Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Truffula Tree Tutorial

Students love to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday!  Listening to favorite stories by guest readers, making Cat in the Hat crafts, speaking in rhyme, and enjoying green eggs and ham and gummy "hats" as snacks are activities that typically fill the week as students nationwide remember Theodor Seuss Geisel.

(source here)

Truffula trees are a favorite decor element from The Lorax.  Long stalks/trunks with yellow and black stripes and colorful, fluffy tops can be found on many bulletin boards and classroom doors as well as decorating school programs and libraries.

I've found several tutorials online for making truffula trees, using items such as pool noodles or heating insulation, but I wanted to use items that had been donated to our class over the past few months.  Affordable, lightweight, and easy to store, these trees could also be happily adopted by students or families planning a Seuss themed birthday party.

You'll need the cardboard tubes from wrapping paper, double sided tape, black crepe paper rolls, yellow tape, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, a hole punch and scissors:

Put a piece of double-sided tape at the end of a cardboard tube:

Then add a strip of double-sided tape down the length of the tube (be careful, it sticks to everything):

Press the end of your crepe paper onto your first piece of tape:

Wrap the crepe paper around the tube, gently pulling it taut and making sure all of the cardboard surface is covered.  The long strip of double-sided tape will hold the crepe paper in place as you roll/wrap.  A word of caution: you'll likely end up with blue-ish black fingers thanks to the bleed-through of the crepe paper. 

When you've covered the tube, leave a bit of crepe paper at the end to tuck up inside:

Wrap yellow tape around the tube to create stripes:

You can use large butcher paper to create the tuft for the top of the tree or you can fold layers of tissue paper (I used 6 sheets per tuft) fan-style, tying a pipe cleaner around the middle, to make a more dimensional top:

I cut the edges:

... and carefully separated the layers:

To attach the tuft to the trunk, I punched two holes at one end of the tube and anchored the ends of the pipe cleaners through them:

Oh truffula tree, oh truffula tree, how lovely are thy tufts...


Do you know of any other Seuss-inspired tutorials that readers would enjoy?  Link us up in the comments!



  1. thank you so much!!! These are awesome! I've been searching all over for a tutorial!! :-)

  2. How did you make them stand?

  3. Hi Amy, these leaned against the wall at student-height for photos, but I was also able to push thumbtacks from within the tube into our bulletin boards. Another idea would be to use the same yellow tape for the stripes to attach the truffula trees to a smooth surface, such as a wood or metal door, or dry erase board: just place a tree against the surface, then run a long enough piece of tape across the front stripes (covering them), pressing the ends of the tape against the surface. They'd probably look more illustration-ish this way too, looking like the stripes had been drawn across the trees and surface. I've seen where other teachers have run a length of clear fishing line through the upper holes (where the fluff had been affixed to the trunk) so that they could hang the trees from the ceiling or higher spots on a wall.


As always, thank you for your comments, tips, suggestions and questions!