Teacher’s Learning Tree
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Teacher’s Learning Tree

Create this fun canvas “tree” for your classroom. Each child will have a special place on the tree and there’s even a special place for your student of the week! Designed by Michaels Design Team
Craft Time: 60+ minutes
Uses Recycled Items: No
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Material List

  • 16x20” Canvas - 4
  • 11x14” Canvas - 2
  • 8x10” Canvas - 2
  • 18x4” Natural Cork Liner Rolls - 2
  • Extra Firm Super Thick Foam - Black
  • ¼” Hole Punch
  • Lara’s Crafts Jute - 330”
  • Paper - Colors of Choice
  • Floss - Black
  • Recollections Alphabet Stickers: 7/16” Block - Black Licorice
  • Quartet Cork Tiles - 6x6
  • Push Pins - Clear
  • Craftsmart™ Acrylic Paint - Pale Blue and White
  • Wiggle Eyes Stack Pack
  • Craft Knife
  • Cutting Mat
  • Clear Tape
  • Drop Cloth
  • Fine Point Marker - Black
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Marker- Black
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue Gun

Project Instructions

Step: 1

Enlarge tree template to desired size. Tape papers together so entire tree shape is before you. “Prune” tree branches to form desired shape, and re-tape if necessary. Be sure to make a spot for your owl and swing. Set aside.

Step: 2

Arrange your canvases on work surface. Leave approximately 1” border around all canvases sides. Be sure to have some horizontal, and some vertical. Lay tree template on top of canvases and make sure that the tree edges due not hang off outside edges.

Step: 3

Lightly mark the tree portions that are over the gaps between the canvases. This is so that you know not to cut out that portion. Starting at the top or bottom, number the tree parts that are on top of each canvas. The numbering should also go on the canvas back of the coordinating canvas. This will help when hanging them on the wall.

Step: 4

Cut out the tree parts, double check that you have numbered both tree/canvas correctly. Set templates and canvases aside.

Step: 5

Unroll the cork onto work surface, paper side up. It will help to place a heavy book/object at each end to keep it from rolling back up.

Step: 6

Take one tree template at a time, and turn it upside-down onto cork paper. Trace them, and number the cork outline to match template. Try to arrange them close together in order to fit as many as possible onto one roll. Use second roll if necessary.

Step: 7

Once all the templates are traced, cut them out and set them aside.

Step: 8

Arrange canvases on top of drop cloth in the correct order/direction. Squirt puddles of both paints onto palette about 1” apart. Load paints onto brush, one color on each half of the bristles. Paint all the canvases using horizontal strokes until completed. Be sure to do sides as well. Allow to dry completely between each coat.

Step: 9

Find the tree parts for your number 1 canvas, and the canvases that border that one. Lay the parts on top of their coordinating canvases. Peel the number 1 tree parts, and place onto canvas so that they will line up w/tree parts on border canvases. Do the same for parts on the border canvases. Continue in this way until the entire tree is done. Set aside.

Step: 10

Get your colored paper and patterns. Trace templates onto desired papers, and cut out. Use photo and glue stick to assemble your owl. Put your name onto the owl’s chest with sticker letters. Use glue gun to attach owl onto branch of choice on your tree. Set aside.

Step: 11

Use the cutting mat, craft knife and ruler to cut a 1/2x4” piece of the thick black foam. Put aside remaining piece for future projects. Use hole punch to punch a hole at each end of foam. Set aside.

Step: 12

Cut six 16” lengths of jute, and put into two piles of three strands each. Pick up three strands and gather three ends together. Put a dab of hot glue on the ends to hold them together. Braid the 3 strands, and tie ends into a knot. Take canvas where swing will hang, and line up the glued end to the top of branch edge. Place a pen mark onto jute at the bottom edge of branch. Pick up black foam piece and thread glued end through one of the holes. Find pen mark on jute and tie a knot that sits right at the marks base. Use glue gun to attach jute on top of cork branch. The knot should rest under bottom edge of the branch. Refer to photo if necessary.

Step: 13

You will need to thread glued end through other hole in black foam as before. Then lay the braid onto the canvas over the same branch. Make sure your swing is perpendicular to the bottom edge of canvas. Once swing is positioned glue into place. Be sure to attach it so the star can sit on it.

Step: 14

Tie a knot on the second braid that also sits right under the branch. If any of the braid sticks out over the top of branch, cut it off and re-glue the end. Glue the braid to branch as before.

Step: 15

Trace the star and the sign templates onto paper of choice, and cut out. Set star aside. Use glue stick to put sign together, and use sticker letters to put “Star Student” onto sign. Cut a 7” piece of black floss, and tie a bow at the center. Decide length of floss to attach to sign back, and cut any excess off. Use craft glue to attach sign to braid on right side of swing.

Step: 16

Glue the smallest size wiggle eyes onto star, and draw mouth w/black marker. Refer to photo. Bend the star points that represent the legs, so they will “sit” onto swing. Bend the arm points in order to wrap them around the jute. Glue star seat to swing, and wrap points around jute and glue in place.

Step: 17

Use cutting mat, craft knife, ruler and pencil or pen to cut rectangles out of cork tiles. You need one 1x3”, and seven 1-1/4x5”. Set the 3” piece aside. Paint the 7 longer pieces exactly how you did the canvases (including the sides). Allow to dry between coats.

Step: 18

Glue the 3” unpainted piece across the front of the star on swing. Lay out the 7 painted pieces onto canvas for placement. When satisfied glue into place. Set canvas aside.

Step: 19

Trace leaf template onto papers of choice. Be sure to trace more leaves than you have students in class. Cut out all the leaves, and allow students to pick which leaf they like.

Step: 20

Put the child’s name on the front of their leaf with sticker letters, and let them place their leaf on the tree. Continue until all students have positioned their leaves.

Step: 21

Add additional leaves if necessary to balance tree, and use glue gun to attach. You may want to use fun tack in order to reuse your tree year after year.

Step: 22

Cut pieces out of white paper to match the sizes of cork tiles attached to canvas. Write questions for the star student to answer on the backside of the 7 longer pieces. Send home for the student to fill in the other side with their answers. Have the student write their name onto the 3” piece. Attach to cork on star’s chest with push pins.


Number the canvas backs in the order they will be displayed.