One of the suggested projects in the Creative Curriculum Trees unit is using tree parts as painting props. I found some sprigs of evergreen on a tree near our school and broke them off. To make them easier to manipulate for painting, I attached clothespins to the end of them for the children to hold onto. I also provided each child a paper plate with white tempera paint. They then used the evergreen sprigs as brushes to paint on colored construction paper. The end result was really pretty, and different for every child. As you can see in the photos below, we use vinyl floor tiles under our art projects. This serves to not only keep our tables clean, but also defines the "work space" for each child. I got my tiles by putting a request on Facebook for free tiles. This is a great way to get the things you need for your classroom. Social media has its benefits.
In hindsight, the only thing I would do differently with this activity is tape the papers down on the tiles OR use smaller sprigs of evergreen. The huge sprigs I found were so big they kind of made the paper slide around when the kids tried to paint. It still worked okay, but would have been even better if the paper were stabilized.