Our world is a precious place, full of life and beauty.
Today is Earth Day 50, wow.
As we celebrate all the beauty of the earth let us celebrate the Cacao that grows on trees and is later made into chocolate.
For today’s #createwithcanadianchocoholic activity I challenge you to create a Cacao Tree from reused and/or recycled materials around your home.
Here are some photos of cacao trees, Theobroma cacao, for reference. It is very similar to most trees, but it’s fruit, the cacao pods, grow from the trunk and branches.
So go have fun and create a Cacao tree. You can use anything! Chocolate bar wrappers, cardboard, construction paper, plastic, fabric, string, foil, seeds, macaroni, Cacao husks, really anything you can think of.
You can make it big or small. It can be as tall as a real tree or small enough to fit onto a greeting card.
I’d encourage you to be creative and not follow any rules, just have fun.
For my tree I pulled together a few supplies I thought I would use: paper (I had card stock on hand), scissors, glue, glue stick, glue tape (which I love and makes little mess, plus it keeps my fingers clean and not sticky), a ruler, a pencil, a bunch of old chocolate bar wrappers, some filling from my chocolate Easter bunny, pens and a space to work.
I decided to make a greeting card. Starting with a piece of paper, I folded it in half and rubbed along the seam. Then using my pencil, I traced a very vague outline of where I thought my tree would go.
Next, I went through my chocolate wrapper stash to see if I had anything colourful. I was specifically looking for brown for a tree trunk, green for leaves, and reds, oranges, and yellows for pods.
Rummaging through my container of wrappers (which I save to make homemade paper with, you can read about that here), I found some excess nest material from the Easter bunny packaging. So, I decided that the treetop would be made of that, giving my card some dimension. I found browns and yellows and reds on wrappers and set them to the side.
I traced a design onto the chocolate bar wrapper about the size I wanted the trunk, ironically the piece I used has a tree design on it. I cut that out and using glue tape, I taped it into place along the side of the card to form my cacao tree trunk.
Then, I began to cut out some cacao pods, and being crafty I totally freehanded these. If you like feel free to draw them onto your paper or material before you cut. I tend to just cut and trim if I need.
Next, I arranged them how I wanted them, ish, on the trunk. I thought it needed a few more so I cut two more out and then using the glue tape I placed these on the cacao tree trunk.
After this I grabbed my green stringy bunny stuffing (does this stuff have a name?) and put a lot of glue stick onto the top of my card. Then I pressed the green paper strings onto it. I added a bit more glue in a few places. Noticing that the green was fluffing up more than I wanted I also used liquid white glue in a few places, pushing the paper down into it. This will need a bit of time to dry.
I returned to my container of chocolate bar wrappers and found a brown inner wrap from a bar which I ripped to give a rough edge. Using glue stick on the bottom of the card I then glued that down, trimming away the excess after it was glued. I added some glue tape to the ends for extra support and to help everything stay in place while the glue dried.
Next, I grabbed a pen and wrote a cute saying on the card. Being Earth Day 2020, I chose ‘Save the Earth, it’s the only planet with’. I went back to my wrappers and cut out the word CHOCOLATE from one of them and glued it to finish the saying. This brought a bit more focus to the word Chocolate.
To finish it up I trimmed off some of the excess green ‘leaves’ and set it aside to dry completely.
All in all, this took me less than a half hour. It may take you longer depending how you go about it, but this project can be done with any items around your home. Your cacao tree can look however you want. Make it unique, make it yours, have fun.
For fun I made a second card. For this one, I cut the card a bit smaller to fit some mailing envelopes I have. I had come across some chocolate bar wrappers that had cacao trees and cacao pods on them. Then I combined them to fill up the space on my card. I think it turned out lovely for minimal work, using scissors, glue tape and a pen. Sweet and simple.
I’d love to see what you create! Feel free to send it to me via the contact form on the website or tag me @canadianchocoholic #createwithcanadianchocoholic on Instagram.
Happy creating, respect the Earth, Earth Day Every Day, have fun!