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How to Make Homemade Palm Trees

Updated February 21, 2017

Teach children to pull a palm tree out of the palm of their hand. Making paper palm trees is a craft that is also a magic trick. Use the trees for a tropical centrepiece. Add paper bamboo or other tropical paper plants. The next time you are unexpectedly stuck waiting with children, grab some scrap paper and show them how to grow a tree.

Cut or tear a strip of paper, 4 by 11 inches. If you have longer paper a longer strip is even better.

Roll the strip into a short tube 1 inch in diameter. Tear four slits around the top of the tube. The slits should be evenly spaced and about 2 inches long. These resulting streamers of paper will be the tree's branches. You may cut the slits, but tearing gives them a more "leafy" appearance.

Hold the tube firmly around the bottom. Reach into the centre of the tube and grasp the "branches" in the centre. Pull them gently and firmly up out of the roll of paper. The tree will "grow" out of your palm.

Tape around the base of your tree to hold it together. Have the children dip their fingers in brown paint and press them onto the tree to add "coconuts."

Shorten some of the lower branches by tearing them off. Be careful not to remove them too close to the boot.

Tip

You can make a tree when all you have to work with is a piece of scrap paper. Just tear the strip of paper and hold the base together in your hand. You can make different plants by varying the size of the tears. Tear one narrow branch to make bamboo. Tear longer branches to make bushes. Make bigger trees from newspaper and spray paint them for party decorations. Make a tree with a smooth trunk by tearing your branches when the strip in only half-rolled up. Tear the branches in the roll, then finish rolling the paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Green construction paper
  • Tape
  • Brown paint
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.