How do I Make a Tree Out of Cardboard Boxes?

Updated March 17, 2017

You don't need seeds or water to make a tree. If you want to create a forest for a theatrical production or simply turn your bedroom into an outdoor wonderland, start by making a tree out of cardboard boxes. Cut, bend and glue pieces of cardboard boxes to create every part of a tree, from the trunk to its leaves. After construction, decorate and display the tree, then make more to add to your growing forest.

Flatten the two large cardboard boxes by cutting along their corners.

Measure and draw five squares, 14 inches by 14 inches, on the cardboard. Cut them out.

Bend two ends of the square around so they touch and form a tube. Secure the ends using a hot-glue gun or stapler. Repeat with the remaining four squares.

Measure and cut out 16 rectangles, 4 inches by 2 inches, from the cardboard.

Stack the five tubes, one on top of the other. Apply glue to each end of a rectangle and place it vertically on the seam where two tubes meet, one side of the rectangle above and one side below the seam. Attach three additional rectangles around the seam with glue. Repeat along the rest of the seams.

Measure and cut six rectangles, 2 inches by 20 inches, from the cardboard. Bend each rectangle so it forms an ā€œL.ā€

Glue one end of each ā€œLā€ rectangle onto the top two tubes of the tree trunk. The rectangles should point out from the trunk creating the branches of the tree.

Draw 60 ovals, 3 inches long, on the cardboard. Colour each oval with green marker to create leaves. Cut out the ovals.

Punch a hole in one end of each oval. Thread a 6-inch piece of green yarn through the hole.

Punch a hole into one of the tree branches and attach the leaf to the branch with the yarn. Tie off the yarn. Repeat with the remaining leaves.

Cut the flaps from the top of the medium-sized cardboard box. Turn over so that the ground so the bottom is facing upward. Cut a circle into the centre of the bottom of the box that measures 4 inches in diameter.

Slide the bottom of the tree through the hole. The tree will stand upright.


Use different coloured leaves such as red and yellow for an autumn tree. Add more branches to the tree to make it fuller. Widen or add more tubes to the tree trunk for a thicker or taller tree.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 large cardboard boxes
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Stapler
  • 1 medium cardboard box
  • Green marker
  • Hole punch
  • 30 feet of green yarn
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About the Author

Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.