Introduction: Last-minute Kitty-safe Cardboard Christmas Tree

Picture of Last-minute Kitty-safe Cardboard Christmas Tree

I realized I wanted some kind of a Christmas tree this year, but being on a tight budget this Christmas and rather spending my money on the food than a tree that I most probably forget to water (like the last two I've had this far after moving away from home).

Other than budget, there are more reasons: handling Christmas tree makes my hands red and itchy and our kitties will (especially now when our new kitty is still settling in and has moved to "jumping on to higher places than our kitchen table"-phase)  destroy the tree if we're not watching them. I also don't have enough ornaments yet to decorate a big tree (last year I borrowed some from my parents and my fiance's parents).

So as a cardboard-lover, it came to me that naturally, I'd make a tree out of cardboard that wont take much space and is easy to hang on the wall, far away from cats little paws.

Advantages:
- Great for last-minute makeshift tree
- Can be hung far away for the reach of pets and little children (great way to put your delicate glass-ornamets out and have a kid-safe tree!)
- Doesn't take much space
- You can choose the size depending on the
- You can make as many as you like (for example one for each room) with different color-schemes and ornaments!
- It looks great with self-made ornaments too!

Let's begin!

Step 1: Gather the Materials:

Picture of Gather the Materials:

You'll need:
- Cardboard, as big as you want your tree to be
- Wrapping paper or something to wrap it into: book-pages, note-paper, fuzzy fabric, anything!
- Toothpicks
- Something to hang it with, strong wire or ribbon glued in place
- (Additional security) Beads
- (Additional security) Hot glue-
- Tape

Step 2: Sketch It Out

Picture of Sketch It Out

Sketch out your tree shape and when you're pleased with the shape, cut it out with the weapon of your choise, carefully not to screw up the tree and yourself.

I found that the tree is easier to draw if you first draw a little narrower triangle than you want your tree to be and add the "branches" to it using the sides of the triangle as guidelines not to cross over. Or else you're ending up with a strange narrow tree-mock, like my prototype.

You can also draw something more complicated, like outline the undersides of the branches and stuff, but it's going to be harder to warp it then.

Step 3: Wrap It Up

Picture of Wrap It Up

Wrap your cardboard tree-shape into something that will compliment your ornaments, like:
- Wrapping paper, plain or patterned
- Last years wrapping paper-scraps
- Fuzzy or Christmassy-patterned fabric, tartan goes well too
- Old sheet music or book pages (TIP: You can also age the paper yourself by soaking it in tea or coffee, then let it dry a little and carefully iron out the wrinkles and then print some sheet-music like Christmas-carols or for book pages: the Christmas Story or Lorem Ipsum if you can't find anything else)
- Scrapbook-papers
- Pictures cut out of photos and magazines as a collage
- Tissue-paper
- Comic-pages (especially the vintage ones!)

Basically anything you can think of!

Step 4: Dress It Up

Picture of Dress It Up

Take your toothpicks and half them from the middle (either with scissors or one by one by hands). If you want extra security for your ornaments, you can glue beads on the halfed ends of the toothpicks.

Lay your covered tree-shape onto something soft and durable and make a layout-plan with your ornaments. Wrap it nicely with some garland (like silver-paper-ring-chain or tinsel, basing on your style. Use tape to secure the tinsel from behind.

Once all the ornaments have found their places, straighten the hanging-ribbons and hooks and stuck a toothpick through the cardboard slighlty angled "upwards" so the ornaments will stay on these "nails" we've made.

For extra hold, take the toothpick out after pushing it through, add a small drop of hot glue and push it again. Let the glue dry before hanging the ornaments.

For some extra-awesomeness, stuck holes in your tree with a pen and stuck a christmas-led-light-chain through them.

Step 5: Hang It Up

Picture of Hang It Up

Use some sturdy wire and poke it through the top of the cardboard and hang it to the wall. Or a window. Or a mirror?

If your ornaments are lightweight; you can also hang your tree with a piece of ribbon and punch a hole through the top of the tree.

In next step I'm going to share some ideas to take it even further!

Step 6: Take It Further!

Picture of Take It Further!

Now that you know how it's done, make another! Make one for each room, play with different ornaments that you wouldn't put in your real tree this year or play with the color-shcemes!

You can:
- Use pinecones as ornaments and green wrapping paper

- Use candy as ornaments! Just take festive wrapped candies and add a hanging-string

- Punch holes on the bottom and hang some Mini Present Ornaments from it

- Decorate the whole tree with small candy-boxes wrapped up and USE IT AS A CHRISTMAS CALENDAR!

- Add cute bows from ribbon and fabric as ornaments

- Make one with the theme being snow: wrap it in white paper or fabric, add snowflakes and (styrofoam)snowballs as ornaments

- Enchance it with glitter! Cover it all in glittery paper or add some glue to the sides and glitter them

- Make one wrapped in comics and use toys as ornaments!

- Make one wrapped in your childs drawings (or better yet, cover the whole thing in white paper and let your kids draw on it!) and use Craons as ornaments!

- Cover one in fuzzy fabric and use soft felt-ornaments in it. Add a cute felt-star on top of it!

- Make a collage of Christmassy pictures from magazines and photographs or make and ornament out of them and use a plain backround-paper

- You can add some fringes to the bottom, or add your tree a "leg". The leg can be covered in printed woodgrain-pattern!

- Print out some neat pattern (like a landscape, woodgrain-pattern, or a twig-pattern) and cover your tree with it

- Print out your favourite tv-show or movie or cartoon characters (Or just plain Santa, elves and reindeer) and glue them on a piece of cardstock and add a hanging-hook: children can play with them and then put them back in the theme-tree

- Add some decoration to the underside of the branches with puch-holes and hang the ornaments there, let them hang over the tree-shape

- Make it 3D and cut out a second tree: follow this tutorial on how-to: Junk Mail Christmas Tree

Step 7: That's It

Merry Christmas from Finland to everyone!
T: Nelyan, cats and the fiance, who had to clean the mess I made last night :D

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Bio: I love making things with my hands and well, will try to do almost anything I get exited about. And I get easily exited from ... More »
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