Room for growth

Hey Everyone!

So I know its been a long time since I posted…. I’m not a very devoted blogger. My problem is not a lack of inspiration or creativity. The first problem is the time to do these crafts, the second is to find the time after to write the blog!!

Well lets get straight to it shall we! This craft was something I dreamed up probably 2yrs ago. The concept behind it was an old book that had been thrown out and started to decompose. As it started to rot a new tree started to grow out of the book-essentially a tree because of the paper. So it was based off the life cycle and products of a tree.

I got so many compliments on it, I have since made 2. One was for my sister as a present, and the other was for a charity raffle. The one I made for this blog was commissioned by my friend Courtney. 🙂

 

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(The one in the picture above is the very first necklace tree that I made for myself! 🙂

So to make this “Necklace tree” you will need:

  • Tin snips (or metal sheers)
  • Metal mesh (I found mine at Home Depot- its a type of subfloor 24″ x 48″??)
  • An old hard cover book
  • Some copper wire (I used 2 meters of 5 strand- if you want more branches than mine I would suggest 3 meters)
  • Some gloves
  • A screw gun (or something you can drill holes with)
  • Wire Cutters

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Step 1: Cut the metal mesh with the sheers into a strip approx 6″ x 24″ (24″ is automatically the width because of the sheet size)

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Step 2: Tightly roll the metal into a roll. I laid down a towel to protect the floor. I accidentally cut off a piece too big so I rolled it and cut off the excess.

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Step 3: Cut 4-5 slits in one end of the “tube” of metal and bend them out to create a base.

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Step 4: Cut a small strip of the mesh and wrap it around the top of the tree. Then cut slits in it and flare them out. This will create the “top” of the tree.

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Step 5: Using your glove squish the flared parts to create “mini” branches.

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Step 5: Cut varying lengths of the copper wire and folding back and forth and twisting it create branches. Leave enough copper at the end of the branch to be able to attach it to the tree, by bending it on.

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Step 6: Attach the branches to the top of the tree. There really isn’t a technique to this… its just kind of how ever you can mash them on there and get them to stay. Haha.

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Continue doing that until it looks something like this….

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I also added reinforcements aka copper wire that I ran up the tree and taped- just to give it some temporary stability. The hardest part about this stage is the tree is going to want to tip over because its top heavy without much of a base.

Step 7: Tear some pages out of your book and rip them in strips. As a note… don’t rip all the pages from one section of the book because it will look funny later. Just tear a couple of pages- skip a couple of pages- tear a couple of pages (You get the idea). You could use newspaper if you wanted… but the ink gets all “smeary” when you try to paper mache it. Plus I like the idea that this whole project came from one book.

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Step 8: Paper mache the crap out of the tree! (Mache is just flour and  warm water mixed together until its the consistency of pudding). For your first layer just wrap and twist the paper around the branches so you cover everything. Let that dry over night and then do a second layer. The second layer is where it gets its strength. I couldn’t take pics of this stage because my hands were all covered in goo. But heres what it should look like.

***Do not use mod podge!!!***

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Step 9: Stain your tree! Using an OIL based stain and a rag (or brush if you want) brush on a thin layer. I used Varathane’s Dark Walnut colour. I like these little jars of stain because they come in LOTS of colours and are about $5 (again another a Home Depot special). I would advise wearing gloves if your the type of person who wears more of their dinner then they do eat it. As well I laid down some plastic so I didn’t end up re-staining the table. Haha. Who knew that my go to craft shop was a hardware store.

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Step 10: Open your book to the middle. Drill 4 holes in your book- BEING careful not to drill through the cover. 2 holes on either side of the page.

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Step 11: Wire the pages shut using a smaller gauge copper wire. Hot glue the wired clump of pages to the inside of the hardcover. Essentially making the book into one solid platform.

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Step 12: Trim the excess paper around the bottom of your tree, and hot glue it into the book covering the wire in the pages.

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Step 13: Using some left over paper strips hot glue them on the base of the tree and book to make it look like the tree is growing out of book.

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Voila!!

Step 14: Decorate with your favourite jewellery! I works really well to help keep your jewellery untangled as well. Below is the picture of the one I made for my friend with all her jewellery. 🙂

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Well thats it! I also think they make great art, or book ends.

Let me know what you think below or if you have any other suggestions on how to use them! Keep it crafty guys!

-Pearl

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8 thoughts on “Room for growth

  1. I’m having the hardest time finding metal mesh for this project. I went to Lowes and they had no idea what I was talking about. Any suggestions?

    • Hey, Sethcnorris!

      Lowes should carry it. If they have it, it will be in the tile section it’s about 4-8$ I think. You can also use 1/4″ copper pipe in about 3ft. Sections (you will need 4 pieces) and you can bend them to be the trunk and the branches and just tape all 4 pieces together. I did this for one of the trees I made (it was just more expensive that way and a little heavier).

      You might be able to use fine chicken wire as well and just roll it tightly. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

      • Thanks for the reply! II think I may have found something that might work. Walking through Walmart I spotted some disposable grill pans. They’re aluminum and have the same diamond mesh pattern. Quick question: is the material you used fairly pliable? The only thing I worry about is it not holding up. Thanks again!

        • Oerhört fint! Mycket glad över att det finns mÃnsoi¤knr som dig Johan. Allt man hör nu för tiden är att generera maxim…

      • Wow, if anyone thinks Fox news is fair and balanced. You sure did not attend College. What happened to Glen Becks plan to save Amercia? If This rally is for the troops, why are all the speakers Republicans? Not enough nut jobs were going to show up for his Plan. So he changed it to support the troops. A tea partier in my town thinks FEMA is building Connoctratien camps for people who oppose the gov’t. I guess the tea party only requires a Junior High School deploma.

    • I’ve never had paper mâché go moldy on me… But if I had to guess you’re probably layering too many layers on top of each other at a time. Do a couple of layers and then let it dry. On the final layer of paper mâché make sure to use as little of the “glue” as possible. After applying the last layer run your fingers over the tree to remove any excess “glue”.

      Then stain and clear coat! You shouldn’t have any flakes after this step!

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