How to Make a Life-sized Tree

Written by erin ringwald
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How to Make a Life-sized Tree
You can use chicken wire to make a life-size tree. (chicken image by Sergey Goruppa from

Full-sized, fake trees can be used to decorate your home for Halloween, add scenery for a stage play, add a special touch to a classroom or any number of other applications. You can make your own full-sized tree with chicken wire and paper mache, with a bit of effort. A homemade tree is inexpensive to make, thanks to the low-cost supplies needed, and the completed tree will add a unique touch to whatever your intended application is.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Chicken wire
  • Pliers
  • Wire snips
  • Newspaper
  • Tape
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Stockpot
  • Spoon
  • Paint
  • Varnish
  • Hot glue
  • Silk leaves

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  1. 1

    Shape a tree trunk out of chicken wire. Bend the chicken wire into the desired shape, and use pliers to further bend and mould the wire. The amount of wire you need depends on the size and shape of the tree you want.

  2. 2

    Mold smaller pieces of chicken wire into the roots and branches for the tree. Use wire snips to cut pieces of chicken wire. Attach the roots and branches to the tree by wrapping the loose ends of the chicken wire branches and roots to the tree trunk. The number of branches and roots is up to you.

  3. 3

    Cover the outer surface of the tree trunk, branches and roots with newspaper. Attach the newspaper to the chicken wire using tape. Although you can skip this step, the newspaper will make it easier to paper mache the tree.

  4. 4

    Place a mixture of 1 part flour and 5 parts water in to a stockpot. Stir the ingredients together. Boil the water for 5 minutes and then remove it from the heat. Allow the flour mixture to cool for 3 minutes.

  5. 5

    Tear newspaper into strips that are 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. The number of strips needed depends on the surface area of your tree.

  6. 6

    Dip each strip into the flour mixture and remove the excess by passing each strip through your fingers. Press the moistened strips to the first layer of newspaper. Do this to the trunk, limbs and roots. Smooth the edges of the newspaper strips. Apply additional layers of newspaper strips until your tree has the desired shape and structure.

  7. 7

    Leave the newspaper strips to dry completely. Depending on how many layers you used, drying can take up to seven days.

  8. 8

    Paint your tree and seal in the paint with varnish. Allow the varnish to dry completely.

  9. 9

    Use a hot glue gun to attach silk leaves to the branches of the tree.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear work gloves when working with the chicken wire to protect your hands.

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