Paper Roll Twisted Oak Tree

Well I think I've officially run myself dry on the paper roll obsession. I've also run out of paper rolls, so that helps.

This time, I put together something a little less whimsical -- an old twisted oak tree for the wall. This is actually version number one (aka my trial version) as I intend to make another one about 3 feet tall. This one is only about 18", but the process will be basically the same.

Obviously, the paper rolls were used for the leaves, and I also used paper grocery bags for the trunk. Follow along and I'll show you how...

Begin by cutting a grocery bag into strips about 6" wide. Dip the strips in water and let them soak for a few minutes. Remove them from the water and let them drip. Then, starting from one corner, begin twisting the strips tightly.

Align the strips into a bundle, then begin arranging the roots and branches. I placed mine on an old bulletin board and pinned the branches and roots in place until they dried. Drying took a good 24 hours (which was tough for me because I'm just not a very patient person!)

Once dry, the branches and roots are very stiff. However, if you decide to make a particularly large version, you can incorporate some additional support by including a piece of wire while twisting the strips. After they dried, I just glued them together.

The branches and roots can still be shaped a bit. I have a few protruding from the front to create a 3-dimensional effect.

Since this was my trial version, I wasn't being particularly careful about the printing on the grocery bags, and I ended up with some of the print showing. I also discovered that different bags ended up having a different color when dry. So I decided to coat the trunk with a layer of stain to make it all blend better.

When the stain dried, it was time to start applying the leaves. I lightly flattened my paper rolls and cut them into 1/2" strips. I thought about painting the leaves green, or a mixed of fall colors, but decided to leave that for version two. I applied the leaves to the branches in a random pattern, making sure to continue the 3-dimensional design.

There you have it! Not bad for a trial, I think.

For my larger version, I think I'll proportion the branches a little bigger than the roots. Plus, it would probably be good to add the wire inserts, just in case the limbs start to droop after a little time. And I'd love to experiment with different leaf colors. I suspect coloring the roll before cutting them is the way to go for that.

This is really quite easy to do, and super inexpensive! The hardest part for me was waiting for the wet paper to dry.

What do you think? Let me know if you give this a try!

And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page

I'll be linking to some of the fabulous link parties listed on the right sidebar ... but really, that's a LOT of parties! I probably won't get to them all, but you should stop in and visit a few yourself. While you're at it, stop by my home page and add a few links there too!