Looking for some Book Week display inspiration? Here is the display I created for this year’s theme “Read, Grow, Inspire.” The display features a life-size tree made from cardboard boxes and papier mache. It has an Enchanted Woods vibe, with a fairy house hidden inside. The students just love searching for the fairy.
The display also doubles as a photo booth. During Book Week students will be able to step inside the display and have their photos taken. I then display the photos on the TV in the library. The students love seeing their photos and sharing them with their friends. The photos look fantastic when they are in their costumes for the Book Week Parade, and the kids really do love it. To show you the effect, I have added my daughter via photoshop, in her Little Red Riding Hood costume from last year.
To make the tree I used some cardboard boxes, newspaper, pva glue and paint. The tree was made in 2 sections so I could fit it in my house while making it, and transport it to school when finished. For the main trunk of the tree I used 3 boxes stacked on top of each other. The flaps were secured with packing tape, and strips of large, heavy duty, double sided tape were used to join them together. The fairy house was made from a small cardboard box that I hot glued to the inside of the box before taping it shut. I used some patterned paper for wallpaper and made a little flower lampshade that I hung from her ceiling.
The top section of the tree was made from 2 cardboard boxes and large cardboard tubes for the branches. I cut holes in the sides of the boxes for the branches to slide through. So they didn’t move around, I glued some small cardboard boxes to the inside bottom of each of the large boxes, for the tree branch to sit inside. Some hot glue was used to secure in place.
The next step was to add texture to the tree. To make the texture I created some vines of scrunched up newspaper. I took one sheet of newspaper, and scrunched it diagonally down the page, securing the newspaper with small pieces of masking tape. I then taped the vines to the tree. The roots of the tree were made from cereal boxes, cut in a triangle shape, and taped to the foot of the tree. Once I was happy with how it looked, I used papier mache to cover the whole tree.
Once the tree was completely dry, I painted the tree with 2 layers of brown paint, waiting for the paint to dry in between coats. Once the brown paint was dry, I added some black paint to areas that needed a bit of shading. It helped give the tree some depth, and a 3D effect.
Then it was off to school to put my display together. To make my backdrop I put together an image in photoshop and used Block Posters to blow it up. The backdrop is made up of two very large posters that I have suspended from the ceiling. The leaves on the tree were cut using my cricut, and glued with pva glue to pieces of wool. Each strand has 18 leaves on it. I also made some flowers from the pages of an old book.
Unfortunately when we got to school, I had made the tree a little too tall for the space, and I had to cut about 20 cm off the top of the top box, and some of the branches. To help secure the top section of the tree I made a band of cardboard that sat around the top of the tree trunk. The top of the tree then slotted into the band, and was hot glued together to make one large tree. This band was added before the papier mache stage, and was painted brown with the rest of the tree. The vines of leaves and flowers were taped to the ceiling. I then added a green rug, and some fake flowers to the base of the tree.
Here is a close up of the leaves and flowers. When the air conditioner is on, they sway gently in the breeze.
I added some cardboard windows and doors to the tree. The window on the left is a faux window with nothing behind it, and the window on the right allows students to peep inside the fairy’s house. I added an overhead projector sheet as glass, to stop little fingers from touching the fairy inside. If you look hard enough you can see she is reading a book in her armchair.
And here is the final product! I am so happy with how this year’s display turned out. Now to make my costume. Have a great Book Week!
Looking for a fun Book Week craft activity? Why not try one of these fun crafts | Paper Cup Frog Craft inspired by “Snap!” by Anna Walker | Cardboard Tube Penguin with Woolly Hat inspired by “Frank’s Red Hat” by Sean Avery | or these cute Puppy Dog Ears. I originally created the ears for “When Billy Was a Dog,” but they would also be a great craft to go with this year’s shortlisted book, “Lionel and Me” by Corinne Fenton.