Wedding Wednesday: Guest Book Today, Artwork Tomorrow

Instead of using a traditional wedding guest book at our wedding, we chose a non-traditional concept.  Everyone has heard of a family tree, right?  Well, this is a similar concept, but you capture all of your guests’ fingerprints and signatures on a canvas (or another surface) to resemble a tree full of leaves.  Better known as a wedding guest book tree.  You not only have a way to remember who helped you celebrate your special day, but you when the party’s over you have a new piece of artwork to hang on your walls.

Wedding Guest Tree Canvas 1

Wedding Guest Tree Canvas

Photos above By Mark Schlanser

Paul hand painted the tree on our canvas.  I purchased ink pads in fall leaf colors, fine tip sharpie markers and wipes to complete the Guest Book Family Tree table.  The sign near the canvas read: Please leaf your thumbprint and sign your name to our family tree.

Want to make your own?  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canvas– we used 20 x 24  (we had around 230 guests and had plenty of room on the tree, but not everyone signed)
  • Oil Paints (we bought a cheap set from Michaels)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Ink Pads in preferred colors ( The Memento brand has perfect size pads for thumbs)
  • Fine Tip Sharpie Pens
  • Wipes


  1. Practice hand drawing the tree on paper or a practice canvas before hand
  2. Practice painting on paper or practice canvas if you’re not familiar with the brush/paint techniques
  3. If you don’t feel comfortable free handing the tree, use soft pencil lines to draw the tree before painting
  4. Let the tree paint dry 48 hours before people start signing and thumb-printing to avoid smudges

Here is the finished result displayed on our wall along side our wedding day photos and other memorabilia.

Inviting the President to Your Wedding Wedding Wall Gallery Wall

Wedding Guest Tree Canvas 3

Like the idea, but not interested in making your own?  Do not fear.  You can find blank tree prints over at Etsy or do a Google search to find other websites that sell similar items.  There are many other cute thumbprint style guest book ideas, too.  Like this hand made print with a couple holding a bunch of balloons.  How cute is that? Search Etsy for “thumbprint guest book” for many other ideas.  Are you having your guests sign with their thumbprints?


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