Paper Pines

We chose common materials to contrast the clever bedside trees. A clay pot of sand forms each base.


What you Need:

+ enlarge image Paper Pines are 10-16 inches tall.
  • 3-inch-tall clay pot
  • Sand (about 2 cups)
  • Black electrical tape
  • 1 sheet of dark green construction paper (branches)
  • 12-inch-long tree branch, 3/8-inch-diameter (trunk)
  • Thin sheet of tin, available in crafts stores (star)
  • Small nail
  • 24 inches of sheer burgundy ribbon
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Wire cutters
  • Drill with 1/8-inch bit
  • Crafts glue
  • Note: Instructions and materials are for the medium-size, curled paper-branch tree. To make larger or small trees, adjust the size of the clay pot and tree-branch trunk. After reading instructions, experiment with other branch configurations, if desired.

Instructions:

1. Stick a small piece of electrical tape to bottom of pot to cover the drainage hole. Fill pot with sand; set aside.

2. For tree branches, use ruler to draw two 3/8 x 10-1/2-inch strips, four 3/8 x 8-1/2-inch strips, and two 3/8 x 3-1/4-inch strips on the green construction paper. Cut out strips. Curl strips after all have been attached to the trunk. To determine the positions for strips, measure down from the top of the tree trunk; make pencil marks at 2-1/2 inches, 4 inches, and 6 inches.

3. Beginning with the longest strips at the bottom, glue strips to the tree trunk. Place a line of crafts glue between the 4- and 6-inch marks. Beginning at the 4-inch mark, press the end of a 3/8 x 10-1/2-inch strip into glue. Repeat with second strips on the opposite side of the trunk.

4. For the second set of branches, apply glue between the 2-1/2- and 4-inch marks. Beginning at the 2-1/2-inch mark, press end of a 3/8 x 8-1/2-inch strip into glue. Repeat with another strip on opposite side of trunk.

5. For fourth set of branches, apply glue from top of trunk down 1 inch. Beginning at top of trunk, press a 3/8 x 6-inch strip into glue. Repeat with second strip on opposite side of trunk.

6. For the last set of branches, apply glue from top of trunk down 1/2 inch. Beginning at top of trunk, press a 3/8 x 2-1/4-inch strip into glue. Repeat with second strip on opposite side of trunk.

7. Beginning at the treetop, curl all strips in an upward spiral so lower branches touch the ones above. To curl, roll strips around a pencil; then smooth the strip between your fingers until desired curl is reached. To connect branches, put a drop of crafts glue between strips where they touch.

8. Cut a star from tin; slightly abrade surface with sandpaper. Use hammer and nail to poke a hole in the center of the star. Use drill fitted with 1/8-inch bit to make a hole in trunk, from front to back, 1/2 inch from top of tree. Place a small amount of glue in hole. Insert nail through star, then through hole in trunk. If nail shank protrudes on back of tree, use wire cutters to remove excess.

9. Press bottom of trunk into sand in pot. Tie ribbon into a bow around base of trunk.

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