This fall, our Sunday school will be studying the Old Testament ancestors of Jesus. I wanted to create a very visual element representing a family tree. Using Pinterest (of course !) and a few other websites, I was able to create a really great looking tree.
I started with a roll of brown craft paper, cutting a sixteen foot long piece. Then cut out triangular shapes, creating 3 branches at the top. In the photo you can see some chicken wire that I had laying around in the garage. That is used to support the tree.
Next I used expanding foam insulation to create bark texture on the trunk. I used an entire can, but I have to admit it was super fun! Make sure to wear gloves and follow the directions on the can. It looked like it might slip off the paper when it was wet, but after it dried it was stuck tight. After it dried. I used a few coats of brown spray paint to cover the yellow foam. While I had the spray paint out I rolled up some more paper for branches and sprayed those, too.
After the paint dried really well, it was time for assembly. I gently bent the chicken wire into a semi circle. Then, I taped the paper trunk to the chicken wire on the inside. Because there is a bulletin board in the classroom, I was able to staple and tack the top of the tree to that, which was easy and secure. After I had the trunk assembled, I added the rolled paper branches. It took a bit of finagling to make it look good and attach to the ceiling. Fortunately, we have Styrofoam type tiles with holes in them. Paper clips and twine worked really well for suspending the tops of the branches.
Then it was time for the foliage. A volunteer cut out a 3 yards of 6 inch burlap leaves in two colors of green. I probably could have used more burlap leaves, but burlap can be pricey. Each leaf was stapled to the twine. The twine leaf garland was then wound through the branches, creating a canopy.
I am really happy with the way it turned out. Next week I’ll be making some family tree name squares to finish off the bulletin board. I am looking forward to this unit!