Date : March 7, 2021
Broad Leaved Paperbark Trees are native to the East Coast of Australia.
They can grow up to 20 metres tall and their trunk is distinguishable with its flake-like covering in shades of white, beige and grey. It’s this feature which gives the paperbark tree its name, although its binomial name is Melaleuca quinquenervia.
Paperbark trees can be found growing natively in swamps and flood plains. You may have seen them in the illustrations of May Gibbs books. In Brisbane, the broad leave paperbark tree is an approved street tree along Brisbane footpaths.
The paper bark does shed from the trunk of the tree and these pieces can be used to create a Paperbark Nest for Easter.
Hair Dryer (not pictured and optional)
How to make Paper Mache Glue
To make the paperbark bowl, we are going to use papier-mache to glue the paperbark pieces together. You will need
1 cup of plain flour
2 cups of cold water
2 tablespoons of salt
Whisk the ingredients together to form the glue. The consistency should be like pancake batter.
Adding the salt will prevent mould growth.
Shred and cut your pieces of paperbark so they are easy to dip into the papier-mache. Start moulding these pieces around the bowl. You can use a paintbrush to remove excess glue.
Repeat the same process to cover the bowl. You can either cover the whole bowl so it’s a sturdy bowl or create it as a nest (the look I wanted to achieve).
Let the covered bowl dry for at least 24 hours. You can use a hair dryer to shorten the drying time. Reapply more paperbark dipped in papier-mache. You can store the papier-mache paste in the fridge for 3 days. Ensure it is fully sealed though.
When completely dry, carefully remove the plastic bowl. You should now have a paperbark nest ready to fill with Easter eggs.
Crafty Bec is here to help stimulate little imaginations and spark a creative flame in little people. Inspired by May Gibbs’ own passion for creative writing and art, Bec helps educators and mums to embrace nature inspired creativity.