DIY Genealogy Fan Tutorial and Gift Idea {Guest Post}

Hello One Creative Mommy readers!  My name is Courtney from Fry Sauce and Grits, an eclectic lifestyle blog where my two sisters and I share our passions for: DIY, interior design, beauty, fashion, health, food, and creating!  I’m really thrilled to be here today!

Getting a gift for parents, grandparents, or any loved ones for that matter can be really hard.  You want to give them a priceless gift that isn’t going to ruin your holiday budget and that is going to be cherished, right?

A couple of years ago I was in this predicament of not knowing that the heck to get my parents for Christmas because they pretty much have everything they needed, and whenever I’d ask them what they wanted for Christmas, it was always the same answer, “Oh, I don’t really need anything, so don’t worry about getting me a present.”  Lame!

What if I told you, you could create a fabulous gift for a loved one that is priceless and that will be cherished for years to come and is affordable. It sounds too good to be true!  Keep reading.

DIY Genealogy Fan Tutorial and Gift Idea {Guest Post by Fry Sauce and Grits on}

I knew I wanted to give my parents that had to do something centered around family.  I did some research and found a really pretty genealogy chart from Martha Stewart’s site where you can print it off, but the only downside is you have to write in all of the names.  I started to do this and realized my handwriting really sucked, I made a bunch of mistakes, and this was going to take me F-O-R-E-V-E-R to complete!  Especially during the holiday season, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

The heavens opened and I came across a site called Tree Seek.  It’s a site where you can connect your account from Family Search or from Geni (you need to have an account with one of these to use this program, but if you don’t have one, I explain how to get one below) and it auto populates your genealogy into seven different designs for you to choose!  You save the file to a USB drive, go to your nearest printing shop, get it printed, and ta da!  You’re done!  It’s so easy.  I wanted mine to look really nice so I bought two frames from Hobby Lobby (I was able to use their coupon and it made them super affordable).When I gave them to my parents they were literally speechless and touched by this gift I gave them.  They have them hanging in their living room.  It’s pretty much been my favorite gift I’ve ever given them.  I loved them so much, I did a pair for McKay and I and ours are hanging on the wall above our couch in our family room.  It’s always a great conversation piece, and it’s fun to show people that I’m a descendent from two very noble and important people.

I’m going to show you how step by step how to create your own genealogy fan, so follow along!

1. Go to the Tree Seek website.  To start, click on the “Start Now!” button.

DIY Genealogy Fan Tutorial and Gift Idea {Guest Post by Fry Sauce and Grits on}

2. Select which site you want to auto populate your genealogy from.  Tree Seek only gives two options.  If you don’t have an account with either, you can create an account.  My account is through New Family Search, and when I started my account, I didn’t have any ancestor names.

The great thing about these sites, is all you need is one or two generations to start growing your family tree.  I added myself, then my parents, and the site starts suggesting people who are related to those people, and I was able to find my grandparents, great grandparents, and great great grandparents that someone else had already added. I was able to add those people to my line and before you knew it I had 10 generations worth of people on my account in less than 15 minutes.  Awesome!

DIY Genealogy Fan Tutorial and Gift Idea {Guest Post by on}
3. Sign in.  You’ll need to sign in your New Family Search or Geni account information.

DIY Genealogy Fan Tutorial and Gift Idea {Guest Post by on}

4. Select the starting person for your chart.  After you sign in, it will automatically show you a couple of different options for people for you to have your starting person be, like your parents, spouse and children.  If you don’t see the person, enter that person’s ID (every name on these genealogy sites have an ID number that’s assigned to each person).  Once you select which person you want the chart to start with, click “Create Data Set.”  It will take a few minutes for the website to pull all of those names.  Be patient.

Priceless Gift Idea from

5. Select a design.  Scroll down where you see the part that says, “create chart.”  You will see a drop down box with seven different design options.  Click on one and then click “create chart.”  The file will be automatically downloaded to your computer.  The great thing is you can can even email it!  If you want to print it out, I’d save the file to a USB drive. 

Family Gift Idea from

Here’s a look at what the seven different designs look like, so you can decide what look you like best:

1. Name Cloud

Genealogy Name Cloud from

 2. Four Generation Fan

Four Generations Fan from

3. Seven Generation Fan 

Seven Generation Fan from

4. Ten Generation Pedigree Chart 

Ten Generation Pedigree Chart from

5. Nine Generation Fan (this is the one I did)

Nine Generation Fan from

 6. Four Generation Pedigree Chart

Four Generation Pedigree Chart from

7. Nine Generation Pedigree Chart

Nine Generation Pedigree Chart from

The great thing about this site is you can download one of each design if you wanted, and it’s all FREE!

*Printing tips: I went to Kinkos to get my fan printed off because they’re close by, are reasonable priced, and I like their service.   I wanted to make my fan big enough so you could actually read the names and I wanted mine to be in color (the one downside is you can’t change the colors of these fans).The dilemma I ran into was the size I felt comfortable with was a 16X20.  The only printer they had at Kinkos that could print in color that big was their big massive printer.  Which was going to a bit more pricey.  I spent around $30 on each of the prints and I got two of them.  These prints are saved as a PDF so they’ll be able to adjust the size to what you want, but if you want to be able to read the names clearly, I recommend you to print it in a larger size.

Like I said in the beginning, framing them makes them look so much nicer.  I got my two black 16X20 frames for about $15 each at Hobby Lobby with a coupon.  SO about $90 for the pair.  If you wanted to do it a lot more cost effective, you can get it printed black and white and it will be significantly less.I hope this tutorial will help you to give a priceless gift for a loved one for the holidays.  This would also be a great gift for a birthday or anniversary.  Genealogy is definitely not just for the elderly. I think it’s freakin awesome and so cool to know where and who you came from.  It’s really exciting and what a great piece of art this would look on your wall in your living or family room.

Make sure to follow my sisters and I on our blogFacebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram!


Thank you so much to Courtney for guest posting today!  I love genealogy, so I am really excited about this project.  If you haven’t visited Fry Sauce & Grits before, you are in for a treat.  Here are three of my favorite posts by Courtney (the images are linked):

6 Easy Embellised OnesiesGluten Free Pumpkin Pork EnchilladasQuinoa Salad with Sesame Lime Dressing

I’m glad you stopped by.  If you like what you see, please like, pin, tweet, +1, or share in some way!

Click here to see all the fantastic sites I like to link up with each week.


  1. This looks amazing, I have done loads of work on our family tree with my Dad so something like this would be a fantastic present for him (and he is SO hard to buy/make for) All our research is on Ancestry but this weekend I’ll start searching around to see what I can do with their charts.
    Thank you so much for the brilliant idea.

  2. This is exactly what I was planning to make for my Father in law. Thanks for saving me a ton of time figuring out how to do it!

  3. Oh, my dad would love this! And he is so very difficult to shop for… Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  4. I love it! I gave a genealogy fan to my in-laws since I had done a ton of work on their family line and wanted to share it for them. Gave to them as a gift for Christmas along with other documents and family group sheets.

  5. Hey Heidi,
    All of these genealogy charts are great. We love the fan and the cloud. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Link Party.
    Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

  6. Which one do you look for if you have a biological father but later on in life you are adopted?

    • I’m not sure what you mean, Judy. If you are wondering what line to search for your family history — your biological line or your adopted line — I think that’s up to you.

  7. We have over 100 people in our family. I have everyone’s name and birthdate, beginning with my grandparents born in the late 1800’s. Is there a way to create this, if I know the names, without having to handwrite the names?

    • Hi, Cheryl. Sorry I missed your comment last month. This post was a guest post written by Courtney at Fry Sauce and Grits. (The link to her blog is at the beginning of the post.) I’m afraid I have not made one of these, so I can’t answer your question. If you have read through her instructions, and you still have questions, I suggest you reach out to Courtney. Good luck!

  8. I was fascinated to see this chart. My brother and I have been looking for something like your Fan Chart. My brother is on the 12th or 13th generation. We are looking forward to having our Family Tree displayed on our wall. Thank you!!!

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