banner

I added D. McArthur on the banner in a color I picked up from the eagle.

 

Adding photo of David McArthur

I put the photo of David McArthur in the opening where the soldier had been.

 

Finished picture of David McArther

Instead of enlarging the card to fit a 5×7″ frame, I put a matte behind the photo in the shade that was in the shadows under the banner and put a drop shadow on the card layer to make it pop. Now it is ready to print and frame.

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Celebrating the Veterans in your family with Military Collages

November 4

A military tribute to your families veterans makes a memorable addition to your family history scrapbooks.

I cannot believe I passed my high school history classes. I remembered just enough to pass the test and the dates and events flew out the back side of my head faster than the chapter on the next war. Now with those date put in relationship to each generation of my ancestors, I cannot believe that my brother fought in Vietnam, my father in WWII, my grandfather got out of fighting in WWI somehow (I wish I knew the answer to that), and my great grandfather was a cook in the Civil War because of a bad back and his brother died in Andersonville Prison (a very bad place where most died of disease.

Somehow that puts war in another light. I think if they had all the students make a chart that showed which generation of their own families fought in which war, maybe they would pay more attention in class.

 

John Whedbee's Honorable Discharge Page

Even if they did not do anything heroic or get wounded, any individual who served during any conflict or war would have received a Campaign Medal or Commendation that are a colorful addition to a military collage. If the collage is for a page in a family history book and you don’t have the actual medals, photographs can be found online. If you are doing a shadow box it is possible to order replacement medals online.

Military Page of John L Whedbee

A Timeline is a great way to show military service. If a person were in the Navy it is a simple process to search for the name of the ship and get photos (for personal use) and list of dates of where the ship was and the conflicts it engaged.

 

Mikels Military page

Fold3.com is your one stop internet site (for a fee) for millitary records, Revolutionary War through current conflicts and among other thing it has photos from “Cruse Books” from the Vietnam conflict that has unit photos and information on the various Navy ships of the era. It is a simple matter to find information on the internet regarding a given ship after you narrow down the dates your ancestor was on it.

 

For a fee you can get your ancestors entire military file from the National Archives online at: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records which will list everything you need for timelines and searches for appropriate photographs if you don’t have any. If you are lucky enough to already have discharge papers or any other documentation regarding your ancestors service, there is huge amounts of data that you can find for free online to add spice and variety to your collage.

 

Photo of GAR Medal

There were and are also many veterans organizations for veterans of every war, starting with Daughters of the Revolution, The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and currently Amvets that retain many records and photographs.

 

Photo of David McArthur.

For step by step instructions on how I turned a vintage postcard into a personalized photo mount – CLICK HERE

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Making A Unique Ofrenda from a Shutter Frame

October 19

Celebrate your Mexican ancestors with this Simple Shutter Frame Ofrenda

Photograph of simple but unique Ofrenda

Perfect addition to your table top family alter.

 

Photo of matterials to make shadow box Ofrenda

To make the shadow box Ofrenda, I started with a Plaid brand Shutter Frame, a wooden laser cut oval frame and some packing material that came with a small hard drive.

 

Photo of painted frame.

I wanted the shutters to look like “Papal Picado” so I painted each one different tissue paper colors. I painted the shadow box black, so I painted the frame in front a contrasting bright color.

 

Photo of the frame and Day of the Dead notions.

I pulled out all of my Day of the Dead themed notions.

 

Photo of oval frame.

The oval frame needed a way to float in front of the shadow box so I used hot glue to glue a couple tin flowers on the front of the frame.

Photo of oval frame.

I used hot glue to suspend the oval frame over the shadow box hole.

Photo showing the placement of the oval frame.

Center the oval frame in the space where the photo usually goes.

 

Photo showing the oval frame in place.

Oval frame in place.

 

Photo of my great grandfather

I glued a photograph of my great grandfather onto a piece of scrap cardboard I painted black to give it a stiff support to suspend behind the oval frame. I wanted a 1/4 setback between the photo and the oval frame but it would have been simple to just hot glue or tape the photograph behind the oval frame.

 

Photo showing gluing beads on the back of the photo.

I glued 4 beads onto the back of the photo to space the photo away from the back wall of the the shadow box, but keeping it 1/4″ from the oval frame.

 

Photo of portrait placement in the shadow box.

I was happy with the placement of the photo, but I did not glue the shadow box to the back of the frame yet.

 

Photo of decorated frame.

I used my assorted notions to decorate the frame.

 

Photo of close up of skull candle holder.

I used a small plastic cross and glued a skull to the cross to make a candle holder. Then I melted a one inch section from the top of a gold birthday candle, using a bit of hot glue.

 

Photo of decorative tape used as Papel Picado.

I had originally thought I would make tiny cut tissue paper Papel Picado for the shutters, but I found and used decorative tape to make the shutters look like Papel Picado. This was much easier and far more intricate than I would have ended up with had I followed my original plan.

 

Photo of Ofrenda

I made miniature Papel Picado banners to hang across the open Ofrenda.

 

Photo of side view

Side view

 

 

Photo of finished Ofrenda

I had intended on tucking paper marigolds in the shadowbox behind the picture but I decided the black was much more dramatic and so I left it flat black and glued the shadow box with the photo behind the frame.

I hope my tutorial has inspired you to create one of your own. Please leave any comments or questions below. I would love to hear about your genealogy crafts. If you need any of the supplies from Amazon, please click through using the Genalogy-GenCraft affiliate links below.

 

 


If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy-GenCrafts here on the web. Thanks ~ Jackie

Supplies for this Project

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Other “Day of the Dead” themed items you may be interested in…

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Your Pedigree – A Long Line Of Love

January 30

Particularly well suited for Valentines cards and decorations, the concept behind these projects are taking the initials from your pedigree, and carving the initials in a tree and interpreting them into Valentines Art.

Carved initials on a box of Chocolates

Carved initials on a box of Chocolates

Colors, Initials and embellishments to suite your style.

Colors, Initials and embellishments to suite your style.

 

Tiny alphabet stamps

I started by purchasing a set of alphabet stamps that were suitably small enough to stamp the wooden hearts.

Stamping the symbols on the wooden hearts

I stamped the “&” symbol first on each heart

Finished hearts

They don’t have to be perfect, but even if you have not painted the hearts you still have 2 chances to get the perfect look . . . if you don’t like it turn it over and try again.

Embellish your stamped hearts

Either before or after stamping you can color and or embellish the hearts any way you please. Or trace over the stamped initials in alternative colors.

Position your hearts

Hot glue your hearts onto the chocolate box or Valentine . . . .

Connect your hearts with bits of twigs.

Snip some pieces of twigs to go between your hearts and hot glue in place. If you don’t like their color you can paint them either before or after glueing in place.

Photo of Valentines Card

This same style of “Carved Initials” Pedigree makes a great Valentines Card

If you are interested in ordering from Amazon.com, please click on any of these ads to be directed to their site. Any purchases, while there, will give us a small bonus, at no extra cost to you. This will help fund the Genealogy GenCraft site, here on the web. Thanks ~ Jackie

“Genealogy-GenCrafts.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from/to amazon.com.”

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My Favorite Monogram Resources

September 8

Even our ancestors were proud of their names and heritage and were probably decorating their clothing and home decor with their initials and family crest since before first set of guest towels were hung on a rod.

Seriously, the wealthy families had crest rings and medallions since before the average man had two names.

Today monograms still give us a sense of family identity. If it belongs to you, you can put your mark on it. Even if it is just your annual pumpkin. Click HERE for the pumpkin tutorial.

jlmw-pumpkin-25

 

Decorative monograms can be incredibly intricate and designing your own can be quite a task. The simple solution is to not re-invent the wheel and use one of the many reference books available to either scan straight from the books (for personal use only) or use as a starting point.

While it has numerous Art Nouveau Initials in it “The Treasury of Authentic Art Nouveau Alphabets, Decorative Initials, Monograms, Frames and Ornaments” Edited by Ludwig Petzendorfer only has five complete sets of Monograms, every combination of two letters possible. However they have a Art Nouveau flare while still being simple enough for any craft project straight out of the book. This is my go to book as a jump off point when designing my own monographs.

I highly recommend The “Compendium of Ancient Artistic Initials For Vintage Style Monograms“,  well described in their Amazon description as “a collection of over 3400 intricate artistic initials largely drawn from Victorian, Art Nouveau and Edwardian eras”. Initials and designs are in larger format (most are 2 inches high or greater) to preserve detail.” With multiple monograms styles from between 1840 and 1850. Most of which are suitable for sewing and craft projects straight out of the book.

5000 Decorative Monograms for Artist and Craftspeople, Edited by J. O’Kane is filled with 2 and 3 letter monograms that have a Victorian (or older) feel and are well suited for embroidery as well as a nice way to add art to pedigree charts and family group sheets in family history books when photographs are not an option.

Monograms and Alphabetic Devices are to quote the preface are “Unabridged republication of the plates from the Dictionnaire du Chiffre-monogramme” published in Paris in 1881. They are ornate but the printing is clear and well suited for the family history book when photos are not an option and with minimal work, suitable for embroidery and craft projects.

The Encyclopedia of Monograms by Leonard G. Lee are elaborate monograms with a renaissance flair. most suited for inclusion in family history books or decoupage.

You can see inside of these books using the Amazon.com links.

I hope you find my reviews helpful.

Jackie

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How To Create Your Own Word Search Puzzle For Your Family Album Or Family Reunion

July 23

Genealogy-Gencraft-Wheatly-Word-Find-Example

Even easier than doing the family crossword puzzle is a word find. Whether it is all the surnames in the family or the names of all the countries, villages and cities your ancestors came from it is a simple task with the free word find creators you can find online.

Another great addition to Family History and Photo Albums or the Family Reunion notebooks or invitations they are something young and old find fun and challenging.

Again, while they are easy to create yourself, an even simpler way to format them is to use one of the many online Word Find Creators.

At Discovery Educations Puzzle Maker found at http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp you have the option of adding a title, deciding the number of letters across and down, whether to use each letter only once, share letters occasionally or to share letters as much as possible. You can output the puzzle in HTML or text in either upper or lower case letters. They do have a licensing statement that their generator is for classroom use only, but as long as you are not selling copies I would think personal use only would slide by.

At Instant Online Word Search Puzzle Maker, found at

http://www.puzzle-maker.com/wordsearch_Entry

They have the interesting option of making the word search puzzle more complicated by listing clues, like a crossword puzzle instead of the words themselves that you have to find.

At ABCya.com they have a 5 step puzzle creator at http://www.abcya.com/make_a_word_search.htm

that is so simple a child could create their own word search.

Additional Word Search creators offer a wide variety of options including adding back grounds, different shapes etc.

Word find puzzles are a great thing to hand out for quiet time or maybe when a little quiet time is needed !

GGC-Word-Find-Preview

GGC-Word-Find-Solution

Make sure and include the solution key to the back of your book to help the frustrated few who don’t have the patience to finish the puzzle on their own.

 

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How to make easy Crossword Puzzles for Family Reunions or Family History Books

July 23

Genealogy-Gencrafts-Crossword-Puzzle-Example

CROSSWORD PUZZLES IN YOUR HISTORY & PHOTO BOOKS

One interesting way to get past the “Same Ole – Same Ole” in your family history and photo albums is to add a crossword puzzle whose clues must be gleaned from the content of the book.

In a family history book I did a crossword puzzle that used surnames as the answers. For the clues I went through and used everything from occupations, birth dates and locations and even the color of a shirt. Where people were married and what kind of pets they enjoyed (based on pictures found in the book) as well as who they were the father of, for example: the father of David. While the were numerous Davids in the book only one surname fit the number puzzle.

You definitely want to put the answer key in the back of the book.

 

CROSSWORD PUZZLES FOR FAMILY REUNIONS

Another great use for Crossword puzzles is an ice breaker at a family reunion. Depending on how co-operative your family is the questions could be anything from occupations, to get people talking to each other to physical traits, tall or red hair for example. If you are 100 percent sure of attendance you could have a clue of the oldest person or youngest person in attendance, who traveled the farthest to attend or where somebody graduated college. If you intend on wearing a polka dot shirt that could be your clue ! The possibility for clues are endless.

Since the odds are there will be lots of people with the same surname you might consider using first names and nick names also. Remembering you CAN use the same word more than once since the object will be to put the names in the right spots to work with the other words in the puzzle.

THE TOTALLY EASY WAY TO CREATE YOUR CROSSWORD PUZZLE

Once you come up with the Answer/Clue list all you have to do is go to one of the many free online crossword creators. Most often directed towards teachers they are all basically the same. Fill in the answer and the clue for each word and hit “Create” and they generate both the puzzle and the key to download. Some have different options, but they are all basically the same.

 

FREE CROSSWORD PUZZLE GENERATORS

Here are four, that I have used.

The Teacher’s Corner Puzzle Generator

Crossword Hobbist Generator

Education.com Crossword Generator

Discovery Education Generator

 

EXAMPLES OF CROSSWORDS I HAVE DONE

In my examples below, I typed in the questions directly on the page to make the columns fit perfectly, and used Photoshop to knock out the back ground of the puzzle and saved it as a transparent png file so that when I uploaded it you could see the background of the page. But I am a picky artist and if you don’t have the programs to manipulate the graphics it still looks great and is an interesting addition.

Crossword Puzzle from the Wheatley Family History and Photo Album

Crossword puzzle from the Wheatley Family History and Photo Album created by Jackie Whedbee

Crossword Puzzle Answer Page

Example of crossword puzzle answer page from the Wheatley Family History and Photo Album created by Jackie Whedbee

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