Mother Earth Living

Try This: Projects for the Holidays: Mini Cardboard Tree

This holiday season, create a mini cardboard tree with character.
By Stephanie Nelson
November/December 2009
Add to My MSN

These DIY cardboard Christmas trees are fun for the whole family to make.
Photo By Rob Cardillo

Content Tools

Related Content

Spice Up Your Holiday Decorations in 3 Ways

You don't need a Christmas tree to decorate for the holidays. Here are three herb-friendly and space...

MiniHome Combines Style, Affordability and Function--in Less Than 1,000 Square Feet

Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model t...

Holiday Decorating: Herbal Ornaments

Decorating for the holidays does not have to be complicated. Use our recipes for cinnamon spice and ...

Edible Holiday Decorations: The Very Berry Holiday Tree

This easy-to-make edible centerpiece, courtesy of Driscoll's, will keep your footprint light and you...

Mini Cardboard Tree

Chicken wire
2 sheets of newspaper 
1 or 2 old cardboard boxes depending on size 
1/3 cup of water
Nontoxic paint (we used three different shades of green)
Three medium sized paint brushes
Cut tree branch (about 2 feet tall)
Terra cotta planter
Shredded newspaper

Utility knife
3 bowls or containers to hold the paint and water mixture
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Utility gloves (optional)


1. Make a cone Christmas tree shape out of chicken wire like the newspaper Christmas tree, only 6-10 inches tall rather than 2 feet.

2. Cover the outside of the wire Christmas tree frame with one sheet of newsprint and glue the ends together. You are going to repeat this for the inside of the frame only cover the outside of the newspaper cone with glue. Place inside the metal frame and let it dry. The two sheets of newspaper and metal frame should be sturdy and securely glued together.

3. Set the tree aside and cut the cardboard box(es) so they lay flat. Cut small rectangles and squares that range in size from 1-3 inches tall and 1-5 inches wide. They do not have to be straight lines.

4. Divide 1/3 cup of water between three containers. Mix the paint into the containers. The mixture should be slightly watered down. Adjust the paint to water mixture accordingly. 

5. Paint 1/3 of the cardboard cutouts one shade of green. Continue for the other two colors and the remaining cardboard.

6. Start at the bottom and glue the cardboard shapes to the metal frame until you reach the top.

7. Make sure the tree branch fits snugly at the top of the wire frame. Place and glue the branch to the inside of the wire frame. Make sure it is secure.

8. Place and glue the tree stump inside a terra cotta planter. Fill the planter with shredded newspaper.

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.