We decided against putting up a real Christmas Tree this year, but we still wanted something to decorate as a family. So, I made a simple Christmas tree from a cardboard box. Really easy, only required a minimal amount of materials, and our 2 yo son had a ton of fun painting it and helping set it up. Enjoy!
Step 1: Bill of Materials
1 large white cardboard box (the sturdier the better).
Scissors or utility knife.
Some white glue or wood glue.
1 string of Christmas lights.
Pocket knife or Phillips screwdriver (as hole punch).
Step 2: Prepare Materials
Remove four flaps from the box. If your box is square, the four flaps on top work fine; if not, take the equally sized flaps from the top and the bottom of the box.
Step 3: Scallop the Edges
Scallop one of the long edges of each box flap. To do this, make a short cut (1/2" to 3/4") every 2-3 inches along the clean edge of each flap, then cut small wedges at each incision point to form a notch. Then use your scissors to round off each notch so that you get a nice smooth edge. Doesn't need to be perfect.
Step 4: Lay out the tree design.
Set the prepared cardboard pieces out on the floor, overlapping slightly (I had about 2-3" of overlap on mine, but adjust until it looks about right to you). Then, using some scrap cardboard or whatever you have laying around that you can use as a straight edge, score a line from the top of your tree to the bottom corner on each side, making a simple wedge shape. Be careful to hold the pieces in place while you're scoring them, but not to press so hard as to mash the cardboard.
(In this version, I left about 1" to either side of dead center for the top of the tree. I could have angled it to a point at the top, but I figured that point would just get bent somewhere in production, so I went with a slightly wider top.)