How to Make Tiny Trees Out of Toilet Paper Rolls

Written by pamela martin
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Small groupings of tiny trees set off holiday and other figurines to create an eye-pleasing tableau. Make your own trees and recycle empty toilet paper rolls. Embellish them for Christmas or leave them "natural" for year-round use. This is also a simple project for children to make to decorate their own rooms.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Empty toilet paper rolls
  • Brown tempura or acrylic paint
  • Ruler
  • Green cardstock or construction paper
  • Craft glue
  • Beads, foil stars, or other embellishments (optional)
  • Overhead transparency
  • Tissue paper--several shades of green
  • Double-sided scrapbooking tape

Show MoreHide


    Simple Trees

  1. 1

    Paint the cardboard rolls brown for the tree trunks and set them aside to dry. You may need two coats of paint for best coverage.

  2. 2

    Measure and cut a 6-by-9 inch strip of green paper. If you want more of the tree trunk to show, make the strip less than 6 inches wide.

  3. 3

    Roll the paper into a cone and glue it where it overlaps. Trim the excess paper from the overlap to make a smaller seam and make the bottom straight.

  4. 4

    Embellish the cone with beads, stickers, or other decorations, as desired. Use scrapbooking glitter mist sprays for snow or metallic effects.

  5. 5

    Set the open side of the treetop cone over the top of the toilet paper roll tree trunk.

    Collage Trees

  1. 1

    Paint the cardboard rolls with two coats of brown paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Measure and cut a 6-by-9 inch strip from the acetate transparency.

  3. 3

    Tear the different shades of tissue paper into 1/2-inch to 1 1/2-inch pieces.

  4. 4

    Mix equal parts of craft glue and water.

  5. 5

    Brush a small area of the acetate strip with the glue mixture.

  6. 6

    Place tissue pieces on the glue mixture, turning the pieces in different directions with the edges overlapping, to form a multi-shaded collage.

  7. 7

    Brush and paper another section of the strip. Continue until the entire strip is covered.

  8. 8

    Brush the surface of the tissue with the glue mixture. Do not worry if the paper wrinkles or tears, as this adds texture to the tree. Patch holes with an extra torn piece of tissue and more glue. Allow it to dry and add a second coat of the glue mixture. Allow it to dry completely.

  9. 9

    Roll the strip into a cone. Join the overlapped seam with tape and trim unnecessary corners and edges from the cone.

  10. 10

    Embellish the cone as desired.

  11. 11

    Drop the cone over the top of the toilet paper roll.

Tips and warnings

  • You may also use thin green and brown craft foam in place of the paint and paper. Leave about 1/2 inch of the roll uncovered to allow the top to sit down snugly.
  • Cover the toilet paper roll with torn brown tissue and glue mixture to match the collaged treetop.
  • String your tree with short strings of battery-operated lights for the holidays. Wrap the lights in a spiral around the cone and tuck the battery pack inside the roll.
  • Make taller trees by substituting paper towel rolls.
  • Substitute printed scrapbook paper for the cardstock for a whimsical collection,

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