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Kids Arts and Crafts Activities

How to Make a Christmas Tree Craft with Cardboard and Buttons


This is an easy Christmas tree craft suitable for all ages. Use cardboard to create 3D trees and then paint and decorate with buttons and other craft materials.

Cardboard Christmas trees on work table

Updated December 2020

My neighbor sent me a photo last week of a Christmas tree they saw 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 tree craft a go and they turned out great!

Cardboard Christmas Tree with Buttons

Christmas Tree Craft for Kids

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  1. Make a template

    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.

  2. Trace the trees

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

    Using a template to make a cardboard Christmas tree

  3. Cut the tree shapes

    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.

    Cutting out the Christmas tree shapes from cardboard

  4. Glue the 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?)

    Gluing the cardboard Christmas trees together

  5. Add paint!

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

    Painting the cardboard Christmas tree

    Any kind of paint will do; you could use tempera, BioColors, or acrylic.

    Make a cardboard christmas tree

  6. Decorate your tree!

    Once the paint is dry, bring out your buttons (or pom poms or whatever craft materials that you have available).

    Assorted buttons

  7. Glue on craft materials

    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.

    Gluing buttons on the cardboard Christmas trees

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

Daphnes Cardboard Christmas Tree

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

Colorful Painted Christmas Trees

More Christmas Crafts for Kids

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How to Make a Christmas Tree Craft with Cardboard and Buttons

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