A couple of months ago some leaders in our church kids program asked me if I would help create a tree in the new children's wing of our church. We had a tube to use as the form to begin. I then had to come up with a plan of how we were going to make the simple cylinder shape transform into a tree.
First we collected branches to use on our tree. Then we made openings in the cylinder for the branches to fit into. Next we spray painted the branches brown to match the same brown color we were going to be painting the trunk with. The branches came without leaves so we purchased silk leaves from the craft store and attached them onto the branches with wire. We then secured the branches into the "trunk" and made the tree look as if it were going through the ceiling by only attaching a few limbs to the tree.
The easiest way that I could think of to give the tree texture was to use paper mache. We dipped pieces of newspaper in the standard glue/water paper mache mixture and started sticking them to the tree creating textured creases. It was already starting to look like a tree trunk!
After that part was completed we moved on to the roots. We twisted newspaper into long clumps taping them so they wouldn't unfold and tapering them at the bottom where the roots would end. We then taped them onto the trunk and added more newspaper on top of the taped areas where they were attached to give a more gradual, natural slope. After letting the paper mache dry, I painted the trunk brown and gave it a coat of polycrylic protective finish over the whole thing to protect it from little hands ripping into the newspaper. Not to say that won't still happen, but it at least will help a little with that!
I am so thrilled with how it came out!! It is such a great addition to the new Junior Power Kids wing! My son was thrilled this past weekend when he was able to use it for the first time!
I also painted this cute little train that kids can pose behind for pictures for the "Creation Station" theme they have going on right now. I was so happy to be a small part of making this new kid space a fun and exciting space to be in! To learn more about Grace Church's Power Kids program here in Akron, Ohio, click HERE.