My favorite part of the Grinchmas Party I held for Random House and Yum! Food and Fun for Kids magazine were the giant paper Christmas trees I created. They’re fun, they’re huge and surprisingly, don’t take much to make other than time. I don’t mind sitting on the couch on occasion mindlessly doing a crafty project while I soak up a movie. These trees were really the perfect excuse, as they’re about a movie’s worth of time to make.
2 50-packs of multi-hued green letter sized card stock from Michael’s
1 cardboard wrapping paper tube
Large sparkly bow
Step 1. Make your cones. This is the absolute hardest part. You are going to spend about half an hour just curling cones and gluing them down.
Use the full 8.5 x11 sheet of paper to make each cone. Try to make them all about the same size and avoid coiling them up too tightly. It is easiest to pre-roll the cones before you tape or glue them, as the paper is a bit stiff. Once you have the cone formed, either tape it down or run a bead of hot glue down the inside edge and glue down.
Really really important thing to remember here is to make sure your edge ends up on the same side as the open part of your cone. I buggered up my first tree by haphazardly rolling the cones up and taping with abandon.
Here was the first one of these trees I made. No attention to seams there…so fair warning, you don’t want the seams to be on the side that’s going to show. They look much better with them all hidden underneath!
For the ombré effect on your tree, start with dark green for the base cones and work a shade lighter as you go up the levels of the tree. Hard to say how many cones you’re going to need here, as that will all depend on how tightly you’re packing them in and how tall your wrapping paper roll is. But two packs of paper will be more than enough.
Step 2. Assemble your trees. Place the tip of your cone against the tube and adjust the the cone up or down to determine how wide you would like the branches of your tree to spread. Draw a line around your tube so you have a plum line to put the rest of your cones up to.
Glue the tips of each cone with the open side facing down to the cardboard tube. As you glue them on, you’ll want to make sure that the edges are close together as possible so you get a full-skirted look to your tree without a lot of gaps in it. As needed, you may want to glue the cones together, or overlap them as you’re putting them on.
Once you finish the first ring of cones, you’ll move up your tree a bit and do the exact same thing all over again, but try to use a few less cones and try to angle the cones downward a bit more with each successive ring so your tree will be tree shaped by the time you finish.
For the top of your cone tree, don’t glue the cones to the wrapping paper roll. Therein lies madness. Trust. Tried it that way, and was glad the kids were asleep for all the cussing I did trying putting it together. Instead, take a few of your cones and glue the edges together near the top until you have a complete circle of cones just like this.
This triangle of cones will pop on the top of your wrapping paper roll perfectly. I didn’t glue this piece to the roll itself. Transporting the tree is a tad easier when you are able to take the top off and grab onto something without crushing any of the paper.
To finish off the tree, add a big bow (or star, or whatever strikes your creative fancy.) This oversized glittery bow was picked up at Hobby Lobby.
Dazzle your neighbors, your kids’ classroom and show off some crafty skills. Whip up a few giant paper cone trees for your next party decorating project!
Paula Biggs is a professional party planner, DIY crafter, and owner of Frog Prince Paperie, where you can find hundreds of party and craft ideas. You can also buy birthday party supplies, printables and accessories from the Frog Prince Paperie Etsy shop.