Painting A Childrens Tree

I love the new “fad” right now of having a giant tree painted on your child’s bedroom wall.  It’s awesome.  So, naturally, I wanted to have one in Evan’s room, but I was astonished to find out how expensive the wall stickers can be!  Plus, I have had the *pleasure* of putting up wall decals before…it’s a pain in the rear!  “Surely,” I thought to myself, “I must be able to do this myself.”  And thank goodness I talked myself into trying this because it was fun and it looks great!!

Before we start, I have 2 apologies. The first is that most of these pictures were taken with my HTC EVO phone…in a time I call, “Pre-Cannon T2i.”  Sorry about the blurry, yucky photos. The second apology is that I don’t have pictures of all the stages of this process.  I get so carried away when crafting that I tend to forget to pick up the camera (or phone in this case) and snap a few pictures.  Again…sorry.

Now, on with the tree painting.


  • pencil (the old-school kind that you have to sharpen)
  • large eraser
  • craft paint (one color for the trunk, then as many colors for the leaves as you please)
  • 1 medium paint brush
  • small paint brushes
  • 1 sheet of paper
  • patience

Step 1: Do a Google Image search so you know what you want your tree to look like.  There are many types of tree ideas out there…go get yourself some inspiration!

Step 2: Practice drawing trees on paper.  It sounds silly, but having a little practice drawing those long, knobby branches is helpful when sketching out the full version.

Step 3: Using a pencil, draw the trunk of the tree on the wall.  Have a big eraser handy (not just the one on your pencil)…you’ll end up changing things quite a bit as you go along.  Make sure to take the time to step back and look at the big picture as you draw.  It will keep you from making the tree lopsided or off-balance.  This step takes a while, but do it right and you’ll be pleased.

Step 4: Paint the trunk.  Seeing your tree actually pop to life will make the annoying process of drawing-erasing drawing-erasing worth it.

Step 5: Draw the leaf design of your choice on a piece of paper.  Keep it simple…you’re going to be tracing the crap out of this leaf (excuse my French)!  Cut out the leaf and being tracing it onto your tree!  I did a pattern of 3 leaves on each branch, with the exception of areas I could only fit 1 or 2 leaves. 

Step 6: Paint your leaves!  Use a variety of colors or shades to give the tree dimension and life.  Get creative…get colorful!

Step 7: Take a good look at your tree and feel awesome about yourself!  If you want, you can go back and add more branches, leaves or detail to areas needing it. 

When you’re done, you’ve got a beautiful tree and it only cost you a few dollars worth of paint.  Plus, when your friends come over and ask who painted the tree in your nursery, you can either a.) brag about your skills or b.) pretend you paid someone big bucks to do such a personalized, fantastic painting. 

The only downside is that this paint isn’t the easiest to paint over once your ready to get rid of the tree.  You can see the texture through several coats of normal paint. So, before you try painting over it, use sand paper to gently remove some of the thicker areas of the tree.  Then paint over it with several coats of Kilz before painting over the tree.

Good luck!

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