Give Old Books and Magazines a Second Life
One Christmas tree is never enough for me. As the holiday rolls around, my house fills with small, alternative trees that have either been purchased or made at home. This year, I've been making Christmas trees by folding the pages of old books and magazines.
One book was found on top of a trash can filled with recyclable materials. The cover was torn, and it was a rather trashy book, so no harm was done. A typical soft-cover book of at least 200 pages makes a nice, full tree. The dull black and white pages may call for some ornamentation such as spray paint or sparkles, but if you prefer a black and white décor, leaving the folded pages unadorned makes a nice minimalist tree.
Magazines, with their colorful print, make for attractive decorations without added baubles, glitter, or paint. Folding the pages disguises the advertisements. All you see are the bright colors. Various sized books and magazines make a pleasant grouping. Alternate sizes for an asymmetrical look.
This is a fun group project with friends or children. I made mine on one of my visits to a local nursing home. One lady got right into it and made one out of an old Reader's Digest. It was fun, and the homemade décor added a cozy feeling to the place.
A magazine is, of course, smaller than a standard novel, so it will make a skimpy tree. You can make a one-sided Christmas tree to sit on a bookshelf up against a wall. For a fuller look, glue or tape two magazines together.
- First, remove the book's cover. Bend the binding to make it more pliable.
- Fold the page with a diagonal crease from the top edge nearest the binding to the bottom outside edge.
- Press the crease with a fingernail or ruler.
- Crease the overlapped page and fold back toward the outer edge.
- Be careful with the top of the page. If you don't fold it close enough to the binding, you wind up with a clunky look. Remember to press each crease for a neat look.
At first, the process may seem to go very slowly. But after you get the hang of it, you can move along rather quickly. Folding a book of 230 pages took me a bit less than an hour.
Magazines may take a while if you are distracted by all the pretty pictures!
Below is a picture of the finished tree. The top is not pointed but kind of flat, which makes it easy to attach a star, a little Christmas ball, an angel, or other ornament.
In the photograph at the top of the page, you can see that I have spray-painted the tree gold. While the paint is still wet, you can add sparkles. Pour some sparkles into the palm of your hand and gently blow the sparkles onto the tree.
Also, in the top picture, you can see that I added a "star" made by spray painting the dried seed head of a coneflower.
You can wrap the tree with wired garland. When adding ornaments, use only small ones that with be in proportion to the tree. A hot glue gun makes it easy to add ornaments.
Folded Book Pages Make a Cute Christmas Tree
Magazines make a colorful folded page Christmas tree. A magazine with lots of brightly colored, glossy ads would be very pretty.
These magazines shown below were small-sized, so they do not make for a full tree. Tape or glue two of them together for a larger tree, or use them as one-sided trees to set on a shelf or mantle.
This video shows the Martha Stewart version of making a Christmas tree out of a magazine. I think my version goes more quickly. My tree has a somewhat wider base.
© 2013 Dolores Monet