How to Make Realistic Jungle Decorations

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Nannette Richford

    About the Author

    Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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    Making realistic jungle decorations for the classroom or for a child's party gets kids involved in a fun project and also teaches them about the environment. Research the types of plants and animals found in a rain forest, and then bring a room to life with brightly colored, realistic-looking vines, trees and flowers made from ordinary household items.

    Things You'll Need

    • Cardboard carpet tube
    • Paint
    • Paintbrushes
    • Stapler
    • Silk flowers
    • Clear tape
    • Brown paper towels (or crepe paper)
    • Tissue paper
    • Stuffed animals

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    Cut a cardboard carpet tube to the height you would like the tree trunk and paint it brown and green. Cut two to three cardboard straps from scrap cardboard, making each one about 2 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the cardboard tube, plus 6 to 8 inches. Place the cardboard tube against the wall and wrap a cardboard strap around the base of the tube. Staple the edges of the strap to the wall to secure the tube. Repeat at 2-foot intervals up the tree trunk to securely attach the tube to the wall. Paint the straps the same color as the tube to make them less visible. Trim the edges of the straps once in place.

    Trace 8 to 10 large, frilly leaves on green construction paper to resemble the leaves of a palm tree. Cut out the leaves. Fold in half lengthwise to create a crease down the middle of the leaf. Staple or tape the stem end of the leaf into the top of the tube tree trunk so the leaves cascade downward.

    Staple or tape tropical and brightly colored silk plants and flowers around the base of the tree to create a look of lush growth.

    Cut a 4-foot section of brown paper towels or a section of brown or green crepe paper. Twist the paper tightly to form a vine. Attach one end to the ceiling or from a corner of the room and drape the vine around the tree. Add sections to the vine by twisting new sections and taping in place. Create brightly colored flowers by tearing sections of colored tissue paper and scrunching them into loose balls. Glue the tissue paper flowers to the vine and allow the paper to unfold naturally. It gives the appearance of unfolding flowers.

    Tape butcher paper on the wall and create a canopy by drawing the shape of a tree in the background. Paint or color in the trunk and limbs of the tree. Tear green tissue paper into rough sections about 8-inches square, though the size does not need to be exact. Squeeze the paper into loose balls and glue or staple to the top of the tree. Continue to add tissue paper until the entire canopy is created.

    Add miniature animals and birds to your jungle. You can either print images and add them to your scene or use small stuffed animals and toys. Encourage your youngster to go through her own toys to find animals for her forest.

    References

    • FamilyFun Parties: 100 Complete Party Plans for Birthdays, Holidays and Every Day; Deanna F. Cook

    Resources

    • Cool Party, Mom!: The Other Three Words Every Mother Loves to Hear; Marnie Ann Pacino