How to Make a Palm Tree

How to Make a Palm Tree

Making a palm tree is an easy and fun way for kids to learn about trees, plants, and how they grow. It is also a great way to teach kids about texture and how we can create three-dimensional effects with our drawings.

To make a palm tree, you will need:

Cardboard Tubes (extra long kind that come with wrapping paper work best)
Kraft Paper for the trunk and fronds
Stiff Paint Brush for dry brushing the trunk paper or painting the fronds
Acrylic Paint in raw umber and black, to dry brush the kraft paper to give a bark effect. Dark green, mid green and yellow-green to paint the palm fronds
Textured Fabric Leaves in the correct color and slightly larger than the size of the palm fronds for each leaf group

Crown leaves with a zig-zag pattern along their spine

To draw the crown leaves of your palm tree, first trace the construction lines that you drew in step two for the trunk. You can use the extra space underneath the construction lines to draw out the curved stem outlines for your palm tree’s leaves.

Next, draw a U-shaped center area where all the leaves will spill out from. This makes the fronds look more realistic, and gives them a natural appearance.

If you are making a tall palm tree, you will need to add some angled branches and smaller leaves at the top of the fronds to help it appear taller. These will also be useful for attaching the fronds to the base of the trunk, or anchoring them into a base made from wood, plaster or polymer clay.

When you have completed all of the curved leaves, it is time to make the stems that will hold them in place. Cut small slits in the ends of each leaf to make them look like the stems of palm leaves. The slits should be about a half inch long and a little wider than the leaf itself.

Once the slits are made, gently bend the stem back and forth over your hand until each stem has a zig-zag shape that matches the curved lines you drew in step two. You can tape the stems to the back of the fronds to hold them in place, or you can glue them together at the base.

Repeat this process for each of the five to seven fronds that will be needed for your palm tree. You can substitute fabric leaves for these if you wish, or use printer paper (tissue paper for smaller scales).

Finish the palm tree drawing by lightly shading in the trunk and leaves to make them more realistic and three-dimensional. You can darken the bottom of the trunk to add more tone and volume, or you can shade in the crown leaves.

Having drawn your palm tree, you will now need to paint it in a darker brown to match the rest of the background. You can use a regular paintbrush to do this, or you could also mix some white into the brown to make it a lighter color.

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