Making a DIY Family Newsletter

By Grace Dobush Premium

If your family is spread out around the country (or the world), you might feel sometimes like you’re left in the dark. That feeling of being out of the loop became a running joke in Nicole Ziegler‘s family. She told the FPO blog:

For years, whenever my grandparents were asked how a relative was doing or what’s going on with a cousin, my grandparents’ favorite response was always, “I don’t know anything, honey, I’m just a mushroom” — meaning they, like mushrooms, are kept in the dark. Last Christmas when I was home visiting, the phrase of the week whenever family news was mentioned was, “Put it in  The Mushroom Gazette.”

Ziegler, a graphic designer from Chicago, decided to make the mythical newspaper a reality. She solicited news and events from her family members by sending out a postcard. She then created The Mushroom Gazette using her computer, home printer and a sewing machine. She put together 10 copies, enough to send one to each household.

Ziegler used high-end design software to put together the newsletter, but it’s possible for a civilian to make a good-looking newsletter with simple tools.

From the January 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine

More great genealogy resources from Family Tree Magazine: