Introduction: How to Make a Cat Proof Christmas Tree

About: Cardboard Creations And More!


For a long time, I loved the idea of working with cardboard, and this year, I managed to free enough time in my daily life to be able to pursue this hobby of creating dynamic, interactive and artistic designs from cardboard, Film my projects and share them on My YouTube Channel and Instructables.


In this project, I will show you How I built this beautiful 2-foot tall Cat Proof Christmas Tree, from Cardboard.

This idea came to me because I have 2 lovely cats at home, that have a tendency to scratch, bite, tear and hide anything that is spherical or looks like a branch, stick or a cord.


I will walk you through the design and execution details, so That if you decide to build something similar yourself, you avoid making the same mistakes I did during the build.


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Tools I used:

Dremel MotoSaw

Dremel Moto Saw Blades

Cutting Mat


Glue Gun

Metal Ruler

Electric Battery powered Drill

Bosch Drill bit set

Hole Saw Cutting set

Scratch and Punch Awl


Fiscars Scissors


Video Shoot Tools:

Velbon VideoMate 538/F Camera Tripod

KobraTech Cell Phone Tripod Mount

ALZO Horizontal Camera Mount

Studio lighting Set

White Photo Studio Background


Materials used:

Gorilla Super Glue

Crafts Glue

Duct Tape

Dremel Glue Sticks

Graph pad

Fluo Markers

Xmas Tree Lighting Set

Red Xmas balls


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Step 1: The Design

This design is a bit unique, in a way that for it to be valid, The tree has be cat proof, meaning, the tree cannot be tipped over, the branches cannot be torn off, and the ornaments and lamps cannot be taken down by the cats.

It also has to be cat friendly, meaning that the materials I will be using such as the cardboard, paint, lamps & glue need to be safe for the cats.

In consequence, as You will see, I had to make several design modifications and revisions such as : The tree base had to go, the star too, and the ornaments and lamps were glued in!


Design Instructions

Draw the life-size (1-to-1 scale) shape of your tree on a big graph paper or equivalent, then measure the thickness of the cardboard you chose, (preferably double-layered cardboard to prevent warping), after that, divide the tree into layers of that thickness like in the photo, and number them down to track them easily.

After that, Divide the tree into 4 sections, to make it manageable for the steps to come.

Once done, transfer the measurements onto an excel sheet and verify that all the layers are accounted for.

[Optional] : Group the layers in the excel sheet in a way that will allow you to cut many circles of different sizes (a circle within a circle) within the same cardboard tile (shown in the photos of the next step), to maximize the use of the cardboard and waste as little as possible.

for more info on that point, check the excel sheet in the attachment.

Transfer the layers onto the cardboard tiles and you are now ready for the next step!

Step 2: Draw and Cut the Layers

Cut the layers out, at your ease, using a scalpel or a Scroll saw.

If you decide to use a Scroll saw, make sure you use thick blades, and a high speed..

/!\ Number the layers before you cut them /!\

Once done, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Divide the Layers Into 4 Equal Parts and Glue Each One

Now comes the fun part, Group the layers into the 4 equal groups we talked about in the first step, in my case it was 16 layers per group, and glue them together using a child safe arts and crafts glue (that will become transparent once dry).

Place heavy books on top of them and Leave them to dry for a couple of hours.

For the top piece with the pointy head, You 'll have to super-glue it..

Step 4: Drill Holes for the Balls

Hold each layer group down and drill some holes for the balls using the Hole Saw cutting set.

I suggest using 2 ball sizes to make the tree look more fun, and to be able to place some balls up in the top last layer (which is super small).

I was lucky enough that the balls I bought from IKEA years ago, had the same diameter as the hole saw cutting set I have in my toolbox..

Step 5: Assemble the Tree

Vacuum your work table and the tree to remove all the cardboard dust, and assemble it using super glue.

Step 6: Apply Paint

Paint your tree using a spray bottle.

[Optional] : You can use the tool I used, It 's a bottle attachment that you can find in any DIY store, it looks like a small hand gun and has a place to attach the bottle in it, that will give you the grip and efficiency of the professional air powered ones that the car manufacturers use to paint cars.. You 'll be able to reach hidden corners easily, have more control and avoid dripping and splashing, all that for 10 euros..

Step 7: Drill Holes for the Lamp Set

Test your lamp set, then measure the thickness of the lamps.

Choose a drill bit that is of the same diameter as the lamps, and drill some holes in the tree in a misaligned pattern, making sure you drill enough on each side to use all or almost all of the lamps in the set.

In my case, there were 140 lamps in the set, so I did a quick calculation and It turned out that if i considered that the tree had 4 sides like a box.., then I would have to drill 35 holes on each side .. You get the idea.

Step 8: Squeeze the Lamps In

Here, in order to squeeze the lamps in place really fast, stick the end of the drill bit into the hole you drilled then from the inside of the tree, push it back out using the lamp.

Start from the top of the tree and work your way down in a spiral way, each time by working on the nearest next hole, and turning the tree until you reach the bottom and hopefully by then, you will have used all the lamps. If not,tape them so that you don't see them lighting up inside the tree..

Step 9: Glue the Lamps in Place

Glue the lamps down, because your cats will pull them out, At least mine would :)

Step 10: Glue the Balls in Place

Test the lamps to make sure everything is ok and working, and when satisfied, glue the balls in. You're done.

Step 11: The End Result

Congratulations, You now have a one-of-a-kind, 2-foot tall Cat Proof Christmas Tree that Your friends will envy and wish they had! :)


Thank You for reading my article, if you enjoyed my project, Please subscribeand let me know your thoughts and ideas for my next project in the comment section.



Costs Breakdown:

Project planning and Execution time : Around 20 hours.

Material costs: Around 25 Euros.

The Look on my friends faces when they saw the Tree : Priceless :)


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