DIY Cardboard Trees

After the wave of Christmas passed and the tower of cardboard boxes reached its peak in our mudroom, this morning's snow presented an opportunity to get creative and reuse some of the discarded packaging and boxes from our presents.  I love using materials we already have in our house, and after a quick Google search I found a really cute activity I knew Parker would enjoy here

We started by reading an adorable board book by Salina Yoon about a Penguin who makes friends with a pinecone, who eventually grows to be a tree.  Its a cute friendship story that was a great segue to make our cardboard trees.  

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Step 1: Gather Supplies.   All you need are...  -A few paintbrushes  -White acrylic paint (and another color if you want - we chose gold)  -Cardboard  -Scissors  -Newspaper  -Wax Paper  -Smock or old t-shirt for your artist to wear

Step 1: Gather Supplies.  All you need are...

-A few paintbrushes

-White acrylic paint (and another color if you want - we chose gold)

-Cardboard

-Scissors

-Newspaper

-Wax Paper

-Smock or old t-shirt for your artist to wear

Step 2: Outline your trees.   They do NOT have to be perfect.  You want to have 2 of each size so they can interlock and become 3D, but they are just as charming if they aren't perfectly symmetrical.

Step 2: Outline your trees.  They do NOT have to be perfect.  You want to have 2 of each size so they can interlock and become 3D, but they are just as charming if they aren't perfectly symmetrical.

Step 3:  Cut 3/4 the way up one tree, and down the other.   This way they will fit together like a puzzle.  Don't cut too far on either side or the trees will be too flimsy and won't stand on their own.  You also want the bottoms of the trees to be straight so that they will stand up once assembled.  You can also add trunks, too!

Step 3:  Cut 3/4 the way up one tree, and down the other.  This way they will fit together like a puzzle.  Don't cut too far on either side or the trees will be too flimsy and won't stand on their own.  You also want the bottoms of the trees to be straight so that they will stand up once assembled.  You can also add trunks, too!

Step 4: Mix your paint on the wax paper.   We kept a fair amount of paint mixed and original.  Adding a little water to the brushes helps the paint mix and glide on smoothly.

Step 4: Mix your paint on the wax paper.  We kept a fair amount of paint mixed and original.  Adding a little water to the brushes helps the paint mix and glide on smoothly.

Step 5: Fit the trees together and start to paint!   Parker preferred the trees to be standing up, but below is another alternative - once the trees fit together you can keep them flat, folded like a book if you prefer to work on a more 2D level:

Step 5: Fit the trees together and start to paint!  Parker preferred the trees to be standing up, but below is another alternative - once the trees fit together you can keep them flat, folded like a book if you prefer to work on a more 2D level:

trees-book-fold.png

The finished product!  You can get as creative as you want - if you google "Cardboard Trees" you can see some really beautiful examples of people that use X-acto knives and make intricate designs.  Feel free to get fun with different colors, shapes and sizes.  This project took us only a 1/2 hour but was well worth it.  Have fun!

trees-finished.png