I got the tree started this year, but it was really the 4th graders who turned it into a masterpiece. This is my favorite tree yet.

I sketched out the tree on brown craft paper and cut it out.

The background from last year was still up, so I flipped the tree over to hide the sketchlines and hung it up. I do this part myself because I had to use 2 pieces of fabric to cover the board, so the tree is strategically placed to cover the seams. I have to add a long branch up the middle to hide the rest of it (the craft paper isn’t quite big enough to cut the tree out of a single piece). Then I added the bottom border, all before the first day of school.

My 4th graders with the best handwriting put all the staff names on the leaves for me. While they do that, another team does this:

Three girls with a good eye for design get started on the filler leaves of the tree, construction paper cutouts I recycled from last year.

The kids get the tree this far by the end of the day.

Then I fill it in, while getting scolded by my supervisor for climbing on top of the bookcases. You can see some of my recycled pieces facing the wrong way, with the spring tree flower outlines still visible. No matter, the leaves will fix that.

The next day a new crop of 4th graders help with the actual placement of the leaves. I had a ton of leaves this year for some reason, so I had to do a little directing here to make sure they weren’t all on top of each other. But they got the idea, and by the end of the 2nd day of school all the leaves were up.

And then finally we have this, the fall 2011 Library Tree. I’m in love with it, they did such a great job.