tree pic bird theme from Schoolgirl Style

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked how to make this tree!  In all honesty, when I made this, I never had a plan…it just evolved.

I had never made a tree before, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  I ended up with 5 trees of different sizes by the end of the day and let me tell you, it took me ALL day to make them!  I was so sick of looking at those trees by the time it was all said and done!  But, you have to admit…they are pretty spectacular!


This was a small one on one end of my classroom…

Notice my Creative Teaching Press cupcakes?  Did I happen to tell you that I love Creative Teaching Press?!? Smile


Here is a smaller tree on the OTHER side of the room…

So, when you walked in, your eyes automatically went to the large tree in the center, but you couldn’t help but notice the cute trees on each end to balance it out.


Directly across the room was another tree.  I had this going up the cinderblock wall and stapled the branches into the bulletin boards above.


You can see it from this angle…


Lastly, if you look to the left of this picture, I have a small tree that I made in my showcase.  How cute is that?!?

I’ve decided to do a quick tutorial to show YOU how to make one of these showstopper trees in YOUR classroom!



I started with brown bulletin board paper and cut it about 12 inches wide.  Now, depending on the size of the tree, you might want to make this bigger.  My large focal point tree was about 24 inches wide.


Next, I accordian folded the tree.  The fold was about 2-3 inches.  As you can see, it was quick and it wasn’t perfect.  You don’t want it to be perfect – your tree won’t have character if you start measuring everything out!


First, I need to tell you that you will see parts of my Luau room in the background!  I love it so much, I didn’t want to take it down yet!!!

Anyways, pull apart your trunk, keeping some of the folds in place.  Staple randomly.  Again, you don’t want this to look perfect!

Your trunk is now in place and ready for branches!


Next, cut a thin strip of your bulletin board paper.  Start at the bottom and go up.  Notice how the bottom is much wider than the top?  Again, notice that it isn’t perfect?  Just cut and don’t put much thought into it!


Now, I lightly scrunched the branch. Don’t scrunch too hard!


Inside one of the creases, I stapled the branch into the top of the trunk.


At the other end of the branch, I bent a large paperclip and punched it through the paper.  I created a hook  with the paper clip to attach it to my ceiling.

My school ceiling had little tiny holes in the ceiling panels, so I could fit the end of the paper clip right into the holes and it never fell down.


For my ceiling, I used a Command hook and attached it to the ceiling.  I stretched out the branch as far as it could go.


I cut another strip of brown paper, just like the first one, lightly scrunched and stapled it into the top of the tree trunk.


I’ve attached the second tree branch to the ceiling with the paperclip.  Looks like he wants to give you a big hug!


Repeat the cutting of the paper, scrunching and stapling into the trunk.


Now, you have your base!  Continue adding branches until you get the fullness that you desire.  My big tree had 9 – 10 limbs. 

Continue stapling and layering into the same spot on the tree trunk.  You will add some leaves to that spot to hide all of the paper build up at the end.

Last, take those same branches and staple them into the bulletin board or hot glue on the wall behind the tree.  It would look funny to have a bunch of branches without filling in the back.  Bend any way you would like as you staple the branches into the board.

You will create the fullness by adding bunches of leaves!

I used wrapping paper from Party City to give my tree a whimsical look.

Creative Teaching Press also has some cute fall leaves – these adorable leaves would be gorgeous on your tree!

CTP #6436


Ta Da!!!  You are done!!!

Happy Decorating!




  1. says

    Thanks so much for posting this… it has been on my “think about if I have time before school starts” list.

    Question- would it look strange if I had a tree like this if my room is black, green, and blue (like yours in this pic, just black instead of brown)?

  2. Jennifer Carter says

    This tree ROCKS! I have done several trees over the years, but never thought to use the command hooks and paperclips–genius! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Cindy says

    This is fabulous! I think I could manage this outside my classroom for my hallway display. Thanks for all the picture clues to go along with your directions. Love your classroom pictures!!

  4. Jenna says

    Thanks Melanie. I have been studying the pictures on your bluebird design for a month. I appreciate the step-by-step on how to make the tree. I am going in tomorrow to build my trees!

  5. Alyssa Newcomb says

    Thank You Melanie!
    I am a huge fan of your blog and this room in particular. I am re-decorating my classroom as we speak and using your bluebird theme and printables! I have told several other teachers about your blog as well.
    Thanks again! Can’t wait to start on my trees!
    Alyssa N.

  6. tricia embley says

    I did the same thing last year with crumpled paper but with a palm tree. If you are interested I think I can find pics of it and email it to you. The kids loved it.

  7. Jessica says

    I have loved your tree since I saw it for the first time months ago. I have been scheming what to do with this old small brick wall I have in my room. I decided I would make a reading tree. Do you think it would work to hot glue it together at least for getting it on a wall? Staples aren’t an option since it will be attached to a brick wall.

    • Lisa says

      Wow love your tree!! Can you give more details on your tree. Is it completely attached to a brick wall. Did the glue gun work, also will the glue mess up the walls! I want to put up a tree in my classroom in a corner wall, one wall is completly brick, and the other wall i can not use staples.

  8. Blaine says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I am starting my first year in 3rd grade and am doing my room in the owl theme! I have been wanting to put a tree as well, but had no idea how to go about doing it! Thank you so much!

  9. Debbie says

    Thank you sooo much for this tutorial! I struggled to make a large tree in my classroom last Fall & it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to. This Fall I’ll make a new one, thanks to you! Gorgeous classroom!

  10. Patti says

    I want to thank you for your tree idea. It inspired me to build my own at the beginning of this year-complete with green and white polka dot leaves. It started as our Poet-Tree and then evolved into our Seven Habits tree. It has been posted to Pinterest and repinned under Seven Habits and Classroom Organization. I also used your binder covers for our Poetry book covers-they were fantastic. Thanks again for all of your creative ideas.

  11. Kristy Davis says

    Schoolgirl: I have been looking up tree ideas all morning and just came across your site for the first time! I love it! You’ve done some really cute things in your classroom. :) I would really like to put a tree in my kinder classroom this year… but I am stuck on color. :( Our school is in an old brick building, the walls are white and I have only one accent wall. It’s a big one, and it is red. Any color scheme ideas for how to incorporate red into “Mrs. Davis’ Kinder-Garden” theme?! LOL Any and all ideas are welcome!!

    Keep up the great work! You are an inspiration.

    • Kristy Davis says

      Another thought: I love the “primary apple theme” ideas…with the circus like banners and bright colors. I am a PNW girl at heart, but I am teaching in Phoenix now and many young AZ kids seem to have a hard time relating to many what some might think of as “traditional” fall colors/themes and seasonal changes. Sooo… I’m thinking that, if I go with apples, it would definitely have to be whimsy and FUN. Colors? Polka dots?

  12. Angie Lee says

    I have an ac duct at the back of my room I am thinking this would be perfect for disguising it. I bought the tweet, tweet birds from ctp and can’t wait to put it all together. Thanks for the great step by step directions and pictures. For us visual people! You have inspired me.

  13. Shirley says

    What if I need to attach it to the wall with no bulletin board. How would you attach it? Hot glue? Sticky Tack? Thanks!

  14. Mindi says

    Love your style! I just liked and shared your page on my facebook! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Mindi Riedel

  15. Melissa says

    Hi Melanie, I absolutely love this bluebird theme (and all of your other themes as well)! I was wondering what you used for leaves and how you cut them. I have a Cricut, so I was thinking of doing it that way. Also, the nests hanging from the ceiling in your classroom- are they just brown poms that are flattened on top? Do you sell them in your shop? Last, the bluebirds are so cute! Where can I find those? Thank you!

    • SchoolgirlStyle says

      Hi Melissa! I used wrapping paper for the leaves. I just free handed it and didn’t use a template. The wrapping paper is from Party City. Yes, the poms are flattened – they are in the Schoolgirl Style Shop, along with the birds! :)

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