Let me paint a funny little picture for you… you arrive to a darling wedding reception and as you walk in you are prompted to sign the guest book – normal right? Except it’s one of those thumb print tree guest books… of course it’s adorable and you go to make you mark. After pressing your thumb to the paper you need to wipe that green ink off your finger, but there aren’t any wet wipes left. So you wipe it off as best you can but the ink remains for a couple days after the happy occasion. Not that big of a deal – but what if it was worse? The ink could have ended up on your face, clothing or even your purse! I know because I’ve heard stories. Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not knocking that trend – but merely offering a fun and unique alternative. The Painted Tree Guest Book. Have your guests paint a special leaf on your tree as their guest book mark! I guarantee it will become one of your most favorite works of art… and don’t underestimate the creativity of your guests – their talent might just surprise you. After all, they are just painting leaves…
I came up with this idea when one of my besties wanted to do the thumbprint thing on reclaimed rustic wood for her baby shower – ink wouldn’t work so paint was easily the answer. Here’s the picture of her tree halfway through the shower, isn’t it darling!?!
- large wooden plaque, any type will do (ours is 12″ x 16″)
- cute frame
- Martha Stewart Craft paint in your choice of color, see ours in the credits
- glass jars
- paint brushes
- easel for your wood plaque
—> Download THIS free 5″ x7″ guestbook sign frame!
Start by painting your tree onto your choice of wood. You can buy a simple plaque like this one or build your own – any wood will do.
Here, I traced the outline of my tree first and then painted over it… feeling each branch as I went. Your tree can look however you want it to look!
To add a little dimension to your tree, while the darker paint is still wet – go back and add a little lighter brown to your trunk and blend.
Add a simple date and your names and you are good to go!
At your reception, have your wedding planner fill each jar with paint. Normally leaving paint out like this isn’t a great idea – but for the short time it will be left out, it will be fine. Plan on throwing the glasses and brushes away after it’s over. Unless you really like cleaning things :)
Set up the frame, tree board and paints for your guests to get creative with! Here we have it set up on a cocktail table which is a great height to paint, for someone who is standing.
CRAFTERS TIP: to encourage your guests to paint fun leaves, you might want to add a few different types to the board before your event – that way they have a visual example of what to do.
I’m totally in love with this project and I hope you are too!
You can choose ANY paint colors you want!!! Whatever fits your theme.
There are many different leaves that one could paint…
Your guests will LOVE this interactive guest book and you will love the result.
It’s so much fun to see the tree come to life… you have no idea what to expect and that’s the best part!
Personally I love this because it’s a piece of art created by everyone that is the most special to you. Creating a wonderful keepsake that you will cherish.
Just so you know… you can use ANY paint colors that you want! Make this project fit your unique theme! Here I stained the wood plaque first and painted the outline of a tree in white – having the leaves in shades of blue and turquoise, my fav!
As with all our DIY tutorials, if you create one of our projects please send us a picture or a trackback – We Love Seeing Your Creativity! If you use Instagram or Twitter please use the hashtag #SomethingTurquoiseDIY. Happy Crafting!
DIY Tutorial Credits
Photography: Studio 11 Weddings // DIY tutorial + free download: Jen | Something Turquoise // frame, 12″ x 16″ wooden plaque, easel, and dairy glass jars: Michaels // Martha Stewart Crafts paint brushes and paints in: Green Tree – Vanilla Bean, Chestnut Brown, Pesto, Spring Pasture, Mint, Glitter Peridot, and Granny Smith – Blue Tree: Wedding Cake, Wild Blueberry, Indigo, Pool, Blue Sky, and Beach Glass: courtesy of the Editors at Martha Stewart Living // white polka dot burlap: JoAnns // font used: Thirsty Rough // nail polish: Essie Urban Jungle