How to Make Jungle Decorations

By Nina Makofsky

Whether they are for a tiki party or for a total room redesign, jungle decorations give a room a funky touch. It is relatively easy to set the jungle mood, with hanging vines, greenery faux or real, tropical flowers and jungle-themed artwork. Making jungle decorations requires only a little bit of money and time, and great vision.

Go Jungle

Do your research. You can go fantasy jungle by looking at the eerily beautiful painting of Henri Rousseau or you can gather inspiration from retro jungle kitsch as found in Disney's "Jungle Book" and tiki paintings by Shag (see Resources below). Look at photographs of jungle flora and fauna to get an idea of the unique features and colors of jungle plants.

Gather materials. You can use many items you may have around the house, such as potted plants, vases of flowers, hula party decorations, scraps of floral fabric and images of nature from magazines and posters. You will need a good craft glue, some craft paints, paintbrushes, various types of paper in shades of green, fake flowers, fake vines and fake leaves.

Case your room. You should plan your jungle decorations to complement the room's features. For example, a chandelier is a great centerpiece from which to hang vines and flowers. An overlooked wall is the ideal spot to paint a simple wall mural of trees and leaves, or to paint a full-fledged totem pole. You should pick a focal point for the room, such as a tree in the corner that can branch out through the room with papier mache or paint.

Set the stage. Paint backdrops or create a wall of plants and bamboo. Then, you can add vines made of rope or painted strips of paper bags. Tissue paper flowers add the perfect pop of tropical color. Paint a tropical bird or hang a stuffed animal monkey by its tail from a vine. Frame a fireplace and mantle with a tiki mask-like face, or fill the fireplace with giant candles to create a fire pit effect.

Add finishing touches. Look for spots that need more greenery or color and place plants there, stacking them on painted crates or bricks to add height. If you want to increase the dramatic effect, consider adding a tiki bar, a fountain or a potted tree. String lanterns or lights around the room for a festive atmosphere. When company comes over, you can play recordings of nature sounds.

Tip

Get high quality craft paint that will not chip.

Warning

If you are decorating a child's room, be on the lookout for safety hazards. Do not use low-hanging vines or decorative lights that get hot.

About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.