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Laundry On Sundaes

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A DIY tutorial just in time for the holidays!

I’ve always wanted to have my own Christmas tree, but our apartment is small and we didn’t really have room for a large tree, even a plastic one. So I decided to make my own! I saw lots of really cool DIY tree ideas, but none of them appealed to me. Eventually I came up with my own idea and executed it pretty well. I tried to take photos throughout the whole process of making it but I kind of forgot to after the first few steps… oops! It’s really easy to get lost in crafting you know! Anyway, here’s a semi-tutorial for my DIY Christmas tree. If there’s anything that’s unclear, leave a comment and let me know!


Project: cardboard Christmas tree
Difficulty level: medium

Step 1: Gather your materials. This project actually doesn’t require that much stuff. All you need is:
– cardboard (I used up about 2 medium-sized boxes)
– a small piece of sturdy cardstock or thin cardboard
– paint (I used green, white, and brown)
– paint brush
– containers for mixing paint
– scissors
– tape
– hot glue gun
Also you should cover your work surface in case you make a mess!


Step 2: Make a small cone shape from the cardstock or thin cardboard. This is going to be the very tip of your tree and serve as the starting point of making the tree. Mine had about a diameter of 3 inches at the bottom.


Step 3: Cut the cardboard into tall trapezoid shapes. Make sure the “grain” of the cardboard goes vertically along the trapezoid shape. These will act as the “shingles” that make up the tree. The size will depend on how big your cone is and how you want your tree to look.


Step 4:

I wanted the shingles to have a more rounded look, so I cut out the bottom 2 corners. You can do this or keep it at a trapezoid, or even make it completely round at the bottom. It’s up to you!


Step 5: Bend the shingles so that they’re a bit rounded, making it easier to form a circular shape when glueing later (this is why it’s important to cut along the grain). Paint the cardboard shingles. I painted them in three different shades of green so that there is more dimensionality to my tree. Let the paint dry (I used acrylic paint and it dries pretty fast, maybe in like 5 minutes?).

Step 6: With the hot glue gun, glue 1 layer of shingles to the inside (or outside, I guess) of your cone. I overlapped each one a little bit.


Step 7: Keep cutting, painting, and gluing. Glue the next layer of shingles to the inside of the previous one. Each successive layer of shingles will have more and more pieces. I wasn’t sure how many I needed, so I kind of just made more as I went along.


Step 8: Keep adding more layers. I also ended up adding another layer to the very top to cover up the original cone. You might want to make the shingles larger as you get closer to the bottom of the tree. I ended up making three different sizes: the top 4 layers had the smallest size, the next 3 medium, and the last 2 largest.

Step 9: You can stop at anytime you feel that your tree is the size you want. I originally want to make mine bigger but I got tired of making it. I added some finishing touches by painting a stripe of white at the bottom of every shingle, to mimic snow.


And that’s it! You’re finished making your own DIY Christmas tree! The great thing about this project is that it’s easily scalable and customizable. You can make it as big or as small as you want, use any colors, and decorate it in any way. I think I might just string some mini lights on mine!


What do you guys think? Will you try to make a DIY Christmas tree this season? What other holiday crafts will you be doing?


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