Monday, December 16, 2013

Make it Better: Cardboard Christmas Tree #1 DIY

As I mentioned, we decided to skip the tree this year, but keeping decorations simple this year hasn't meant skipping them altogether. Inspired by a picture from a catalog, I went to town with the cardboard left over from having our wreath shipped to us.

My original plan was to leave the tree plain for a modern-streamlined look, but after making it, it looked a little lonely on its own. I could have made it a few friends like in the catalog picture, but we already have a little Christmas forest, so I decided instead to go all out with some decorations in just the right scale.

Making the tree itself is easy and quick, so it's a great last-minute decoration. And since cardboard boxes seem to be plentiful this time of year as we ship gifts in preparation of a jolly Christmas, supplies should be easy to come by. The decorations, on the other hand, took a bit more time, but I had a wonderful elf's assistance, who thought up and then made the paper garland as I strung the seed bead garland while we watched the "Survivor" finale.

The plain trees are modern and simple -- a great choice on its own, so one can choose just how far to go with this project. Hopefully, you already have everything needed for this project at home.

Supplies needed for the tree:
-Marker or pencil

Marking up the cardboard on one side won't show in the end, so go ahead and make as many lines and markings as needed! (See below for the front and back, and why it's fine to have markings.)

-Mark the full height of the tree at 21.75"
-Measuring 7.5" down from the top, draw a horizontal line. This will be the bottom of the top branches. This line will be 14.75" wide.
-Measuring 13.75" down from the top, draw a horizontal line. This will be the bottom of the middle branches. This line will be 19.25" wide.
-Measuring 19.5" down from the top, draw a horizontal line. This will be the bottom of the bottom branches. This line will be 20.75" wide.
-The trunk will be 6" wide.

Once all the lines are marked, finish each triangle for each of the sets of branches, then vertically for the trunk. Cut out, and use as a template for the second piece. Cut a gully from the top of the tree to the center for one flat tree piece, and from the bottom to the center for the other flat tree piece. Insert one into the other.

For a modern look, call it a day! But if you'd like to see the garland instructions, check here for the ways we chose to decorate our tree.

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