Saturday, 9 January 2016

Patchwork Woodland Tree Decal

I spent ages thinking about how I could make a tree on the wall for my little girls room. I've painted murals before and also thought about making one out of cardboard but when I found out you could stick material to the wall using cornflour - I was sold! My daughter loves looking at all the patterns on the leaves and the owl perched in the middle so I'm glad I made my own, rather than buying an expensive decal.

Before I start, this is just one tutorial in a range that will help you make a whole woodland nursery so if you would like to see the others then click on the image below

click here to create your own woodland nursery

What you will need:

  • Thin brown material - I used linen
  • Different coloured material for the leaves. I bought some fat quarters as it was a cheaper way to get a few different patterns
  • Cornflour

Knot in tree for owl (optional)

  • Same brown material as above
  • Oval or round plastic container ( you could make it out of cardboard as well)
  • Wadding
  • Cardboard
  • Glue gun
  • Drill & screw

Step 1 - Make your paste

Mix a cup of cornflour with boiling water until you get a thick wallpaper paste consistency and then leave it to cool to room temperature. 

I didn't do this before I started and then was frustrated that I had to wait for it to cool so please remember to do it first!!!

Step 2 - Carve out your tree trunk

I bought 2 meters of brown linen and then just cut my design out freehand, although we may want to draw your design on the material before you start.

Step 3 - Cut out your leaves

Cut out leave shapes from your patterned material, trying to do different sizes with the same colour so it looks more realistic. I arranged mine round the trunk on the floor as I was going, so I could see how many I needed.

To save a bit of time you could layer up your material and cut a few leaves at the same time.

Step 4 - Paste the tree onto the wall

Now as you can see from the pictures below I brushed the paste onto the wall but this left a slight mark on the wall as it didn't dry completely clear so I would recommend applying the paste to your material, putting it on the wall and then brushing another layer of paster over the top of the material.

I'm not very good at cutting straight so I let the bottom of the tree flap over the skirting board and then once dry I cut it with a craft knife

Good news is that this paste does come away with a clean cloth and bit of warm water so I was able to wipe away some of the excess but be careful as this will lift some of your paint as well. you can also use this method to remove your decal once you no longer want it on your wall

I also put a sheet on the floor round the tree so that any paste dripped onto that, instead of the carpet

Step 5 - Making the knot (optional)

Cut a bit of cardboard that fits neatly inside your plastic container (it doesn't need the cross cut out inside, that was already on my piece of cardboard). If you don't want to use a plastic container then you could make an oval shape from a long strip of cardboard but it would be more flimsy over time.

Using the left over scraps of material from your tree trunk, cut a piece that is a bit bigger than your cardboard and you can either glue it down or do a drawstring stitch round the material and gather it all in, like I have. You can see once you turn it over, you have a backing for your tree knot which will cover any screws etc.

Then cut a piece of wadding that is double the hight of your container and glue it all the way around. Fold the wadding over the top of the container, gluing as you go and then repeat the process with more material from your tree trunk (making sure its slightly more than double the width of the container this time). You don't need to glue the material on the inside the container as your cardboard backing will hold it in place.

Place your tree knot on the wall and then screw it in place using a drill. Then making sure all the material is folded into the middle, insert the backing to hold it all in place and hide that screw.

Step 6 - Add your animal

My friend Tatum bought this gorgeous patchwork owl from Monsoon, which fitted perfectly in our tree but you could add in any woodland creature, or even have a go at making your own sock animal!

 I'll be back,

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A blog for fun and unusual Craft tutorials This year I will be learning a new craft every month - if there is a craft you would like to learn, let me know

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