Cotton Ball Tree
By: Amanda Formaro
Difficulty: Very Easy
Age: 4 and up
Parental supervision is recommended
Celebrate nature this Earth Day with this easy-to-make cotton balltree. A fun way to recycle what would otherwise be garbage.
What you'll need:
- Plastic water bottle
- 1 sheet brown felt
- 1 green skinny chenille stem
- 3 small foam flower stickers
- 2 small blue pom poms
- Scrap of goldenrod-colored felt
- ½ bag of cotton balls
- Green dust-free powdered tempera paint
- Gallon size zipper plastic bag
- 1 sheet of green construction paper
- Pebbles, coins, sand, or something else to weigh down bottle
- Sandwich size zipper plastic bag
- White craft glue
- Hot glue gun (optional)
How to make it:
- Cut the top off of the plastic water bottle. Recycle the top or save it for another project.
- Wrap the plastic bottle in brown felt. Glue the felt to the bottle and tuck excess inside the top of the bottle. Leave bottom of bottle open as it will stand better that way.
- Fill zipper sandwich bag halfway with something heavy that you don’t need, such as pebbles, sand, or pennies. Close zipper and place inside water bottle.
- Roll up construction paper into a cone shape and staple to hold together. Fold down the larger open end to create a solid top, staple to keep closed. (See photo for example.)
- Place skinny end of cone into water bottle opening and glue in place.
- Place a small amount of green powder paint into the gallon zipper bag, about 1 tablespoon.
- Add cotton balls to the zipper bag and close. Shake until the cotton balls are covered with the green powder paint.
- Glue green cotton balls to the construction paper form until completely covered.
- Stick the foam flowers stickers to the “trunk” of the tree and cut pieces of green chenille for the stems and leaves. Glue chenille pieces in place.
- Cut small squares from the goldenrod felt. Parents, using a hot glue gun, place a dot of glue in the center of the square and gently hold halfway closed to create the beak (until glue dries). Glue beaks to blue pom poms.
- Glue the pom poms to the cotton balls to make it look like baby birds looking for food.
- You may want to shake some excess green powder from the tree by gently tapping over a garbage can.
- Use any tubular item for the trunk that you have lying around. Something like potato chip canister works too!
- The flowers and pom poms are smaller embellishments and steps that can be eliminated in the interest of time or if children are smaller.