Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY tree form and garland Christmas trees

You can see details for my entire Christmas mantel HERE

I wanted to decorate my mantel this year, but (as you have all figured out by now) I'm a cheap-o. As in, I won't pay the $2.50 for a styrofoam tree form kind of cheap-o. I mean, all my money is going toward Rapunzel and Disney princess merchandise, so I can't really afford styrofoam tree forms.

At least that's what I tell myself. It sounds way better than "cheap-o." (Husband if you're reading this, you can thank me later for saving us $2.50. You're welcome.)

So I decided to make my own tree form because I have lots of these:

Here's what you need to make your own cardboard garland trees and be a cheap-o too!

  • Cardboard cereal box (for the biggest tree template, you'll need a large cereal box (think Frosted Mini Wheats)
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • 9+ feet of gift wrap garland
  • Free downloadable tree forms with 3 sizes HERE
Step 1: Create your tree form.

First, cut out one side of your cereal box. If you're making the large tree form, make sure you don't cut the sides of your cereal box out (found that out the hard way :)

Next, print out and trace my tree form template onto the unprinted side of your cardboard and cut out.

To make the form, you'll need to gently ease your cardboard into a tree shape. Start on one side and gently roll your cardboard (don't fold or bend) until it's all curvy-like.

Pinch the tip of your tree form and secure with hot glue (make sure the tab portion of your tree form is on the inside.) Continue gluing along the tab until the tree is secure.

Ta-dah! Tree!

Now make a forest of them.

Now that you have your tree form, there are a ton of decorative Christmas trees that you could make with your tree form, but I included a tutorial for a simple garland tree below.

Step 2: Attach garland.

I found some cute garland used for wrapping gifts in the Christmas section and decided to make some festive garland trees with my new tree forms. First, put a dab of hot glue on the bottom of your tree form and attach the end of your gift wrap garland.

Continue twisting your garland around the tree, adding dabs of hot glue as you go to secure your garland.

When you reach the tip of your tree form, leave an extra 1/2 inch of garland and tuck the end into the hole of your tree form.

Merry Christmas, enjoy your $2.50 savings ;)

Check out my sidebar to see where I link up each week!


  1. You're a genius, woman! I was going to do some little ribbon Christmas trees, but wimped out when the styrofoam forms were like $8 a piece at the craft store. Seriously?! There goes my cheap Christmas decor! This is a great idea . . . I love it!

  2. Well, now I feel silly for going out to buy posterboard to make tree forms when I have plenty of cereal and cracker boxes I could use. *smh*

  3. Very cute! I made a video tutorial using the same gift wrap garland (but used the styro-foam cones)! Love how yours turned out!

  4. This is very, very resourceful. I find I back away from many tree crafts because of the cost of styrofoam tree forms. I love your trees and what they are made of.
    Found you via Be Different, Act Normal.

  5. Those are really clever! I'll have to keep this in mind for next year.

  6. you are fabulous!
    i'm as cheap-0 as this i needed.
    i had up-cycled a few trees on my blog this week...but now i can go a little wild.

  7. I love this tutorial! I use my empty cereal boxes for everything and even made a wreath with sparkly garland! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Good idea to use boxes for the cone! I love how they turned out!

  9. Love it! I have a whole collection of the cone trees. Most are glass, but I made a bonuch of glitter ones the year before last. I love this idea. I was thinking about doing some with sequins, becuase all my decor for Christmas is shiny and glittery. But I do love the little tinsel! I was just thinking I need more shiny cone trees (although my husband disagrees!) :) Very cool, thanks!

  10. You Rock! I too am a cheep skate mama that wants the trees but not enough to buy them. THanks so much!!!

  11. Elegant and glitzy! You have given me great ideas!

  12. Very cute! I got some of this garland last Christmas. Great use for it!

    Visiting from Blue Cricket Design!

  13. Love that I am not the only one who uses cereal boxes for crafting! :-) These are really cute.

  14. This is so pretty!! Hope you can link it up at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now. (And red during the holidays!)

  15. what an easy idea and they look great I'd love it if you would add them to my What We Wore and Made link party over at

  16. WOW! I am in love with these! So super smart! I pinned...downloaded...and am so excited to make these! Thank you for sharing them. I'm a new follower. I would love it if you would link yp to my linky party going on right now. It goes from Tuesday-Tuesday.

    Hope to see you there!

  17. Hello, I love this and am sharing it with the girls at work. I am having a problem finding the gift wrap garland. Can anyone enlighten me? These are just too cute!

  18. Hi Machelle, I wish I could respond through email but your email address isn't attached to your profile :) I found the garland in the gift wrap section with the bows

  19. I am so excited I found your post!! I was at walmart tonight looking for some little tinsel trees & found none :( I am going to make my own now. Thanks so much for the great idea :)

  20. WOW! Those look'd never guess they started out as cereal boxes! Great job...I want to make some now! Would you pretty please share this great idea here?

  21. They do look so cute, great price too! I've got this linked to my Christmas trees post as well today - happy holidays!

  22. These are beautiful and I have a ton of garland!



Thanks for all of your wonderful comments! I try to respond to each of them through email so please make sure you leave an email address or have your profile set up to include your email address if you want me to respond :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails