Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fan Folded Palm Branches

       This Palm Sunday craft may be used during a procession in the church but it also is an excellent method for creating a palm branch prop for a play. Although it is simple the project has much better results when completed by older students, fifth grade and up. You will need eight sheets of green construction paper in all to complete a palm similar to this one. However, you can use this method with any number of sheets if you should desire to alter the size of the project. Fold the paper in an accordion fashion and then snip off the tips of the fonds in a curved-like fashion as seen in the far left hand photo above. The center photo shows how your accordion folds should look. You will then need to glue the edges of sets of four papers together to form a continuous sheet of palm leaves.

      Left, I then bound both sets of palm leaves together with masking tape over the end of an old yard stick, one palm half on either side of my yard stick/ruler. Center, I added more tacky white glue to the edges of the palm leaves on the stick for strength. Right, I covered my tape with a small strip of paper, thereby giving the palm a clean look. 

      After leaving the palm branch to dray, I then glued the two accordion folded palms together down the center of my project and then wrapped the trunk of my branch with brown twine and white tacky glue to hide the writing on the old yard stick. On the far right you can see the completed palm branch. 

      As you can see by the photos, you may open the palm all the way into a circular shape and pin it down to the trunk of it's branch with a clamp of some sort. This gives the palm a very aesthetically pleasing appearance. However, I suggest that you only clamp this into place, not glue it permanently. This is because the palms store better when they are flat and closed at the top. Clamping them temporarily while on display will allow you to use them time and time again in future parades.

      This little video demo shows a "fan fold" this is  technically called an accordion fold but many people refer to it as a "fan fold" because it mimics the fans ladies used to carry with them on hot sunny days to cool their faces. The palm branch above is folded with the same technique.

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