I love Christmas trees but I know there is a lot of environmental and consumerist issues about their purchase however I’m not going to get into that at the moment. As an alternative this year and since money is tight I am opting to make my tree from huge pieces of cardboard some of our new furniture was packaged in. It was really easy to make and I had ever needed to create it so it didn’t cost me anything. The only things you need are two large pieces of cardboard but you can opt for a smaller tree of course, a pencil, a Stanley or craft knife, masking tape and spray paint in the colour of your choice, I opted for classic green. The thicker the cardboard the better as it will make it more substantial and remember that any ornaments you put on it must be on the lighter side. I have to say that it didn’t turn out perfect as I had fairly flimsy cardboard, but I managed to stabilise the tree with some heavy books around the base and later in the week I will show you how to make a tree skirt to cover them up and make the tree more festive.
1. Draw your tree design on to the two pieces of cardboard. I made very straight designs so the trees branches would be strong and stable to put ornaments on. the branches are definitely the strongest part of the tree.
2 Use a craft knife to cut around the outline of both your tree parts. This takes a long time btw.
3. Cut a slit through the middle of the ‘trunk’ on each piece about half way up/down. On one piece you want the slit going from the bottom up and on the other from the top down.
4. Spray paint the tree in the desired colour, using paper or more cardboard to protect your paint area. This is best to do outside or in a very well ventilated area.
5. Slot the tree pieces together. This is where it got tricky for me as the base was quite floppy. I used masking tape to secure the pieces. A piece of tape around the top of the tree to keep it together and then used the tape lengthways to stick the pieces together where they meet in the middle. Keep taping till secure.
7. I used books around the four corners of the base to keep the tree upright and give it strength.
8. DECORATE! bare in mind the weight of each ornament and don’t over load the tree.
Its one of my favourite ways I’ve upcycled cardboard and is a very green Christmas tree in more ways then one. I just need a few more decorations to make it feel extra Christmassy, my next few posts will show you how to create the yellow garland that is draped around the tree, a star for the top and a skirt for the bottom. What do you think? feeling festive?