I promised a tutorial on how we took our nature observations from our weeks' field trips to Malibu Creek and turned them into fun, dimensional trees. While the how-to is a little photo heavy, it really is very simple with supplies you probably already have on hand.
Using black construction paper and a pencil, draw shapes of leaves. We went with ovals and pointy ovals as they were the types of leaves we viewed. Exactness is not required as nature is not exact either. We used black construction paper because it gives a bit of depth (and I happen to have a lot leftover from last Halloween, lol). Also, we smudged some leaves, kept sharp lines on others-- this was to the taste of each of my kids. If you have chalk fixative, gently coat the paper and let dry for an hour or so before cutting out leaves. The fixative makes for less smudging and hand washing during the assembly of your project.
We had pieces of cardboard in our craft bins, so we used those to make the tree trunks. After drawing them, Em and Ro cut them out and colored them in. They made sure to get the sides as well. This (plus the attachment step below) gives the tree a bit of depth. Spray these as well.
Attach the tree trunk to a piece of cardstock or construction paper. We didn't put the tree right at the bottom so that we could add in a bit of grass and roots. In the photo below, you can see the trick to making everything stand out on the page-- 3D glue dots. I had these on hand and they are available at any craft store. If you don't have these, tape is fine.
To give some of the leaves even more height, we used scrap pieces of cardboard in between two 3D dots.
Have fun placing your leaves however you want them. Some are flat on the page with flat glue dots, some are raised up with the 3D dots (and the method above). Em and Ro had fun layering them to try and resemble a real tree.
If you haven't already done so, finish your art with some grass and tree roots. (As you can see, in the above photo, Em did it before, but Ro did his after.)
Give a final spray of fixative and you're all set for display!
We did this craft over the course of a few days to stretch out the fun. To hang them in our homeschool classroom, I did have to use a few thumbtacks behind the leaves as it was a little heavy with the cardboard and glue dots.
If you try this craft, we would love to see what you make! Please feel free to link back in the comments.
I hope you are enjoying the late summer season and have a lovely weekend!