Uncharted

Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Festive Winter Paper Trees December 23, 2013

Just in time for Christmas, it’s the final stop on my holiday crafting trek.  These trees are near and dear to my heart because they’ll serve as our Christmas centerpiece this year.  My parents are hosting Christmas day, and I requested that my mom let me take creative hold of the main dining showpiece.  Really, I had a major hankering for extra holiday crafting but wanted to have a purpose for it!  Luckily, she let me take the reigns this year and also already owns a lot of beautiful home accent pieces that I could add to my trees to make them a viable centerpiece.

I made 6 trees of varying sizes: 2 small, 2 medium, and 2 large.  I will tell you what you need for each tree so you can decide what pieces you might need for paper trees of your own.

For each small tree you will need:

  • 2 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 inch scrapbook paper or 1 piece of 10 x 10 inch scrapbook paper
  • 1 small floral styrofoam cone

For each medium tree you will need:

  • 2 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 inch scrapbook paper or 1 piece of 10 x 10 inch scrapbook paper
  • 1 medium floral styrofoam cone

For each large tree you will need:

  • 4 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 inch scrapbook paper or 2 piece of 10 x 10 inch scrapbook paper
  • 1 small floral styrofoam cone

Cut each piece of scrapbook paper into strips that measure 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide.  I used some fun sparkly patterned scrapbook paper and some vellum paper for a varied effect in our centerpiece.  Hot glue several pieces the long way along the bottom edge of your cone (what will be the bottom of your tree).  This is so your styrofoam won’t show through on this bottom layer, since once you start adding layers the higher layers will overlap each other and solve this problem itself as your tree goes, but there is nothing under your lowermost layer of paper fringe.

ImageAbout a half inch to a quarter inch above the paper lining, glue paper fringe side by side the tall way until you have gone all the way around the cone.  Add another layer of paper fringe in this same fashion half to a quarter inch above your first layer of fringe.  Add one more layer in this same way, so that you have 3 layers of paper fringe.  Every 3 layers you’ll want to stop gluing and let the hot glue harden and cool before you go around your cone folding the bottom half inch of your paper up and out to make your fringe look more tree-like.

ImageOnce you have your first 3 layers on, cool, and folded, you can start adding another 3 layers in the same manner you fashioned the first 3 layers.  You will continue this process until you reach the top of the styrofoam cone.  I added one more layer at the top of my cone (glued to the top layer of paper fringe) that reaches about half an inch higher than the top of the styrofoam floral cones so that my trees assume more of a pointed look at the top instead of just stopping where the cone stops.  I glued a piece of paper into the top of the styrofoam to conceal the foamy white inside that you might catch a glimpse of if looking closely at my trees, and camouflage it with the paper that is on the rest of that tree.

I would recommend using a stiffer, harder paper for these trees that folds neatly and keeps it shape, as opposed to softer more weathered papers that might not look as neat and clean.

ImageI put our trees on top of a patterned burgundy tablecloth, and separated the sets of 3 trees (one of each size) with mirrored plates and white tea lights.  I liked the contrast of the light and whimsical trees against the dark, romantic, holiday-tailored red.  However, you could put your trees on a white or ivory tablecloth to give them the essence of being on a snowy plain, as well.  It really all depends on your space and the color of trees you created!

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2 Responses to “Festive Winter Paper Trees”

  1. Pam Says:

    Wow, Sarah! beautiful……..

  2. […] our holiday table centerpiece.  To see how I created these trees, you can find my original post here.   I wanted to share photos this week of how my mom created a beautiful, whimsical table scape on […]


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