How to Make a Fake Tree for a Prom Decoration

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Trees are popular prom decorations, but there's no reason you have to haul a real tree to the side of the dance floor to create a pretty backdrop. Why not leave the real things outdoors where they're happiest and healthiest, and make a fake tree instead? This fairly simple craft tree project uses just a few inexpensive items and is a fun way to get creative.

Things You'll Need

  • Three swimming pool noodles
  • Masking tape
  • Tree stand
  • Green fabric
  • Metal clothes hangers
  • Newspaper
  • White glue
  • Brown paint
  • Plastic leaves and foliage (optional)
  • Green tissue paper (optional)
  • Form the trunk of the tree by taping three swimming pool noodles together with masking tape. Cut the noodles if necessary to reach your desired trunk height. Use a Christmas tree stand to anchor the tree.

  • Twist apart metal clothes hangers to use for tree branches. Poke the ends of the coat hangers into the pool noodles, and secure with more tape if necessary. Fold the ends of the hangers in half, and secure with tape to shorten them if they are too long.

  • Wrap and tape newspaper over the clothes hangers to bulk up the tree branches. Create smaller twigs by taping tubes of paper to the the larger branches.

  • Wrap the base of the tree trunk in a layer of paper. Use bunches of paper to shape the trunk and create bumps and ridges. Secure the paper with masking tape.

  • Make a paper mache paste by mixing two parts white glue and one part warm water. Dip sheets of newspaper in the paste mixture, and apply them to the trunk and branches. Wrap your prom tree in about four layers of paper mache, and allow it to dry.

  • Paint the tree after it has dried. Use a small brush to add grain and detail to the tree.

  • Glue plastic leaves on the branches of your prom tree, or leave the tree bare. In lieu of plastic foliage, crumple green tissue paper, and glue the clumps to the branches.

  • Drape a green cloth over the tree stand to obscure it from view.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add a small fake bird or two to the finished tree for an extra visual element.
  • Paper mache can be messy. If possible, complete this project outside.

References

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