How to make an artificial palm tree

Updated February 21, 2017

Palm trees are great for decorating everything from a beach party to a garden barbecue, or even a child's room. Unfortunately, many of us don't live in an area where palm trees grow. Even if we do, they are expensive. If you'd love to have a palm tree for your party or other special event or decorative touch, you can make your own artificial palm tree for a fraction of the cost of buying a real palm tree.

Get a large cardboard tube. Secure the base of the tube in a box or pot filled with oasis floral foam or polystyrene. This will be the trunk of your tree.

Wrap brown paper around the cardboard tube. Crumple the paper ahead of time to give the "trunk" of the tree more texture. Secure with double-sided tape.

Make the palm fronds. First, bend a wire coat hanger until it is completely straight, using pliers. Cut off the hook with the wire cutters. The straight wire should be around 1 metre (40 inches) long.

Lay two pieces of tissue paper on top of each other. Run a bead of white glue down the middle of the paper, then place the wire on the glue. Leave around 10 cm (4 inches) of wire sticking out to form a stem.

Add more glue on top of the wire, then add two more sheets of tissue paper. You may need to glue the sheets together as well. Put aside to dry as you make more fronds.

Once the fronds are dry, fold them in half along the wire, so you have a rectangular "flag." Cut the ends of the rectangle off diagonally so you have a trapezoid shape, with the bottom a shorter length than the top.

Cut the tissue paper layers up to the wire, forming strips of feathery fronds. Then, shape the frond by trimming it. Bend the wire to give it a more natural shape.

Insert the ends of the wire "stems" into oasis floral foam that you have placed in the top of the cardboard pole.


If tissue paper leaves are too difficult or time-consuming to make, consider using leaves cut out of green construction paper.

Cover small balls with brown paper to make "coconuts" for your tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Large cardboard tube
  • Wire hangers
  • Dark and light green tissue paper
  • White glue
  • Floral foam or polystyrene
  • Brown paper bags
  • Box or pot
  • Double-sided tape
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors
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