Some dislike the notion of observing death, preferring to celebrate the life of the deceased. Visiting a graveyard is depressing for some, yet creating a memory tree can serve the same purpose without the need in going to a sad place. Moreover, memory trees are not for the deceased alone; you can create a tree to commemorate a birth, anniversary, graduation, or other special occasion.
Alive or Fake Tree
To start, you’ll need a tree. Depending on the occasion and recipient, you may decide that a living or fake tree is more appropriate. For example, you may want to celebrate a nephew’s first Halloween. You could decorate a living tree with dated pictures of their parents’ first Halloween, orange and black ribbon, and of course, candy! Since the pictures can be kept or given back and the candy will be eaten, the longevity of the tree is secondary. However, if you would like the recipient to preserve the tree, using it as decoration for each Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc, then a fake tree is the way to go.
All the Trimmings
Of course, a memory tree is a way to remember a time or person, but it’s also a piece of art. Be sure to spare no creativity as you devise your tree, decorating it with ribbons, ornaments, candy, or whatever you see fit. Get trimming from the arts and crafts store, buy personalized Christmas ornaments online, or use personal items of the deceased or living.
Create a Theme
If you’re making a memory tree to honor the deceased, consider choosing a theme, like their favorite place or pastime to showcase throughout. For example, if they loved going to San Francisco, you can use block letters to spell out “San Fran” or popular streets and destinations in the town; buy toy trolley cars to arrange between the leaves of the tree; and, borrow the color scheme from the state’s flag. If you’re making a tree for a young one’s birthday, consider their favorite cartoon or storybook.
Make a Forest
To save money, buy trimming and other art supplies in bulk. Rather than birthday or Christmas cards, make a tree for family members and friends. Most people expect cards but memory trees are incredibly unique and sure to stand out from other tokens. If you’re feeling especially industrious, consider putting an ad in the newspaper or creating a website so people can make orders. You’d be surprised at how many people love the idea of giving a memory tree but don’t have the time or skill to make one. Also, ask local vendors at arts and crafts stores to exhibit a few trees, promising to give them a percentage of money from orders that originate from their store’s customers.
There are no rules or ceiling to the creativity involved in creating a memory tree. Additionally, it’s a great way to honor the deceased or remind those still living that they’re special and deserved of a personalized gift.
Lisa Hanson combines raising a family with her passion for DIY crafts and loves to share her ideas with an online audience. She has written a number of blogs about the subject on various websites.