Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to Build a Jungle Tree!

Hello blogging world! It's been awhile and I'm sorry for that. Life isn't all that interesting when you don't have kids to talk about :p Now that school has started though I have 22 of them to talk about!

Before getting into the year I HAD to make my classroom look amazing. I love walking into a fun, creative, welcoming classroom each morning and wanted the kids to feel the same way. The school's theme for the year is SAFARI. I decided to go with "Jungle Safari" because there was a lot more "out there" for Jungle. The first thing that popped into my head for decorations was: A TREE! I wanted an awesome tree in the reading corner. In my head I planned this tree for months. How tall would it be? What would I make it out of? What should I hang on it? Will the kids like it? Will my room stand out from everyone elses? (I like to be different.... I wanted my room to be the "cool room" this year!)

So, the night before school started for teachers (I know, I successfully put the project off ALL summer!), my husband and I went to Lowes. We spend about an hour looking at materials and setting up a game plan. We came home and got working!My husband is fond of his garage and his tools. This project gave him the perfect excuse to use both.

Here is how we made the tree (along with pictures!)

1 2x4
3/4 inch plywood (or any plywood would work)
1 PVC pipe (as tall as you'd like the tree)
4 10 foot skinny pvc pipes (in the plumbing aisle)
Butcher paper to decorate with!

The first step: making a wooden tree stand so that the tree would not fall over!

Dan got to buy a new tool for this so he was excited.

Next step: Putting the "frame" together!

Stick small pvc pipes into larger pipe. Stick into stand!

It's starting to look like a tree! The next step was the hardest (for me at least!) Decorating!!
I used brown and green butcher paper and about 6 hours to complete my tree.

Trunk is covered!


Next, I needed leaves! I added huge leaves first. It definitely didn't look right so I added a bunch of smaller leaves. I also added a blow up monkey and some cut out bananas and coconuts.

I still wasn't happy with it.The branches were too droopy and there weren't enough leaves. So, I continued working!

I used fishing line to tie the branches to the ceiling. I also added lots of leaves. I used pipe cleaners on the leaves to get some of them to stick up.

The rest of my room looks something like this:

Looking in through the door.

To the right. My Guided Reading table and "Good Work Board"

Attendance and Behavior

My desk area. Sloppy... I know! School hadn't started yet :)

"Front" of room.

Math and Centers Board

Sign outside my door

The beautiful quilt my mother-in-law and sister-in-law
helped me make out of my students work! (Outside my door)

That is it for now! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and my classroom tour! More to come at a later date!


amy said...


It looks AWESOME! I love how neat and organized your room looks! Your tree is too cute - I love the huge palm leaves - super job! It's fun to see where you work - I like imagining you there each day. :)

Your classroom is HUGE compared to Laura's room. How nice!


Tenacious V said...
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Beth said...

I love it! Can I come to your class? Awesome job!!!

Carolyn King said... classroom looks fantastic!!!!!!!!

Marlene said...

Wow - that's awesome! None of my teachers were ever that crafty!

Thanks for stopping by my blog during "The Little Hop of Horrors" Halloween Blog Hop. Very much appreciated!

Sean Russell said...

Your tree is totally cool! I just may have to borrow that idea from you next year =) Thanks for the post and the pics.

The Purple Scrapbooker said...

My son just saw these pictures, and asked why he doesn't have a awesome tree like that in his class (he's in kindergaten)! LOL You did an AWESOME job!! I am so happy I found your blog!

FitterTwit said...

WHOA! "Thank you's" and blessings to your ENTIRE family of Veterans!!! Thank you so much for sharing! BTW...I'm suddenly feeling like I NEED to go back a re-do gradeschool... holy WOW your class looks fun!!! That tree ROCKS!!!

Gina at Gigi's Creative Designs said...

WOW! how creative. I just love all the pictures and how it turned out is fantastic. I found your blog from Scrappy Moms stamps and Im glad I did. YOur awesome!

Kati said...

That looks really cool. I wanted to be a teacher at one point.. but the job market in my area stinks...

Gina at Gigi's Creative Designs said...

You just bought the PINK Expressions today! WOW that is exciting! your going to love it and just think of all the things youll be able to make and use in and around the room :) and you got a pink one, lucky girl! I wanted the pink on so bad but I got mine for my birthday a year ago and wasnt going to complain plus at that time I had never heard of it before.
Enjoy your new toy, bust that baby out and get creating, if you have any questions or need help pls let me know :)
raegina at gmail dot com

Becky said...

Thank you for posting this! I am trying to figure out how to make a tree to hang monkeys from in my son's room and this is great how you showed step by step how to do it. Thank you!!!