I was put in charge of the Christmas decorations for our ward (church congregation) Christmas party. I had to come up with 30 centerpieces for basically no cost. Kind of a daunting challenge, no? I came up with Wrapping Paper Christmas Trees. While unpacking my Christmas decorations, I came across my fabric Christmas trees, and figured I could make them even cheaper by using paper. Then while at the Dollar Store, I saw all the pretty Christmas wrapping paper, and the idea was born.
At the actual party, the tablecloths were white, so I used colored napkins under the trees instead of doilies. But I really like the doilies better. Instead of sprinkling confetti around the trees, I opted for M&M’s. I knew that with 100+ kids running around, that would mean no clean-up! Confession: The night of the party, things were so crazy that I didn’t actually remember to put the M&M’s out. I had several people come up to me that night and ask how I made these trees, so thankfully I took photos along the way! They really are simple to make, and they come together pretty quickly. But if you have to make 90 trees, you are going to need some help. I spent over 10 hours, and that was with help from several of my YW leaders!
How To Make Wrapping Paper Trees
-Wrapping paper (If you can find the kind with the grid printed on the back, it will be a huge time saver!)
-Free cone pattern
-Hot glue gun and glue
-Ruler and pencil if you are using non-grid wrapping paper
1- Cut out all your strips of paper. I found it much more efficient to cut multiple strips of wrapping paper at the same time. Here’s how I did it:
Cut 6-7 pieces of wrapping paper that are all approximately the same width. (Your cut lines don’t need to be perfectly straight.) If you don’t have the grid paper, you need to make 1″ lines across the length of the paper. Starting on one of the straight side edges, use a yardstick to mark 1″ lines across one of the pieces of wrapping paper. Stack all the pieces with the marked piece on top, and the straight edges lined up evenly. Use clothes pins to secure the pieces of wrapping paper together. Now you can cut through several pieces at once, saving yourself lots of time!
This photo shows my wrapping paper after I had already cut half of the strips. I also have clothes pins at the top end, you just can’t see them.
2-After you have all your long strips of paper cut, trim them down so they are 4 1/2″ long.
3-Now use a glue stick to glue the ends together, forming a bunch of little loops.
4- To form your cone base, draw a quarter circle onto lightweight paper or cardstock. Cardstock is a little more sturdy, but it’s also a little harder to form into a cone. Use whichever one you prefer. For the smaller tree, make a cone that is 7″ from tip to end, for the larger tree, make it 8 1/2″.
Roll it up into a cone shape and hot glue along the edge. It’s OK if it isn’t perfect.
5- Starting at the bottom, use hot glue to attach the loops to your cone. Overlap the loops a bit so that the cone doesn’t show through. I found it easiest to put the glue on the end of the loop, but some of my friends preferred putting the glue on the cone and sticking the loop to it. Use whichever method you prefer!
6- Attach the second row of loops the same way, letting them hang over the bottom loops about 1/4″.
7- Add layer #3:
8- On the top layer, I like to wrap the paper tightly around the cone so it makes a better tip. For this tutorial, I showed the smaller tree. The larger one will have five layers of loops.
If you want, you could attach a ribbon or paper star at the top of each tree, but I just left mine as is.You gotta love cheap, easy, pretty Christmas decorations!