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Faux-Bois Tree Stump Container

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 5128


No one will guess there are goodies hiding inside this creative papier-mache tree container from crafter Claire Chauvin.


  • Newspaper

  • Scissors

  • Tape

  • Baking pan

  • Flour

  • Salt

  • Sifter

  • Canning jar

  • Black acrylic paint

  • Paintbrush

  • Gray-brown acrylic paint

  • Butter knife

  • Hot-glue gun with hot-glue sticks


  1. Tear paper into small shredded pieces. Cover the paper in warm water, and soak overnight. Alternatively, bring the paper-and-water mixture to a boil and let cool.

  2. To make the branches on the trunk, cut long strips of paper, twice as wide as you want the branch to be long. Fold the paper in half lengthwise, roll it up tightly, and tape to secure. Cut one end of the paper roll at an angle, and tape the cut end to the glass jar so the branch is angled upward.

  3. Measure 4 cups of the paper pulp, squeeze some of the water out of it, and spread it out into a pan. Sift 1 cup of flour over the mixture. Sprinkle a little salt over the flour to prevent mold. Knead everything together until it is smooth and can form a ball on its own. If the mixture gets too dry, add more water a little bit at a time.

  4. Start clumping the papier-mache mixture onto the jar until it is completely covered.

  5. Use a knife and your fingers to sculpt the bark detail and texture. To make the upper parts of the roots, flare out the papier-mache at the base. Let dry in a warm place.

  6. Fill in all the cracks with black acrylic paint. Let dry. Lightly brush a layer of gray-brown paint over the top, making sure to leave the black details showing.

  7. If the jar lid has two pieces, secure pieces together with hot glue. Completely cover lid of jar with one layer of papier-mache. To create the "rings" in the lid, pull knife through the papier-mache in a circular pattern. Allow lid to dry and add to top of jar.

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