December 26, 2013

Paper Mache Tree Project

This is the first post of my now completed paper mache tree project :)

This post contains affiliate links (see bottom of post for explanation).

Hope you had a merry christmas and didn't eat as much food as I did!

The day after a big one, I always absolutely crave to get creative. My mind spins with possibilities for some reason, and choosing one project is almost too hard. But I have been working on a project in my girls' room, with hopes of painting a mural in there too.

We have only been living in our house for three years, and there is sooooo much I want to do with it. I have decided to tackle one room at a time so it doesn't seem so overwhelming. Who knows if I'll stick to the plan! Usually I'll hang out in a space and ideas will conjure up and slowly I plan and plan and dream until they become reality. I know exactly what I want to do in each room, to the exact details of fabric colours and finishes, shelf sizes etc etc.. it's almost for me there is no thinking about 'what to do', the ideas just flow to me easily. If I wasn't an artist I think my next line of work would be interior design; although I would die if people just wanted neutral.. colour and quirk would be my specialty! After all, I have painted my whole house in a mustard yellow colour... looks a bit full on at the moment, but I swear I DO have plans!

Anyway, I digress, a big paper mache tree is one of my works in progress at the moment. Ever since I borrowed the book Bedtime Without Arthur from the library it inspired me to start this project, as I would really love to paint a mural around the tree sort of in this style.

I love all the flowing lines, contrast and colours in Jessica Meserve's illustrations.

This is the illustration in the book that inspired me to make a forest theme in my girls' bedroom. Isn't it just so lovely?

And so, the chicken wire frame is complete and we are now busy paper macheing paper to it using the most simple to make kid safe glue.. plain flour and water! No cooking required! It's great to get the kids involved as flour and water wipe up easily so I don't get too stressed out about the mess. Washes out of clothes easily too. Fun.

So, once it's all covered in paper I will paint it and add painted branches to the walls, and a bunch of other stuff too. Of course, it's already all planned out in my head...

Update: This project is now finished. You can view the progress blog posts using the links below:

Progress shots:

The completed tree:

Jules :)

*Affiliate Information: Affliliate links help me earn small commissions on products (at no extra cost to you), which helps support my love of blogging and sharing creative things. I only ever recommend or link to products that I'm genuinely into.


Lauren Mahin said...

Would love to see this finished! Redoing my daughter's room as a fairy tale forest. :)

JackieW said...

Love the book and your idea! I want to make a free standing tree....never did anything like this before. How do you shape and cut chicken wire???? TIA!

Jules Madden said...

Hi Jackie, if you want to make a free standing tree I think you'd have to have a good support structure built underneath, like a welded metal frame or one made from wood. You should find cutters at your local hardware store, and it shapes pretty easily.. wear gloves!

Andrea said...

Hello, I want to make a tree like yours that fits in the corner for my class but wondering if you used anything to support this as I've noticed with the freestanding ones they tend to have a plywood structure or similar. Many thanks

Jules Madden said...

Hi Andrea,
This one just has chicken wire, but for a classroom yes I would recommend some reinforcement. I think making a wooden framework for the chicken wire to be shaped on top of would work well.

Anonymous said...

Very good site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user
discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here?
I'd really like tto be a part of online community where I ccan get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

Jules Madden said...

Hi 'anon', I'd try some craft forums, perhaps on Facebook?

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me how you attached your tree to wall? I am looking to build a tree in the next couple of weeks similar to yours..which is beautiful by the way.

Stephen Robart said...

Extremely! Amazing!! informative article, well researched and clearly presented. Your hard work shown in your writing. Thank you for the hard work.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jules Madden said...

We popped some screws and washers into the wall through random points of the chicken wire to hold it in place. I am in the process of relocating this tree so I will post better instructions about that soon!

Unknown said...

Hey Jules, i would like to make a tree like yours for my cats to climb on. Do you think its save enough with only chicken wire in it ?

Jules Madden said...

I think it would be strong enough for cats- as the paper mache is pretty sturdy, just make sure you put enough layers on until you get the strength you need. If you can manage making a wooden frame for it first that would be even better!


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