Mini Cardboard Christmas Trees

I’ve been getting into the Christmas Spirit this year decorating my house, and re-decorating over and over again. (Two-and-a-half year-olds can do a lot of “undecorating” in a surprisingly short amount of time.) I’ve realized that I need to add a number of kid-friendly pieces that can be handled and loved. Today we made some mini cardboard Christmas trees that can be used as backdrop for a nativity, tucked in a corner with some garland or ornaments, or just sit by themselves. We only made one size, however they’d look great grouped together in multiple sizes.

Start by cutting out a Christmas tree template. You can draw one on a folded piece of paper and then cut it out (make sure it is symmetrical), or just trace a triangle shape onto your cardboard.

Cardboard Templates

You’ll need two identical shapes to make your tree. Cut them out with an Xacto Knife. Then measuring from the center point (In both directions) cut a slot 1/8″ wide, on one tree to the bottom and on one tree going to the top. When you fit the trees together, they’ll stand up nicely.

We haven’t done much gluing with our art play group, so I decided to have the kids decorate the trees using glue and tissue paper.


Add a bit of white school glue to a dish or tray, and then dilute it with a few drops of water. The paste should be easily spreadable with a brush. Then just have the kids “paint” their trees with the glue and stick on the squares of tissue paper. I just cut up a few pieces of tissue paper that I had stashed with my gift wrap supplies. Encourage the kids to see what happens when they layer pieces of tissue paper over one another.

neat girlsmessy boys

As you can see, there was a significant difference in ahem “organization” styles between the girls’ table and the boys’ table.


We discovered this was a good activity for concentration, and small motor skills.

finished trees

Here’s a picture of the finished trees. If you like, you can trim along the edge of the trees so that the tissue paper doesn’t hang over and obscure the tree’s shape. Or leave them as they are. I like them both ways.

Merry Christmas!

Place your finished tree and enjoy! Merry Christmas!


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