Simple Christmas Craft Idea

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With sick kids and no time to get the real Christmas decorations out this week, these little paper trees quickly became our favorite easy Christmas craft idea– now we have them decorating the whole house.  Who knew such a quick and easy idea would be such a big hit?
Easy Christmas Craft Ideas: Simple Paper Trees
Folded Chrismas trees on display

What inspires you?  Sometimes I find inspiration in books, in nature, and in dreams.  Sometimes I find it in the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog.  Today I found it while playing home preschool with my daughter.

Folded Christmas tree decor
Detail of Christmas tree decorations

During an impromptu tree craft I was doing with my Ms. Noodle (which can be seen at the end of this post) a lightbulb went off and I realized an easy way to make some pretty little trees.  These trees can be tucked along a mantel, in windows, in nooks, on end tables, as part of your holiday table… I even thought they’d make cute gift tags.  They take less than 5 minutes to make, too.  Oh, and they are practically free.  Sweet.

Adorable mix of vintage and modern
Somehow they manage to look vintage and modern at the same time.  My favorite mix!
Another peek at the holiday trees

Since our mantel area is literally under construction right now {tile and hearthstone to be added this week– woot!} I only have a few snippets to reveal.  I’ve tucked them into the shelves in our new built-ins, adding to what is already there.

Christmas decorations

I even used a few half-trees to spiffy up some frames and mirrors.

Add a few half trees to frames and mirrors

Easy decorating, using what you already have– right up my alley!Tutorial: Simple Mantel Trees

Materials:
scrapbook paper
scissors
glue (I used rubber cement)

The first tree I made was from two mismatched scraps of paper.  The second time around I used a whole piece of scrapbook paper to make a larger tree.  Either method works!  The first tutorial is the basic idea using scraps, and then I detail the faster method below it.

Step One:  Fold a piece of paper in half, pattern side in.

Fold your paper in half

Step Two:  Freehand a simple tree shape along the fold, so when you cut you’ll have a whole tree.  Cut out the shape.  Do this using other pieces of folded paper until you have 4 whole tree shapes.

Draw a simple tree shape
Cut out the tree

Step Three:  Apply glue to one side of the back of one tree.  Glue one side of the back of another tree to it.  Continue on until you have all four trees glued back to back, creating a 3-D tree.

Apply glue to the tree
Glue to another tree

Step Four:  Trim off any excess paper that peeks out and you are done!

Shortcut method:  fold a piece of paper in half {pattern outward}.  Fold each half back upon itself so that white paper is showing on the outside.
Shortcut method- fold paper in half
Keeping the piece closed, cut in half so you have two identical folded pieces.
Keep folded and cut in half
Draw the tree on the outside, making sure the fold is in the center of the tree.
Draw a tree on the outside
Cut out the trees.  You should have two.  Then use one to trace the same shape in the same method onto the second piece of folded paper.
Cut out the tree
Now you have four identical trees, ready for gluing in step #3 above!
 
This method actually makes two additional tree shapes.  I made a few half trees and propped them against picture frames, books, and more.
Tree and frameDetail of tree
Decorative holiday trees
Last, here’s the tree that started it all.  We began by coloring two tree shapes with Noodle’s favorite color, blue.  She practiced making slow circles and fast circles with her crayon.
The kids took part too
just had to pop in a photo of my future Renoir {with wild hair} practicing circles on freezer paper
My little one crafting as well
We added little pom-poms with tiny drops of Elmer’s glue.  Actually, we added them and Noodle pulled them off.  I glued them back on while she was napping.  Then I placed the trees back to back, whipped out my sewing machine and sewed down the center.  Literally I whipped out the machine; this whole process took less than a minute.  {note to self: next time, glue the pompoms after sewing!}
Add decorative pops
Up close sewing machine
I tied the ends of the strings on the top and the bottom and had it sitting on the mantel when she woke up from her nap.  “COLOR TREE” she said!
Stitches on the tree
 
Side note: doesn’t the stitching look cool?  I might have to try this method with the scrapbook paper above instead of glue.  They’d look more professional that way!
Holiday craft idea
Move over, tissue paper pumpkin and hand/footprint turkey.  “Color Tree” is here to stay for awhile!

Make these little paper trees in just minutes… instant Christmas decorating!  Could Christmas crafting get any simpler?

Easy Christmas Craft Ideas: Simple Paper Trees

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5 Comments

  1. That’s a fun tutorial. Thanks, I am looking for things to do with my nieces over Christmas break. 😀

  2. I love this idea!!! Great way to use up extra scrapbooking paper too 🙂

  3. What a great, inexpensive craft. I love that these can be “dressed up” or “down” depending on the paper used…

  4. Pingback: An Upcycled Christmas
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