Cardboard palm trees are an economical solution to decorating for a tropical party and stage presentations. They come together quickly and easily, and make use of scrap cardboard. This project can be adjusted to make a cardboard palm tree of any size. Make one, or make a whole row of palms and add decorative tropical flair to your event.
Chose a palm tree stencil. The resource section has a list of palm tree stencil sources. Choose one that has a trunk and separate leaves for a more authentic look. It is likely that you will need to print your stencil and enlarge it on a copier to make it big enough for your project.
Lay all of your pieces out on the cardboard to make sure they all fit and that you have enough cardboard. The trunk does not have to fit in one long column. You can break it up into three smaller sections and reattach them during assembly. Trace out all of your palm tree pieces but don't cut them out yet. It is much easier to paint the pieces while they are still on the cardboard.
Paint the traced out pieces using brown paint for the trunk and green paint for the leaves. First pain the trunk a dark brown and the leaves a dark green, then let the paint dry. Next add shading and highlights to the leaves with a lighter green and to the trunk with a lighter brown. Let the paint dry completely and then cut out your pieces using a sharp utility knife.
Assemble the trunk if it is in sections. Use hot glue to attach overlapping segments. This adds stability and a natural look to the trunk. Use a lot of glue, and allow it to dry completely before continuing so it can support the weight of the leaves.
Cut out the leaves using a sharp utility knife. Arrange them on top of the trunk, moving and adjusting them until you have achieved the look you want. Use hot glue to secure each leaf into place. Use a lot of glue to make sure that your leaves are well attached.
Turn your palm tree over and use more hot glue to attach dowel rod to the back for support. This will allow your palm tree to stand up without tipping over. Adding the leaves can make your palm tree top heavy so neglecting this step can make your tree bend at the middle and fall over. Of you are attaching your tree to a wall, you can skip this step.
Things you need
- palm tree stencil
- sharp utility knife
- hot glue
- paint (greens and browns)
- paint brushes
- dowel rod