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 childmade.com.


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!

59 comments:

  1. I love this! A recycling project that has turned out really professional looking!

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  2. This is AWESOME! Loooove it! How great would this be for a "Family Tree" wall hanging!?
    craft-interrupted.blogspot.com

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  3. That's absolutely lovely! I think a larger one will be even more stunning.

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  4. What a neat idea. It looks really great on your wall. I'm always amazed at what people can do. I would never have thought of such a clever project. I am your linky neighbor at Thrifty Thursday. I hope you'll pop over to Cottage and Creek for a visit.
    Best to you,
    Lynn
    www.cottageandcreek.com

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  5. oh my gosh! I LOVE this. You have such fantastic ideas for toilet paper rolls, and I am infinitely jealous of your creativity skills.

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  6. Great idea. Think I might try it with some colored leaves.

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  7. This is so beautiful!! I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!!

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  8. I love this tree. I want to make a family tree and I was going to make the tree trunk from flat fabric. This would look cool and I wonder if this would work rolling up brown tree trunk looking material?

    Diana

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  9. My blog title is "A Sheltering Tree" so I love all things tree. I'm not sure I have the expertise to make this but I'd like to try! It looks awesome on the wall.

    I'm a new follower from Fingerprints on the Fridge.

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  10. I saw this at the Shabby Nest. It's such a different and clever idea, and it's so lovely on the wall. I may have missed a step - How did you get the rolls of paper to stick together? thanks for sharing!

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  11. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!! How awesome.. Thanks for sharing. I'm off to give it a try,.. :)) *newest official follower* -- care to stop by & visit..? http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com ~Marilyn

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  12. I really love this! I think I need one for my family picture wall. Great idea!

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  13. This is awesome. I've made the twisted trees that stand up but it never occurred to me to make them on the wall, awesome! I'll be linking from Craft Gossip :)

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  14. So thrifty & creative!! Thank you for sharing your great project by linking up to my blog bash K.I.S.S. @ The Tattered Tag. Please remember tomorrow is another fun blog bash, so drop by and link up more of your creativity! :)

    Drop by The Tattered Tag

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  15. Love this - cool, so very cool!

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  16. Olá! Sou Brasileira do Rio de Janeiro e me chamo Itanir. Conheci seu blog por acaso e fiquei fascinada com tudo. Você não poderia esnsinar esta maravilhosa arvoré?? Desde já parabéns por tamanha critividade e aproveitamento de coisas que seriam jogadas fora.Um beijo!
    itanirsoler@gmailcom

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  17. I am a teacher and I LOVE THIS! When my classes read Tuck Everlasting, this is going to be a class project! Plus I HAVE to make one for my wall at home!
    THANKS from Nebraska!

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  18. Applause ~ Applause ~ Applause

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  19. Such an awesome idea! *adds it to my to-do list*

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  20. Incredible! Who knew such basic materials could be turned into such a nice tree!

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  21. I've put together a round up of great wall art projects on Craft Gossip today and included your post. :) You can see it here
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/6-ways-to-dress-up-your-walls/

    If you would like to share the Craft Gossip love and show your visitors you've been featured, you can grab a button here!
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/grab-a-craft-gossip-button/

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  22. If you ONLY knew how OBSESSED with trees i am! WOW simply amazing! I cannot wait to try this....I think i will share it on my fb fan page and then on my blog....Its my wedding week right now soooo ill have to give this a try after the honeymoon!! :) LOVE THIS

    feel free to stop by and see some of my thrifty
    creations XOXO Andrea

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  23. This is so original and super creative !

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  24. Love this! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  25. I made this! I painted it but thanks so much for the idea! check it out http://mariahacord.blogspot.com/2011/08/cotw-tree-wall-hanging.html

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  26. Mandy from Houston,TXSeptember 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    I love this recycle, reuse idea. This is a Great idea for a class art project, too. This is a keeper!! Thanks for sharing.

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  27. Originally I was going to buy a wall mural for my baby's nursery of an Acacia tree. However, between your site and another tree made out of toilet paper rolls I have decided to make it from scratch. The big difference is the size. I am doing a tree that is about 5'x 7'. Wish me luck. I will post a link when I am done.

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  28. jeannie--billings montanaFebruary 15, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    this is my first visit to your blog...it will not be my last. this tree is wonderful!!!! i have been looking at wire trees as focal pieces in my jewelry making. this tree has just cemented the idea of the trees in my brain. i know i will be making a BIG one of these to hang in my crafts room. thank you so much for sharing your skill with us.

    i am also going to make the shamrock pin. that's how i found you...from the "All Free Beaded Jewelry" pages. thanks again....and i will be dropping by often!!!!! xoxoxoxox

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  29. I have been struggling in vain trying to figure out a non permanent tree to put in the new to be babys Owl room. THIS solves my problem! thank you!!!

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  30. I can't wait to make one of these for my family tree wall! I am so glad that I ran across your blog on a Google search!

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    Replies
    1. I wanted to make this last year, but as my husband was diagnosed with cancer and the ensuing chemo and radiation, I am very behind in making this.

      I'm going to insert sepia toned photos of my ancestors into the leaves. Wish me luck on the sizing of the photos.

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  31. This is awesome. I'll be linking to it on Wee Folk Art's Facebook page. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  32. Was wondering if you ever did the larger version, if so could you post a pic of it?

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  33. I made one similar for a wall mural at work. but mine was 9' tall. I bought about 4 rolls of brown shipping paper. I started by cutting the start of the roll to a long narrow point, then twisted it tightly for the roots, then loosening it up to create the trunk, then tightening the twist up to the limbs, cutting the roll into strips and twisting them into several branches. Came out amazing. We then decorate it for Christmas, or Fall, Spring, what ever. Very versatile wall mural that would be great for a school room.

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  34. That is absolutely awesome!!!! I love it!!! I am so going to make this..thank you so much for sharing!!!!

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  35. I love this! I am an Auburn fan and this is totally iconic of the oak trees and the toilet paper rolls!

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  36. Great idea love to make it large just on a wall.

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  37. I just made one larger than 8 Feet tall and more than 4 feet wide for a Kids Club in my community and it was so much fun! Now I want to make a bunch of these and give them as gifts and, of course, keep one or two for myself! Thank you so much! If it weren't for the brilliant creativity of some, a lot of us others would have no creativity at all..lol!

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  38. wow!! what a nice:))

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  39. this is amazing..

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  40. I just finished one the other day working on my second tree for Our Mother's as a Mother's Day gift I took and put pictures in the leaves and painted the leave in a hunter green and it's a family tree I love it turned out really nice

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  41. looks great coloured leaves would be great i would colour after you cut other wise you will have a raw edge that may stand out

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  42. It's very beautiful .... et je continue en Français : cette création est vraiment très originale et très belle.... je vais certainement tenter un jour prochain de la reproduire.
    thanks for tutorial. have e good day

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  43. me encanto la idea del árbol lo voy a hacer. Gracias

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  44. Thank you for posting this. Its absolutely genius. I created my own version with family photos for my 3 1/2 year old son as our family are on the other side of the world. He loves it. I love it. Thank you - Thank you. It was a wonderful Christmas present for all of us.

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  45. We love this tutorial - it's so clever! We've featured it over on CraftPaperScissors.com :)

    http://www.craftpaperscissors.com/toilet-paper-roll-crafts/

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  46. Love it! I'm soooooo gonna do this after Christmas (too busy doing gifts right now). Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  47. What a gorgeous idea! I have to make a big one for the wall. Thanks so much for sharing your design!

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  48. no more grocery bags available here would postal wrap brown paper work? You don't mention length of the 6" strips either. Great Idea though.

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  49. Krishna Decors is a All these designer wallpapers suit the interior of the office, drawing room and reading room. wallpaper purchase online

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  50. This is truly amazing! thank you for such great instructions. I cant wait to do this.

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  51. Gotta try this! A great family tree for reunion auction.

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  52. Great idea. Now, I just have to find some paper bags. Hmmm. It also occurred to me that one could use a little liquid starch when soaking the strips of brown bags. Might help make the roots/branches a little sturdier.

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  53. These are so cute, and will work perfectly for our mascot for our new Gardening/Recycling group. Kind resembles the mascot which is Groot.

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  54. These are so cute, and will work perfectly for our mascot for our new Gardening/Recycling group. Kind resembles the mascot which is Groot.

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