Creating a tree look/bark etc

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Hi all - so I'm finally working on the treehouse that I was going to do 3 years ago!  I'm ready to start creating the back effect on the outside and the wood effect on the inside walls.  There are numerous ways of doing this but I'm not sure which one is the best to use.

1) Build up the tree with tinfoil, then glue paper towels (serviettes) over the top.  Paint.

2) Build up with tinfoil and then cover in paper clay.  Paint.

3) Use papier-mache to build up and then paint directly on to that when dry.

Would love some advise please!

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Never done it but I’d be inclined to go with option 2.  I read that Joan Wheatley  made her bark from torn up card plants pots. I can imagine egg cartons would also work.

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Make sheets of paper mache and tear them into pieces or else texture it as you apply.  If you make the pulped mixture you can add a base color to the mix and then dry brush details after it's applied.

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I used egg carton, paper bag, card stock, and gel medium for Moonlight Retreat. I was looking for a redwood effect so depending upon what Type of tree you want, your build up of texture will vary. For the interior I used veneer sheets cut to fit.

 

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2 hours ago, Dalesq said:

 For the interior I used veneer sheets cut to fit.

I love that look!  Which vaneer sheets did you use?  I doubt I'll find the same here but you never know!  I really love the texture on the outside of your tree.....and I found the pic that you took of just the brown paper.....thanks!!

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So no definite ONE way is best then! :D   I'll see what I have and make the call.  I may leave the paper clay - I bought it for the staircase I was going to make.  You can't get it here and I had to order it in from the US at great cost - so maybe I'll put that aside and use everything else I have!  Thanks all - I'll show you when done!

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20 minutes ago, Shareb said:

So no definite ONE way is best then! :D...

I think we ought to have that tattooed on the insides of our eyelids.

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59 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

I think we ought to have that tattooed on the insides of our eyelids.

Lol Holly!  You're absolutely right!!!  @Dalesq - what size was the static grass from Mini-Nature that you used on your treehouse?  

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I did a tree stump years ago using a papier mache product called Celluclay. I wrote a long tutorial on the tree trunk house which includes working with the celluclay. Just scrolldown to day 14. The picture shows the tree trunk before I painted it.

Since then I've also discovered that styrofoam is easily carvable into bark shape with a wood burning tool. - 2nd picture, painted "wood"

36,TRUNKLIKE.jpg

trunk.jpg

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Love it @grazhina  I hadn't given any thought to the inside ceiling - love your beams and I'll attempt something similar!!  Love Sylvanians - my daughter collected them when she was younger.  Another effective way to create bark - thank you!

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10 hours ago, Shareb said:

So no definite ONE way is best then! :D   I'll see what I have and make the call.  I may leave the paper clay - I bought it for the staircase I was going to make.  You can't get it here and I had to order it in from the US at great cost - so maybe I'll put that aside and use everything else I have!  Thanks all - I'll show you when done!

Rebecca, not sure it helps, but Fairy Meadow Miniatures stocks Paperclay. But not sure how much to ship from Aus to NZ.

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If you can find a blender or a food processor at a thrift shop to dedicate there are loads of recipes online for making papermache.

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Thanks @shannonc60  It would probably be cheaper to get it from Australia than US.  I've saved Fairy Meadow Miniatures to my favourites!!!  Can't wait to get my parcel from you!!

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On 9/2/2019, 3:12:51, Shareb said:

Lol Holly!  You're absolutely right!!!  @Dalesq - what size was the static grass from Mini-Nature that you used on your treehouse?  

I use tufted grass sheets that have varied lengths of grass, usually 2 and 6 millimeter mixed for a realistic effect. I trim with scissors if I want it shorter. Scenic Express has lots of options, but I also buy through eBay products like this https://www.ebay.com/itm/HEKI-MINI-FOREST-ALL-SCALE-TUFTGRASS-SPRING-BN-1841/323823479142?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131003132420%26meid%3Dfdf6284870ce473caf7a1b3be326decb%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D323823479516%26itm%3D323823479142%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D0%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

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On 9/2/2019, 1:40:41, Shareb said:

I love that look!  Which vaneer sheets did you use?  I doubt I'll find the same here but you never know!  I really love the texture on the outside of your tree.....and I found the pic that you took of just the brown paper.....thanks!!

For the top inside walls I used zebra wood veneer. Each floor was a different wood (again veneer sheets) that had knots. I was looking for ones with concentric rings to give the effect of the floors being within the center cut of the tree. Just a heads up, the veneer was tricky. It wanted to bubble and warp (especially the floors). My parlor floor bubbled badly, but I saved it with patience and a mini iron. See my gallery post about the floor.

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For the roots I used foam that I carved with a heat knife. :D 

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Thanks for that Debora!  I've already done the floor so that's not an issue.  I'm going to spend the day playing with the internal walls today.  Love the idea of roots out of foam - not quite sure yet how I'm going to do the base.  I'm focusing on the inside as I'm considering how I'll run the lighting wiring.  If I don't do the outside I'll be able to run the lighting down the outside walls and then cover them up with the 'bark'.  Makes sense - we'll see if it works! :D 

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If I was going to do this, then I'd probably use the paper mache method because you have to think about how heavy it is going to be once it's dry. Clay would probably be too heavy if the project's large. You can shape the paper mache as you put layers on it which is useful if you wanted to give your project a rounded appearance like a tree. I used tissue paper in one of my projects (it was to do the base of a quarter scale house.) and I chose it because it was easy for me to scupt when it was wet! It does take a while to build up the layers though and you need to make sure that you don't put too many layers while the mixture is still wet as it needs to dry. If there's too many wet layers put on at once it won't dry properly. I don't know what it's like using a heavier type of paper, but it's quite inexpensive to do it that way.

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