Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall Tree Tutorial

Here is a charming little craft that I do in my classroom with kindergarten. With adult help, preschoolers can do this, too. I haven’t tried this with larger grocery bags, but it might work with them as well as these small bags.

-A brown paper lunch bag
-Elmer's or other craft glue
-A pencil
-Tissue paper cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch squares, I used a mix of red, orange, yellow
-A chunk of cardboard to serve as a base, a bit larger than the bottom of the bag
-Green construction paper for grass, if desired

1. Draw four lines along the top of the bag, each about 4 inches long, equidistant
from one another. Cut along the lines, but no further. We need the rest of the bag for the trunk and roots.
2. Reach in and open the bag, so that it can stand by itself.
3. Hold the bottom of the bag in one hand, twisting the bag with the other. This forms the trunk section.

4. Gently fan out each branch and twist it as you did the trunk, in order to create the branches. I like to double some of them up for variety- this means you twist the two at one about halfway up the branches, and then twist the rest separately. I did one of these very close to the right edge of the step 5 photo.
5. Twist all the branches and glue the bottom of the bag to your cardboard "ground."
6. Now for leaves: grab one square of tissue paper and wrap it on top of the pencil's eraser. While you hold it still with one hand, use the other to dab one small dot of glue onto the tissue paper. Don't let go of the pencil yet . . .
7. Press the pencil onto the desired branch and use it to hold the tissue paper in place while you wait for the glue to dry. I tell my students to count to thirty, and then ever so gently take the pencil off. Fill the tree with tissue paper leaves. You can even add some to the ground to make it appear that they've fallen there.
8. If you want, you can add grass along the base with some fringed green construction paper. If your kids are a bit older, they might like to add something extra, like a bird, bat, pumpkin, fence, etc.


  1. This is really cute! I made a bigger version when I taught and placed it in my reading center! It was pretty neat! I just never thought about doing a mini one! I shared you and this post on my fb page here:
    They are going to love this!
    PS I'm your newbie now too!!

  2. Aw, thanks! Sounds like your classroom was a fun place to be!