Simple Ancestor Tree Tutorial
This is an update to a blog post I made last year on wordpress!
The Ancestor Tree is a beautiful way to continue holiday traditions in your home!
- Mannequin or Dress Form
- Typically people use female, but I'm sure a male form could make a lovely tree too!
- Brown skinned mannequins are admittedly hard to find, just do your best with whats available to you. I got one on on Amazon for cheap due to her having a defect on her toe (so typically $300, I got for $75)
- Look on Craigslist, Ebay, and be sure to give your old one away to a spiritual Black girl when replacing! 💖
- Consider using a miniature to place on the table, or propping up a doll and decorating her as a tree!
- Dress/Nice Shirt
- Feel free to make the whole thing with greenery if you don't want to use your clothes or buy new ones (pics below)!
- Optional: Chicken wire
- I use no chicken wire on my tree to save time and money, however purchasing chicken wire to shape and create a big poofy dress can create an ethereal effect and accommodates use of real branches. You will need to get wire cutters and might want gloves for your hands!
- Find 2 50' garlands. or the longest you can find. I've linked you to Walmart here.
- These can come plain or pre decorated, this is up to your budget.
- I had to search a while in Dec 2018 but found them for $8 at Bed Bath & Beyond (receipt below), so keep looking around! Unfortunately now they don't have these same ones on their site.
- Ideal for those allergic or unable to use real branches
- Alternatively you can use fallen branches from a local tree lot, which is usually free.
- In this case you will also require twine or chicken wire to attach the branches, it is no longer optional! This method is slightly more complicated, however can give a fuller dress effect.
- I also include an image suggestion below for using the old hook branches of artificial trees, as well as a puffy green skirt as a tree base... Get creative!
- LED Tree Lights
- I used 2 21' lights. Even though white, mine blend in fine.
- Headwrap/Wig/Crown for head.
- So far I have only done an Asase Yaa/Mother Earth/Nature theme, so have used flower decor. Your theme could include a certain color, honor a certain Ancestor, etc.
- Waistbeads are always a nice touch!
- Wings or a crown can add an element of honor that could elevate your tree.
- Use the traditional balls and ornaments you own and love!
- Set up mannequin/dress form
- Put on the dress/shirt
- If using chicken wire, shape now into a skirt/ball gown shape on the lower half of the mannequin.
- If you are using live branches, arrange them by tucking the ends into the chicken wire.
- If using twine & live branches:
- Tie one around the waist, one around the thigh, and one around the knees. Add more or less depending on fullness of dress desired.
- Tuck and hang the live branches in the three strings starting at the knees and layering up to form a skirt of foliage.
- If using a garland (pictured method):
- Wrap the garland around the body, tucking in the ends gently on itself.
- Wind around the waist and legs down to the floor, or around the chicken wrap skirt. being sure to keep its shape.
- Arrange the lights. I like to start from the bottom and go up.
- Wrap the head-wrap around their head or use a wig.
Calling it an Ancestor Tree gives us a chance to celebrate the Winter Solstice festivities in a familiar way, as well as focus on our Ancestors and personal non-Abrahamic spiritual and religious practices.
Hope you enjoy the quick tutorial, ask me any questions below! ✨ And may your Ancestors and Spirit Guides be with you at every crossroads in this new year 💛
📷 @thesacredbruja @spiritualblackgirls
My 2018 Tree:
My 2019 Tree:
Dress Form Tree Inspo From Pinterest:
This final one is to inspire you to make it on the wall out of paper and other items you happen to have 💖