Cross Stitch

Family Tree (step by step)

© The Mills' Mill
Family Tree

About two years ago Josh and I came up with this plan for an exceptional gift for someone very special: Josh’s Grandma. Project after project, deadline after deadline, this lovely venture got lost in our pile and fell down the ranks of our to-do lists until we finally made up our minds to finish it before our deadline. It took a lot of dedication and long hours of stitching, right after long hours of work, but I was able to finish it and we were able to finally give it to Grandma as a gift on her special occasion. If you like our idea and you enjoy cross stitching as much as I do, maybe you can try to make your own family tree for someone special in your life. We can assure you that your special person will LOVE the gift 😉

© The Mills' Mill
Family Tree


Here’s our eight step process with pictures and a little description to help you with your project.

© The Mills' Mill
Family Tree – Step by step

STEP ONE: Get your materials together!

Choose a fabric of your favorite colour where you can easily count the stitches. We thought olive green fabric with black stitches would make a great contrast for our project. You can also use Aida fabrics, designed for cross stitching made easy. 🙂

STEP TWO: Choose a pattern!

Pick your favorite tree design and convert it into a grid design pattern (we liked a pattern we saw somewhere a while ago with a tree by a lake). Too much work for your busy schedule? Search for a ready-made, free pattern from the internet and modify it as you please.

STEP THREE: Prepare your path for an easy cross stitching experience!

Divide your fabric into squares to match your design, using thread or using pencil lines. Don’t worry; you will be able to remove the thread or wash the pencil later on.

TIP: If you’re using a thread to divide the fabric into squares, use a thread that has a totally different colour than the colours you will use on your tree. It will be easier to remove them when you’re done.

© The Mills' Mill
Family Tree – Step by step

STEP FOUR: Make a family member diagram!

Make a list of your family members that you will include in your family tree and design a diagram of their connection to each other.

STEP FIVE: Place the family names on the tree design!

Place the family member diagram onto the tree design you found, created or modified in step two. Your diagram has the areas you won’t stitch. They need to be left empty for now, until you’re ready to stitch the names.

STEP SIX: Ready, set, go!

Now you’re all set to start your stitching adventure. Follow your pattern design faithfully and have fun!!!

STEP SEVEN: Clean up your masterpiece!

After you’re done with all the stitching, it’s time to remove all the extra thread you used to divide the squares or wash out the pencil lines with soap and water. It’s a very delicate job, especially if you used thread, so you have to be patient.

STEP EIGHT: Add the chef’s touch!

Now is the perfect time to put those family names on the tree one by one. We chose to do the connections between the family names with a silver thread, but you can use whatever colour you prefer. After you’re finished with the connecting lines, your cross stitch masterpiece is finally completed.

For those who want to take their masterpieces to the next level, follow the extra steps below and be prepared to ramp up your creativity level. 🙂

Taking your cross stitch masterpiece to the next level extra steps!

If you want to be extra creative or more fancy you can try to find a decent frame for your cross stitch masterpiece to hang it on the wall OR you can use two wooden sticks and a short chain to craft your own special hanger. Here’s a quick step by step if you decide to challenge yourself every minute the way we do. 😛

© The Mills' Mill
Family Tree – Step by step

EXTRA STEP ONE: Two wooden sticks needed!

Cut two wooden sticks five centimetres (about two inches) wider than the width of your finished cross stitch masterpiece. Divide the extra space into four partitions where the first and the last partitions are equal and the two middle partitions are the same length as each other. Measurements for these ones are totally up to you depending on the design you prefer for this step.

EXTRA STEP TWO: Let’s get carving!

With and exacto-knife or a wood carver, carefully carve the two middle partitions outward (dipping toward the middle) and carve the tip of the wooden stick a little bit too, just enough to round its shape.

EXTRA STEP THREE: Let’s get smoothing!

Grab a small piece of sand paper and start smoothing the edges of the wooden stick and the partitions that you carved earlier until they look rounder and smoother at the edges.

EXTRA STEP FOUR: Finishing your job with style!

Wrap the chain around one of the edges of your unique, wooden hanger and then slide the other edge of the hanger through your cross stitch masterpiece. The last move is to wrap the other edge of the chain around the other edge of the hanger. Slide the second unique, wooden hanger through the bottom of your cross stitch masterpiece and voila!

Your gift is ready to be wrapped for the amazing surprise gift or ready to be hung on the wall with style!

Let us know how it worked for you, if you need any help, or if you have any questions that need to be answered.

#1 Dad

© The Mills' Mill
#1 Dad

This was a little project Josh and I did a few years ago for Josh’s Dad on Father’s Day, and since yesterday was Father’s Day we thought we’d share it with you guys. 🙂 We don’t know about your dads but Father’s Day reminds us just how very special our Dads are; first of all because they’re our Dads, which makes them special automatically. 😛 They are always there for us, they’re caring, loving, full of joy and humor, and did I mention handsome? … and they definitely love to relax on their couches with a hot cup of chocolate after a very tiring day at work. That’s why we chose a Teddy Bear drinking hot chocolate to represent our Dads. 🙂

Don’t have a Father’s Day gift yet? Then let’s get to work; choose your favorite pattern that represents your dad the best, pick a cute frame to pair with your pattern, choose the best colours for your threads, because this gift is very special and it will really impress your dad. 🙂 He’ll be happy to know that you got your talents from him (…well maybe not the cross stitching skill. That must come from your mom :P), but he’ll be proud of you anyways. He’s #1 Dad after all!

Have fun, enjoy and Happy Father’s Day!

Birth Certificate

© The Mills' Mill
Birth Certificate

This was the cutest little project and I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun cross-stitching. It was simple to make, didn’t involve endless hours of stitching and it was our Christmas gift to Brooklynn, the newest member of our extended family, who joined our family in September. It was Brooklynn’s very first Christmas so Josh and I wanted to give her a memorable, attractive and delightful gift. That’s how we came up with the birth certificate idea.

If you want to make something like this, all you need is a simple, cute pattern, pretty colours of threads, a wooden or plastic frame and some fluffy ribbon. But don’t forget that the most important material you need is loads of love. 😀

So go on, get thinking, get creative and have fun! 🙂

© The Mills' Mill
Birth Certificate – Step by step
Copyright © 2018 Sonilda Bardhoshi Mills, Joshua Joseph Mills.
All rights reserved. Published in Canada by The Mills' Mill.

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