I love to find new ways to visualize my family tree. The standard branching format is very useful for seeing how everyone is related, but sometimes I like to try something different, something more artful. My newest crafty family tree creation is easy to make but looks very complicated: the Spiral Family Tree.
What You Need:
- A list of your family tree members
- A typing program, like MS Word or Notepad
- Access to the internet to visit: http://www.festisite.com/
What You Do:
- Make a list of all the names you would like to appear in your Spiral Family Tree. You can do them in any order you like. For my spiral, I wanted the list to start with my daughter, followed by her father, her mother, her paternal grandfather, paternal grandfather, maternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, and so on.
I also wanted my daughter to be in the center of the spiral, with all the names leading out from her. To do this, her name must be the last name on the list. The first name on the list will be on the very outer edge of the spiral, followed by the next name, and so on. So I created my list with my daughter as the very last name. You can choose differently, if you like.
For the most flexibility, make your list a continuous list of names with no returns, like this:
* maternal paternal grandmother * maternal paternal grandmother * maternal paternal grandfather * paternal paternal grandmother * paternal paternal grandfather * maternal grandmother * maternal grandfather * paternal grandmother * paternal grandfather * mother * father * daughter *
Not like this:
* maternal paternal grandmother *
maternal paternal grandmother *
maternal paternal grandfather *
paternal paternal grandmother *
paternal paternal grandfather *
maternal grandmother *
maternal grandfather *
paternal grandmother *
paternal grandfather *
- Once you have your list ready, go to the internet and open http://www.festisite.com. FestiSite is a free website that allows you to create .pdf documents of text in interesting text layouts. Because it is a .pdf, there is not a whole lot of flexibility, but for our purposes, it is fine.
- Along the top red bar (as of 2 May 2014), click “Instant Creativity.” This will bring down a list of options. Click on “Text Layout.”
- On the Text Layout screen, choose the picture of the Spiral text in the upper right hand corner.
- In the text box on the left hand side of the screen, erase the text already there.
- Copy your prepared list from the typing program you used (highlight the list, then hit the cntrl key and the “C” key at the same time).
- Go back to the festisite.com website and paste your list into the text box (put your cursor in the text box and hit the cntrl key and the “V” key at the same time).
- Select the font and font size you want from the choices below the text box.
- Click the “Layout Text” button below your text.
- A .pdf file will open for you. Save the file to your computer.
- Print your spiral and do what you like!
- You may also clip an image of your spiral to make it into a .jpeg that can be inserted into word documents by using an image snipping tool on your computer.
If you would like to try the other options for text layout, play around with them, following the same steps but choosing the Valentine or Waves option in the upper right corner.