Decorative and Practical Paper Mache

Paper Mache Trees – Handcrafted Wedding Decor

Paper Mache Tree

Today I’m going to let KT Scherer tell you about these fantastic paper mache trees she made for her wedding. She did an outstanding job, and I can see why her guests were so impressed. Here’s what she told me in her email:

Hi Jonni,

I emailed you about a year and a half ago. I asked you for some advice on how to make the texture bark appearance on a tree. You had told me to use paper towel. They worked and were amazing!

I made 20 paper mache trees for my wedding centerpieces. Everyone loved them. I want to thank you for your help. I have attached some pics with this email. These trees took me 11months to finish. I have a full time job too so it took me a long time. It took up my whole upstairs living room for a long time. At the wedding, I told people they were able to bring them home. I kept 2 of my favs. People fought over them. It was awesome.

Thanks you so much for having a blog up for people like me :) I learned how to do the trees through your site.

I hope you continue to update your blog with your amazing artwork.

Thanks a million times!
Kt Scherer

When she says she learned how to make the trees here on my blog, what she really means is that the recipe for paper mache paste is here, and there are a number of tutorials showing how to apply paper mache to a basic form — but she didn’t find a “tree tutorial” on this site. She used the basic information she found here and built her trees using her own designs and creativity, which I think is fantastic. I’m glad I was able to help in my small way, but the real kudos go to her. Beautiful!

Here are a few more photos showing how the centerpieces looked on all the tables, and a closeup of the bark texture:

Paper Mache Tree Closeup

Paper Mache Tree Closeup

Tables at Wedding, Trees in the Center of Each Table

Tables at Wedding, Trees in the Center of Each Table

Wedding Tables with Trees, Closer Look

Wedding Tables with Trees, Closer Look

Paper Mache Tree Centerpieces

Paper Mache Tree Centerpieces


About the author

Jonni Good

I'm a sculptor, author, gardener, and grandma. When I'm not catering to the needs of my obnoxious cat, I make videos, create stuff, and play around with paper mache. I'm also the author of several highly-rated books on paper mache. You'll find them in the sidebar, and on


    • Reyhane..
      It doesn’t seem like anyone answered your question so…. No, there are no papier mache trees in nature. You will be using paper products to construct whatever your fancy is, so I guess you will be using trees which have been processed into pulp and then paper…

  • Hi Jonni,
    luv-luv-luv your site. 08/12 I started an extensive paper mache project for my daughters sweet sixteenth party, she wanted weeping willow trees as center pieces for her tables. I pondered/wondered then, ah ha!!! paper mache. I had no idea that others used paper mache for such a variety of uses, least of all “trees”. I entered a search engine and to my amazement I was brought to your site, and posted are the tree center pieces from KT Scherer. “WOW” just blew me away!!! I have no pics though! I was so busy with the party that I had no pics taken of them at the time. But my oldest daughter wants one for her apt so I’m working on 2 more as “we speak” I will take periotic photos and if it’s alright with you I will post so you can see! possible give me your opinion and any advise would be super. KT’s trees we’re awesome, she did an incredible job. maybe she will let all of us know how she did the “bark” technique via paper towels???? I would love to know and read that others do too! Thanks Rhonda

  • Hey Jonni me again I just started my first tree which looks nothing like hers but its still looks decent. I used a papertowel roll as the base and wrapped in in aluminum foil and shaped the branches in foil. I put or pebbles in the bottom to make it stand straight. Will the raw form of the paste be my best choice? And how many layers should I need to put on it. I have to make 30+ but my wedding isn’t until Oct 12th 2013 im hoping these turn put well I’m on a tight budget. Please get back to me!!!

    • I happen to like the raw paste myself, but you may prefer one of the other recipes. Since you need to make so many, I would suggest that you experiment just a little and see which one you like best. If the forms you cover are quite strong, you will only need two layers to create a nice “skin” on your trees. The paper mache is quite heavy when wet, so make sure your forms are strong enough to hold up the paper and paste.

      • I used the raw form but the consistency on my paste is alittle looser than pancake batter. Is that right? I mean it looks good and I scrapped the excess paste off but its tearing very easily. Is that normal? Do I bake it or just leave it? It won’t get old and smell if it sita for awhile will it? And I’m going to do one more layer when it drys and how long does it take to dry? Sorry for the 100 questions just want to do this right. Please get back to me!

        • You can avoid the tearing by using Dan Reeder’s method of applying the paste directly to the sculpture with a brush or your hands, and then laying your dry newspaper strips over the paste. Wet newspaper is very fragile. If you do it Dan’s way, you can use much larger pieces of paper, too. The drying time depends on the weather, and whether or not you have moving air. You don’t need to dry in an oven, but a warm dry place in front of a fan is best. Give it plenty of time to dry. Each new layer will soak into the layers below, so I don’t usually bother to dry one layer at a time – but many people insist it’s the best way.

  • I am sorry, I am new to this and I would love to do these for my wedding. What would I use as a base? The paper mache clay?

    • I don’t know what she used as the basic form, but it was probably wire with either crumpled paper and masking tape or aluminum foil wrapped around the wire to create the trunk and branches. The paper mache clay has to be applied to something that is solid. It won’t stand up on it’s own.

  • I would LOVE to see a tutorial for this? What did you start with for the form? They turned out lovely, and I would have fought over them too!!

  • Hi my name is rose and i am working on a paper-mache project. I am doing the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs for a group of second graders at a school. I work very hard on the wolf and I think he looks great. I wonder if you have any pictures of pigs done with paper-mache that I can get some ideas. These are going to be full head mask.
    Thanks rose

  • I loved the trees so much I created several of my own, but now I am stuck with white trees? Can you give me suggestions on painting my trees? Thank you for the great trees!

  • They are beautiful. What was the symbolism of the tree. They must have had a very special meaning to the bride. A lot of very detailed and impressive work! Kudos!

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