How to make a large cardboard palm tree

Updated February 21, 2017

You can make a large palm tree out of cardboard to create a tropical ambience for any party. Making your own palm tree will be much more unique than buying one at a party shop. You need to obtain an empty cardboard carpet roll from a carpet shop to use as your trunk. Usually you can get them for free if you ask nicely.

Stick the carpet roll into a bucket of gravel. Make sure it is in there deep enough so that it can stand up freely on its own, perpendicular to the floor.

Cut off the bottoms from a pack of paper lunch bags. Slide each bag separately over the top of the roll and scrunch it down. Add bags until they have covered the entire roll to create a realistic looking textured tree trunk.

Cut the fabric off an umbrella using scissors.

Insert the umbrella handle through the top of the carpet roll.

Cut palm fronds in a freehand fashion out of green poster board. Make them large enough to cover every umbrella prong.

Put hot glue on top of each umbrella prong and press a poster board palm frond on top of each prong. Allow to dry overnight.

Bend the fronds downward slightly along the spine of the fronds. This will help conceal the umbrella prongs.


Keep the palm tree away from tiki torches, grills and other open flames.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal bucket
  • Gravel
  • Empty cardboard carpet roll
  • Cheap umbrella
  • Scissors
  • Several sheets of green poster board
  • Brown paper lunch bags
  • Hot glue gun
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About the Author

Katie B. Marsh is a self-published author, article writer, screenwriter, and inventor. After graduating from South Coast College of Court Reporting, she worked as a congressional and freelance court reporter for eight years. She began her writing career in 2005. Her content may be found on,, and She completed her first screenplay in October 2009.