Throwback thursday... Dedicated to my eldest, who turned 4 this week. When we decorated her babyroom I decided to turn the ugly algove/hollow molding into a tree. Because, come on, who doesn't want a tree in their bedroom?!
First we needed to make the shape of the tree. I used chicken wire to do this. Choose the type you can bend easily. Don't worry, it's strong enough.
I used the wire to make a tree trunk, roots and branches that went across the ceiling. To be honest, I don't really remember how I fixed it to the wall, but I did use some nails. I made a dent in the wire, to create the suggestion of a hole in the tree. I might have done more of those if I could do it again!
The second question was, what to put one the wire to create a real structure. I was afraid that paper mache wouldn't work, because of the gaps in the wire. I had some linnen fabric left over and I used this to make a first layer. A good friend helped me to put on newspapers with wallpaper glue as a second layer. This was structurally fine, but I was afraid that the newspaper would shine through when I started painted, so I added a third layer, of white paper.
Thanks to the chicken wire and the paper, the tree already had a nice tree-like structure. I started with a lighter brown, but it turned out rather dark, not too dark I think. But that's a question of taste. I used a simple waterbased gouache (plakkaatverf), but did need a few layers before I couldn't see the paper anymore. Be careful and wait a while between layers, to give the paint time to dry.
You've got yourself a tree! Now go to a store with seasonal decorations and buy boatloads of leaves. They will probably be fall leaves, but those have to best colors anyway. faux ivy branches are also great to get a nice result. Complete the tree with forest critters, such as birds and squirrels, stuffed animals might be a bit heavy, so papercraft is perfect for this!
Also: we included white Christmas lights in the leaves, for a the feeling of a magical forest!
Tamara, Geek, mother of two Geeklings, editor.