Cardboard Christmas Tree with Buttons

A Christmas Tree Craft with Cardboard and Buttons


A 3D Christmas Tree Craft for Kids with Cardboard and Buttons

My neighbor texted me a photo last week of a Christmas tree craft that had seen at a church event and thought that I might like to try with the kids.

It was a 3-D cardboard tree, painted green, and covered in button ornaments.

We gave the simple and festive Christmas craft a go and they turned out great!

Here are the instructions and photos…

3D Cardboard Christmas Trees in Progress in the Studio

A Christmas Tree Craft with Cardboard and Buttons

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Using a template to make a cardboard Christmas tree


First, create your template by drawing a simple Christmas tree shape on your paper or cardstock. Cut it out and either fold or cut it in half along the center line.

Trace your template onto sturdy, corrugated cardboard. You’ll want one full tree and two half trees for each 3D Christmas tree you make.

Cutting out the Christmas tree shapes from cardboard

Use the utility knife with a fresh, sharp blade to cut out the cardboard tree shapes. (Adults only, of course.)

Note :: You’ll want to protect your work surface with a cutting mat or another piece of cardboard so you don’t cut your table or floor or whatever.

Gluing the cardboard Christmas trees together

Use a hot glue gun to glue the half trees to the center of each side of the full cardboard tree.

I ran a line of glue down the center of the tree, positioned the half tree along the glue line, then held it in place while I ran a second line of glue along the base of the half tree on either side. (Does that make sense?)

Painting the cardboard Christmas tree

Paint your new 3D cardboard trees green or any color you desire.

Make a cardboard christmas tree

We used Activity paint, but you could use tempera, BioColors, or acrylic.

Jars of Buttons

Once the paint is dry, bring out your buttons…

I found these cute little jars of colorful buttons at a local vintage shop (The Screen Door) and was planning to give them as gifts but then brought them out early for this Christmas tree craft.

Assorted buttons

Maia and Daphne loved sorting and trading their buttons… As always. They do this with buttons, beads, stickers, shells, rocks, marbles, and any other little treasures.

Gluing buttons on the cardboard Christmas trees

Use a hot glue gun to glue your buttons to the cardboard Christmas tree.

You could probably also use a bottle of white school glue, but might need to work on sections at a time, keeping the buttons relatively flat while the glue dries.

Daphnes Cardboard Christmas Tree

Daphne went for the minimal decoration look and gave her tree to her teacher.

Colorfully painted cardboard Christmas trees

And then she decided that each of the tables in her kindergarten classroom needed a tree, so she asked me for help in making more and painted them in bright colors.

(Sorry for the less-than-stellar photos by the way. Many of them were taken at night or early in the morning in poor light.)

Cardboard Christmas Tree with Buttons

And then we made some more cardboard trees…

3D Cardboard Christmas Trees

…that are now in front of our fireplace surrounded by animal figurines.

And Maia is currently in the process of making another one for a friend…

More Christmas Tree Crafts

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How to Make a 3D Cardboard Christmas Tree

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