How to Make Life-Size Paper Trees

Written by dylan murray
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How to Make Life-Size Paper Trees
Use a variety of paper to make the life-size tree colourful. (paper samples for business cards image by Adam Radosavljevic from

Making a life-size paper tree is a fun and challenging project. For the home, a paper tree would be a fun addition to a child's room. Paper trees can also be a great project for summer camp, classroom and church activities. Paper trees also add a three-dimensional component to a theatre set.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wire hangers
  • Brown paper
  • Glue
  • Stapler
  • Floral foam
  • Cardboard carpet roll tube
  • Black marker
  • Scissors
  • Green or other coloured paper

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  1. 1

    Make wire bases for the branches. Unfold the wire hangers. Bend the wire into different lengths. Combine some of the wires to form a variety of branching extensions. The more wire bases you have for the tree, the more realistic the final tree will seem. Make at least 10 branch bases.

  2. 2

    Wrap the wire with brown paper, making sure to occasionally secure the paper with glue or staples. Crinkle the paper as you wrap the wire to give the branches a natural, organic appearance. Leave a 4- or 5-inch expanse at the base of the branch bare from brown paper.

  3. 3

    Make the base for the trunk of the tree. Cut the floral foam to fit inside the top opening of the cardboard carpet tube. Glue it in place.

  4. 4

    Wrap the truck base. Starting at the top of the boot, wrap the cardboard carpet tube with crinkled brown paper. Because trees are naturally wider at the bottom of the trunk, use the brown paper liberally as you approach the base of the tube. This also serves to create a more stable final project. Secure the paper with glue and staples as necessary as you wrap the trunk. Twist the brown paper into four or five thick pieces at the base of the truck. These will appear to be the start of the roots, but serve to stabilise the tree.

  1. 1

    Stick the wire branches into the floral foam of the trunk base. To keep the branches from drooping, you may need to now attach the branches to each other, creating a unified branch top. Add brown paper between the top of the trunk and the branches for a more natural transition.

  2. 2

    Add black marks to the trunk and branches. This provides some depth to the appearance. These kinds of imperfections in the colour helps the tree seem more realistic.

  3. 3

    Cut out leaf shapes with the scissors. Use green paper for a spring or summer look. Use other colours, such as yellow, red and purple, for an autumn look. Attach them to the branches with glue or staples. The more leaves you use, the more natural the tree looks.

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