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One of our DIY projects is the guest book. I really wanted a thumbprint tree, but I couldn't find one that I would even consider spending $100-150 for the size of our wedding. I scoured Etsy for days. The most reasonable one I found that I REALLY liked was $89. Still not something I wanted to spend.

Finally, I realized, I have a super crafty fiancee, who is more than capable of making a thumbprint tree! Problem solved, we could get it done for under $10 plus the price of a frame… so maybe $15-20 total! HOORAY!

Well it hasn't been that easily unfortunately. Nathan has been really picky… his first try was on a canvas panel 18×24. He hated it, he believes that the marker ran and it looks sloppy. It's my favorite of his two tries…

The second try was on poster board, same marker, same design, a little bigger. He hates it. I don't understand his reasoning on that one either.

Now we're stuck between the budget savvy option that I think is adorable, and spending a lot of money on one from Etsy, which are beautiful, but I'm not sure I want to spend money on something I really don't have to.

Maybe I'll have Nathan try again if he can find the time…I've heard that the third time's a charm.

Any advice? I need some budget savvy help on this one…

thumbprint tree
My favorite, The tree on the canvas.
thumbprint tree
I wouldn't mind using this one either though!


thumbprint tree
Nathan's only tool outside of the canvas and poster board.


Which one do you like? Help, Please!

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About Joscelyn

My name is Joscelyn, I'm 24 years old and live in the Pittsburgh, PA area. I work with children on the Autism Spectrum and am currently enrolled in grad school for special education. I'm recently engaged and planning my dream wedding, I can't wait to share it!

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  • Without a doubt, second image. It has great sketch quality and artistic flare. The spacing of the branches in the second allows for guests’ thumbprints to be spaced out more, too. The first one is cute but the thumbprints will get bunched up a bit. I wouldn’t spend money for an Etsy version when he did such a great job here. Plus how special is it that it was created by your fiance?? Seriously, run with it. 🙂

  • Alicia

    I kind of like the first one. the heart is super cute!

  • Karen

    Definitely the second one! It looks more like a tree. And I agree with Jennifer that it would be easier for thumbprints. Both look great though!

  • Sarah Meaney

    Hi Joscelyn,
    I’m also live in Pittsburgh! I would vote #2, agreeing that it would lend more space for guests. I also like the flowy style. I am also doing a thumbprint tree. I am a graphic designer so I have a lot of art experience, but I actually asked my brother to make it for me, and it turned out great!

    A couple of things to keep in mind…
    PAPER, I have learned a lot about paper in my profession and you have to think about how the ink will take to the paper when people “sign”. You don’t want a bunch of smudges…
    I believe we went with a bristol (in any craft store). But I was considering a nice water color paper too. Often the paper will be labeled by which medium it works best with. Splurge on decent paper. It will last longer, and ultimately look better.

    Remember to leave some space for your frame! My brother went a little close to the edges, and he still saved an inch or 2, so I will have to use a matte when I frame it.

    Now the DRAWING. If he isn’t happy with what he’s done here are some idea’s.
    If it’s easier for him to draw smaller, have it enlarged for a couple bucks at an office supply store. Or find one and print it, then just transfer it onto your paper. You can rub pencil all over the back of the image and trace over the lines (from the front) and it will transfer the pencil onto your desired paper. Or you can buy transfer paper. Then Ink over.

    Sorry for the novel! I hope this helps! 🙂 Good Luck!!! My wedding is in 2 weeks! 😀

  • 39bride

    I like the 2nd one, but how big is your wedding? There are some nice free ones out there that you can use to personalize with your own names, etc. Would that be an option for you?

  • Cherie M.

    I hope this link helps you!!!

    It is a free tree thumbprint printable and you can customize the colors and words!

    <3 Cherie

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