So I’ll be at the beach all year this school year and I have these wonderful palm trees to thank for that. I promise they aren’t as impossible as they might look. They do take a little time and effort, but they are so worth it! I currently have them placed in our library, pretend center, and next to the Smartboard. I plan on making a couple more for our door.
What you’ll need:
- lots of brown butcher or bulletin board paper
- green bulletin board paper
- hot glue gun and sticks
- thin wire
- two pool noodles (only one pictured above)
- dark brown paint (not pictured)
- paint brush (not pictured)
- tape (packing, duct, or masking)
- lots of floor space to work
I suggest you read through all of the steps before starting, so you get an idea of the entire process.
- Tape two palm trees together as shown.
- Using a lot of brown bulletin board paper, scrunch up a large piece and wrap it around the pool noodles. You should wrap more around the base of the noodles. You may use tape and some hot glue to stick it to the noodle as you wrap. This part won’t look pretty, but it doesn’t matter because you are just creating volume for the tree that will be covered in the next step.
- Lay out a long piece of your brown paper and place the tree lengthwise on the paper. You are going to wrap the tree with this outer layer. Use hot glue to make the outer layer stick. Wrap it tighter at the top of the tree, so that the top is thinner than the bottom of the tree.
- Now for the leaves. You will need about 8 to 10 leaves to makes a full tree. For each leaf you need two pieces, so you are cutting about 16 to 20 leaves. Draw an eye shape (like an oval with points at both ends) across the entire width of the bulletin board paper. Cut out 16 to 20 of those shapes. After you cut out the leaf outlines, fold them in half lengthwise and cut slits from the edge towards the middle.
- You will now need to cut wires for each of your leaves. The wire should be about 12 inches longer than each leaf. You will then use hot glue to glue the wire down the center of the leaf. Leave a few inches of wire hanging off both ends of the leaf. If you have someone to help you with this part, the extra set of hands will be a big help, but not necessary.
- Take another leaf and hot glue it on top of the leaf. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for all of your leaves
- You will now add your leaves to your tree. Stick the wire into the end of the pool noodle. Try to push the wire in as far as it will go.
- Now you are ready to attach your tree to the wall. Use hot glue, sticky tack, or duct tape to stick it to the wall. I used hot glue, but depending on your school rules you may have to use something else.
- Here’s where you need to climb a ladder, so if you have someone available to hold it that’s probably a good idea. For each leaf take the wire that is hanging out of the end of it and stick it between your ceiling panels. This is where the wire is helpful because I was able to just stick it in between the panels where the bars are and the wire did not slip out. You can also glue a couple leaves to the wall. It helps to take a step back and make sure you’re placing the leaves in good spots. You don’t want to have them all in one area and stepping back will help you see where an empty space may need a leaf.
- After you have secured and attached all of the leaves, you are ready to paint the tree trunk. Paint a line across the tree trunk and then make quick strokes down from that line. These paint lines should look scratchy, not perfectly straight.
Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, just do your best and your students will love it no matter what. If you have any questions about this DIY palm tree, please leave a comment below.
Also, if you like the giant flowers pictured at the top of this blog post you can check out my other tutorial Giant Paper Flower Tutorial
Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you use this tutorial to make your own Palm Trees.