How to Make an Eco-Friendly Holiday Tree




Everyone loves the holidays! Good friends, good food and festive decorations. But a lot of those decorations eventually end up in a landfill -- outliving us and our great great great grandchildren. So I made my first green tree out of newspaper. Hope you can too!

Step 1: Supplies

You'll need 3-4 issues of your local paper. I used ones that open up like a book. A pair of scissors, masking tape and a tall lamp. This one is a cheap one from Ikea that we already had in our living room.

Step 2: Make Support Poles

These poles help make the structure of the tree.

1. Take a sheet of paper and lay out on ground.
2. Roll one corner between your finger tips.
3. Continue to roll, keeping it nice and tight.
4. Use the palms of your hands to roll until you reach the end of the paper.
5. Tape the end to secure.

Tadah! The paper pole. You will need to make about 25 of these.

Step 3: Make the Skeleton of the Tree

1. Tape two poles together and attach to the top of the lamp. Do this three times. Space evenly.
2. Tape five poles together and start to shape into a circle. Tape to poles attached to lamp.
3. Tape four poles together and repeat last step. (Again with three and two.)
4. Take three poles and tape to the top of the lamp.
5. Take the ends of each pole and tape together for the tip of the tree.
6. Shape one last pole into a circle and tape near the tip.

Note: I added extra support on the bottom by attaching a pole with tape and taping it to the biggest ring. I also ended up adding a few more circular rings to space out evenly.

Step 4: Add Paper Leaves

1. Tear 1" strips. A lot of them!
2. Fold in opposite direction of how the paper was folded. This is a tree leaf.
3. Add tape to the tree skeleton with the sticky side out.
4. Attach a leaf to the end of each tape.
5. Alternate adding one additional leaf.
6. Add two leaves to the remaining spaces.

The last two steps makes the leaves all nice and pretty.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Tree!

After all the leaves are attached you'll have a nice eco-friendly tree! Add a tree topping of your choice. Afterward, break down the tree and recycle the paper.

Note: I've had a few people asking about how it looks lit up, so I added a photo. The top and bottom bulbs are actually out, so I imagine having all three would make it even more fun to look at. Enjoy!



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    16 Discussions

    my 9 lives

    8 years ago on Step 5

    I haven't bought a x-mas tree for years. This year I think we will have one thanks to you:)


    9 years ago on Introduction

     I wouldn't put Christmas lights on that, or you might be recreating the scene from Christmas Vacation!  XD


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome Tree!! Looks cool & easy to recycle! Would love for this tree to win!! :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Good question! I figured other people might be curious, so I've added a photo on step five. I think it looks pretty cool :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Yes. Actually, depending on how you define nice. I define nice by the love you put into it and if it brings a smile to the faces of friends and family. By that definition, I think this is a very nice tree.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    If you want to add lights, try LED lights.  They don't emit a noticeable amount of heat, and don't use as much power as standard old filament bulbs.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I think it depends on your lamp. It actually looks great without turning on the lamp. I've turned mine on a couple of times and no fires. It could have something to do with the style of my lamp and that two of the three light bulbs are out :) I would recommend that people use their best judgment for safety.