How To Make A Paper Mache Tree

I know, it's something you've been wondering for a long time... "Just how am I going to make that paper mache tree??"

Well fear not... Mrs P is here to help solve all your paper mache tree problems.

Ok, First up, Get yourself a butt load of chicken wire and start making a trunk. I've made this tree in 2 parts so it's easier to transport. If it's gonna be big, then think about weather or not it's going to fit through the doorway... just saying!



Use the chicken wire to make branches and roots, twist wire to the trunk to attach them and tie them as tight as you can.  The more secure your initial structure is, the better. Simply putting wet paper mace onto wire is a total nightmare... it doesn't have anything to stick to. I used masking tape and lost of it to reinforce the branches and give the first layer of paper something to stick to. imagine the tree has been bitten by a snake and wrap the tape like a bandage around each turn.. you gotta wrap it tight, and tell the tree to stay calm, you don't want that snake poison to spread now do you?




Then add your paper. Lots of it, lots of layers. I started with big layers in the large areas and worked my way into smaller pieces with the branches and folds. My paper mache mix was PVA glue, flour and water... and salt to stop the mould from killing my tree. I dipped each piece in the mix and used a brush to coat both sides, then BAM! Onto the tree. I like to work quickly and then let the layer dry for a day or so. I was in a hurry, so I only did about 4 layers... if that.



The painting was a total pain in the ass. For some reason it took forever. Naught me didn't seal it first, so the paint changed the texture of the tree and kind of shrivelled the paper.. not to worry.. I kind of liked how it looked, but if you wanna go deluxe, make sure the tree is TOTALLY dry before you start priming and painting. 2 coats of brown house paint did the job for me. I poked holes in the branches where I wanted the foliage to spring out from and used gorgeous bendy wire branches with silk leaves from a florist supply store. 


And last but not least... add some fairy lights for that little twinkle... Who knows, you might even win first place for your awesome creative skills.... 



12 comments:

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    1. Lots! Buy a roll of the small stuff (bigger holes are harder to work with in terms of detail. xx

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  2. How tall was the finished tree? How much chicken wire did you use? I'm making a giant coral as a prop for a "under the sea" themed dance. Thanks for the great ideas!

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    1. Hi Dani, I havent calculated exactly how much chicken wire, I just bought a big roll and used as much as it took! And while i haven't measured the tree exactly, it's about 2 meters tall?? A proper tree!

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  3. That's awesome. As a school teacher I've done and seen my share of paper mache but your tree takes the cake! :)

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  4. the tree looks great but lke whts the exact height of the plot?

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  5. Wow! That is the best hand made tree I've seen online!! I would like to make one with some students for a large School Board wide Book Club event so I would have to make it in one place and transport it to the event. Were the trunk and branches eventually stuck together or are they two separate entities?

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    1. Hello you can visit my blog: http://aquarelaescoladart.com/foguera-sant-joan-2012/ an see how to move your tree in three pieces

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    2. Thanks Mary! I kept the tree in two parts, it's so easy to separate and then just put together. I also leave the foliage off till i'm done transporting it, then I stick the leaves into the branches.

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  6. Beautiful tree! about how long did it take you to complete it?

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