How to make a 3D Christmas tree card or decoration

Victoria and Albert celebrating Christmas and decorating the tree

© By Godey's Lady's Book, 1850 [Public domain]

    • Did you know that the tradition of having a Christmas tree was started by the Victorians? Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, set up a decorated tree at home for their family. And if the royal family had one, everyone else wanted one!

      Here's a Show Me guide to making your own Christmas tree from two pieces of card. It's quick and easy, and you can use it as a decoration or give it to someone special as a Christmas card.
      Art materials including scissors, glue and pens

      You will need:

      • Scrap paper (a piece as tall as you want your tree to be)
      • Coloured card (twice the size of the scrap paper)
      • Pencil
      • Scissors
      • Ruler
      For decorating your tree, you may also need felt pens, paints, coloured pencils, bits of wrapping paper and sticky-backed paper, cotton wool, glitter, sticky tape, and a glue stick.

      Remember: if you ARE using paints or glue, protect your work surface with newspaper!

      Fold the piece of scrap paper edge to edge lengthways, then, starting and finishing on the fold of the paper, draw half a Christmas tree shape (see image below)

      Image on the left hand shows a piece of paper being folded lengthways; central image shows a Christmas tree design being drawn; on the right side the design is cut out.L-R: how to make your Christmas tree template
      If you want your finished tree to stand up, make sure you give your shape a flat bottom.

      Carefully cut out your tree shape and unfold it... and there you have your template.

      Using your template, draw two Christmas tree shapes onto your sheet of coloured card (see image below) and cut them out.

      Image on the left shows Christmas tree shapes being drawn on green card using a template, and the image on the right shows the cut out green Christmas tree shapesCutting out your Christmas tree shapes
      Now, here's the important bit. Use a ruler to measure halfway between the top and bottom of each tree shape.

      Then draw a line from the top to the middle of one tree shape and a line from the middle to the bottom of the other tree shape.

      Cut along the lines you've just drawn (see below left.)

      Now slot the tree shapes together.

      Image on the left shows one green Christmas tree shape being cut up the middle from the bottom and the image on the right shows the shapes being slotted together.Making your 3D card
      And there you go! A 3D Christmas tree which stands up by itself.

      A standing christmas tree shape
      Now it's time for you to get creative...

      You can decorate your tree in loads of different ways. It's probably easier to decorate the shapes before you slot them together.

      Here we've used some star shapes out of coloured card - the one on the left below us decorated with shapes cut from sticky-backed paper. You could also attach a loop of thread to the top with sticky tape, so it can be hung up (see below centre).

      You could make your tree into a Christmas card by writing a message on one section of it (below right).
      Image on left side shows  green Christmas tree shape being decorated with pink and yellow star; central image shows the card hanging by a loop; right hand image shows Christmas card with writingDecorating your Christmas card
      The pink one below has star-shaped holes punched in it with a special hole punch. You can buy one in a craft shop.

      The snowy tree was made by putting glue on the edges of the tree, then pressing small pieces of cotton wool onto it.

      Image on left shows a pink card Christmas tree shape with stars cut out of it and the image on the right shows a green Christmas tree shape with white cotton wool simulating snow.Decorated Christmas tree cards
      Lots of small Christmas trees can be threaded onto a piece of string to make a garland like this one.

      hanging christmas tree decorations
      We're sure that with a little imagination, you can come up with even better ideas for decorating your 3D Christmas tree. You could end up with a festive forest of them!

      You can explore a Victorian Christmas from the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia.

      All images are copyright Culture24.
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