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Giant Cardboard Christmas Trees

These life-sized cardboard Christmas trees make a major statement but are so easy to create! My favorite part? They can store flat. Check out the full tutorial below!

cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees

This project hits everything on my DIY checklist — it’s affordable, it’s easy, and it’s upcycled. (Not to mention the fact that it’s super festive!) These cardboard Christmas trees are a must-try if you’re looking for a cheery project with a big payoff.

Psst — before you dive in, be sure to check out these other Christmas tree ideas too:

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cardboard christmas trees

Why Do I love these Cardboard Trees so Much?

I had an idea to create some Christmas trees that could somehow fold away flat for people with limited space, and I love how they turned out! They also ended up to solve a few other holiday problems. These cardboard Christmas trees:

  • are totally free (if you have boxes laying around)
  • make a major holiday decor statement
  • are customizable in their shape and size
  • would be a perfect craft project for kids to decorate
  • can be neutral or colorful, depending on your preference
  • make use of recyclable materials
  • store flat to save space
  • can be used year after year

I have become this project’s biggest fan (in case you can’t tell). So let’s make some!

How to Make Cardboard Christmas Trees

Materials

Instructions

  1. Gather your cardboard. If you have extra large boxes or sheets, you can make taller trees. You can cut open boxes and lay them flat to maximize your cartdboard. It’s also worth asking friends or neighbors for theirs!
  2. Trace a tree onto a sheet of cardboard with your pencil. Consider the size and shape you’d like, and ensure that your tree is symmetrical. Keep in mind that to create one standing tree, you’ll need three flat cardboard trees of the exact same size.
  3. If you’re using a saw, it’s really easy to layer 3 pieces of cardboard and cut them all out at the same time. If you’re using scissors or a box cutter, just cut out three trees by hand.
  4. Trace a pencil line down the center of each tree. With your box cutter, carefully slice down the pencil line, being sure to only pierce one side of the cardboard (leave the side that’s face-down intact). If you’re using very thin cardboard, you can probably skip this step and just crease your trees down the middle so that they can fold in half.
  5. Cut two small circles of cardboard (about 4″ in diameter).
  6. Fold each tree in half. Create two slits in each tree on the fold, one high and one low on the tree. The slits should be less than half the depth of your cardboard circles (ours are 1.5″).
  7. Insert the circles into the slits of one of the folded trees and open the tree enough to stand. Add the other two trees onto the circles.
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees

More things to Do with your Cardboard Christmas Trees

Initially, my plans were to paint these trees bright, festive colors. But when they came together in this natural kraft cardboard color, I loved them just as they were! So with your trees, dress them up any way you like!

I really love the idea of making one of these for a child and handing them a bunch of art supplies to decorate it. I’m thinking markers, glue, pompoms, sequins, stickers — whatever they like.

I think these would also look incredible in a group of lots of them — a recyclable forest! Hope you try these out. xoxo

cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees
cardboard christmas trees

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Yield: Cardbaord Christmas Trees

DIY Cardboard Christmas Trees

cardboard christmas trees

These cardboard Christmas trees are easy to make, totally affordable, and fun to decorate!

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • cardboard
  • yard stick
  • pencil

Tools

  • box cutter
  • scissors

Instructions

    1. Gather your cardboard. If you have extra large boxes or sheets, you can make taller trees. You can cut open boxes and lay them flat to maximize your cartdboard. It's also worth asking friends or neighbors for theirs!
    2. Trace a tree onto a sheet of cardboard with your pencil. Consider the size and shape you'd like, and ensure that your tree is symmetrical. Keep in mind that to create one standing tree, you'll need three flat cardboard trees of the exact same size.
    3. If you're using a saw, it's really easy to layer 3 pieces of cardboard and cut them all out at the same time. If you're using scissors or a box cutter, just cut out three trees by hand.
    4. Trace a pencil line down the center of each tree. With your box cutter, carefully slice down the pencil line, being sure to only pierce one side of the cardboard (leave the side that's face-down intact). If you're using very thin cardboard, you can probably skip this step and just crease your trees down the middle so that they can fold in half.
    5. Cut two small circles of cardboard (about 4" in diameter).
    6. Fold each tree in half. Create two slits in each tree on the fold, one high and one low on the tree. The slits should be less than half the depth of your cardboard circles (ours are 1.5").
    7. Insert the circles into the slits of one of the folded trees and open the tree enough to stand. Add the other two trees onto the circles.

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