Inside: Painted tree stick is a process art and creative experimentation. It’s colorful, easy, and fun for kids of all ages and their parents.
If sticks are things you step over on a path or something to throw to your dog, consider using them for creative projects. Sticks offer endless possibilities for fun and simple art.
Unlike many modern toys and boxed kits, sticks do not come with instructions. They are perfect tools for learning and discovery, and you never know what you’ll end up doing with them.
Last fall, after we trimmed fruit trees in our backyard, we ended up with a few amazing sticks. According to my daughter, one cherry tree branch practically begged to be painted, so we decided to do just that.
This project is surprisingly fun for adults, too, and if you’re doing it outside, all you need— besides the stick—are paints and brushes. We did it inside, so we used craft paper to cover our dining room table and added glitter for extra sparkle.
Painted Tree Stick
What you need
A large stick
A cup of water (optional)
An old tablecloth or craft paper (to protect your table)
What to do
- Cover your surface and set out paints and brushes.
- Dip brushes into the paint and get to work! We used a dedicated paintbrush for each color. If you don’t have enough paintbrushes, put a cup of water on the table to wash brushes between colors.
If you have older kids, you can go for sophisticated designs: stripes, dots, and patterns.
We had a blast covering every inch of the stick with paints and glitter. Since our branch was freshly cut, the paints didn’t stick to it easily. It would have worked better if we first had covered the stick with white paint, let it dry, and then applied colorful paints. But nobody was in the mood for waiting.
My kids went on for about half an hour, took a breath, got out more paints, and painted over the painted areas until the stick was so saturated that the paints simply slid off and slithered onto the paper under it.
After an hour, my daughter said, “Can we do this again tomorrow?” Well, she got her wish! We put our painted stick outside to dry. Out of nowhere, a rainstorm came during the night and washed all the paint away! We woke up to find our stick had been returned to its original state. Back to work!
That night, the painted stick went on the back porch (with not a cloud in sight, so we had our hopes high). We were planning to cover it with a paint sealer after it dried. What do you think happened next? Our German Shepard discovered the stick and drugged it away behind the prickly raspberry bushes. We decided to leave it there and paint some smaller twigs for inside decoration next.
Painting a giant stick is a simple idea, but oh so fun! What do you think?