Mother Earth Living

Try This: Projects for the Holidays: Newspaper Christmas Tree

Create a recycled Christmas tree from newspapers.
By Stephanie Nelson
November/December 2009
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A shiny gold Christmas tree, made from recycled newspapers, commands attention in any room.
Photo By Rob Cardillo

Content Tools

Newspaper Christmas Tree

Chicken wire
Newspapers (about 13 thick newspapers depending on thickness)
Nontoxic paint (we used gold)
Cut tree branch (about 4 feet tall)
Terra cotta planter 
Shredded newspaper

Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Utility gloves (optional)
2 to 3 feet of wire


1. Cut out a section of chicken wire, roughly 2 feet by 4 feet. Join the two ends to form a circle and secure it by twist the ends of the wire together with pliers. You will have a cylinder shape.

2. At the top of the cylinder, cut out 4 triangle shapes that are roughly 2-3 inches wide and 1 foot long. This will bring the top to a point. Secure the loose ends by twisting the wire together.

3. Open the newspaper so both sides are flat and cut along the center seam. Fold the cut sections in half turning the rectangle into a square like shape. Cut along that seam and repeat for the remaining newspapers.

4. Place the newspaper so the longer end is parallel to you. Roll the newspaper at an angle so it is tighter at one end and looser the opposite end causing it to flare out in a cone like shape.  Bend the smaller end roughly 2 inches down and loop it into the wire Christmas tree. Take the small end of the newspaper and weave it in and out of the chicken wire. The large cone shaped newspaper will be on the outside of the tree and you will not be able to see the smaller, weaved in end once the tree is finished. (If the newspaper cones are loose you can glue the cone to itself at the bent crease.)

5. Repeat this step 4 until the tree is about halfway covered.

6. For the remainder of the tree, increase the fold sizes from 2 inches to 5 inches. This will make the tree look layered.

7. Optional: You can paint the tree at this point.

8. Select a tree branch that is relatively thick. It should fit snugly at the top of the wire frame. Weave the wire around the tree and occasionally looping it around the metal tree frame. Make sure it is secure.

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

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