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Recycled Christmas Tree Crafts: How to Make a Tree With Magazines

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I enjoy writing about DIY arts and crafts projects, they can be a lot of fun to do.

Christmas tree made with magazine

Christmas tree made with magazine

DIY Christmas Tree Craft

Sometimes the best way to decorate is just by using materials you already have that would otherwise just be tossed away. Magazines are a great example of something we all use that end up just being thrown out when they could easily be used for all sorts of crafts. Christmas decorations can be expensive, so this particular do-it-yourself is great to save money on top of being environmentally friendly. For those of you looking for something to do with the kids, this one may also be great, as long as they have the patience to do lots and lots of paper-folding.

Supplies for a magazine tree

Supplies for a magazine tree

Materials for a Magazine Tree

All you need to make a magazine tree is simply one magazine. The magazine I used was about 95 pages, which is just the right size for a decent tree, although I think if it was a little thicker it would look better and keep its shape a little better as well. If you want to decorate it, you can do just about anything you want. Here is my own list of supplies that I used:

  1. Magazine (obviously from my brother, since I have no interest in bodybuilding)
  2. One can of gold glitter spray paint (Two would have been better for mine, but it depends on your magazine's size)
  3. Wire vines (I chose one with a bird for the top of my tree and four Poinsettias)

Remember, the decorations, what type of magazine, and everything else all depends on you, so have fun and choose whatever inspires you or matches the decorations you already have. Luckily, I found all of my supplies on clearance, so I only spent $7.64 for everything at my local craft store.

Folding a Magazine Into a Tree

The most difficult and time-consuming part of this project is the folding part. For those of you who are like me and are more of a visual learner, I have included the YouTube video at the bottom of this article.

Otherwise, I also used the directions I found on, although I did things slightly different than what she says to do there. Once you get the hang of things, making a tree out of a magazine is very easy. It's also something that would not be difficult to remember if you decide to make another tree or two.

Step 1

I didn't need to do this part for my magazine, but, for those of you who chose a magazine with a thick spine, make sure and break it first so that it is nice and bendable, rather than being stiff. Don't worry about ruining the magazine, it's not like you were planning on reading it ever again once it became a decoration for the holidays.

Fold the corner towards the spine of the magazine.

Fold the corner towards the spine of the magazine.

Step 2

For each page of the magazine, take the top right corner and fold it in towards the spine, like the picture shown to the right under "Step Two." Try to fold them nice and flat. At the end, it should look something like the fanned out triangle of a magazine to the right.

Fold each individual page towards the spine.

Fold each individual page towards the spine.

Step 3

Now, go through each page of the magazine once again, folding from the top right corner, like the pictures labeled "Step Three," toward the spine. It will look just like the next picture under that one, kind of like a man's tie. Once again, try and make it nice and flat. Be aware that it will be a little tougher to fold as you go along, which will be especially difficult if you're using a larger magazine than the one I used. In the end, it should look like the fanned out diamond shape in the next picture to the right.

Fold the bottoms to get that tree shape.

Fold the bottoms to get that tree shape.

Step 4

As you can tell, you need to fold in those bottom parts to make it flat and stand like a proper tree. I did this by taking each bottom of the page and folding it upwards, then tucking this under the folds you already made in the previous two steps. This is shown in the pictures below. This part takes the longest but just remember: it's almost over!

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Step 5

This last step is optional, even though without paint or any other pieces of flare, your tree might not look as Christmasy. At the very least, spray painting it is easy and, once it's dry, no one will even realize it's a magazine until you tell them.

Decorating a Christmas Tree

So, there you have it; one easy Christmas craft that you can do in just about five steps. With just a magazine or two to work with and a couple of hours to spare, you'll have your own snazzy tree up and shining in your house in time for the holidays!

© 2012 Lisa


KerryAnita from Satellite Beach, Florida on November 15, 2012:

What a creative idea!

Theresa D from England, UK on November 15, 2012:

This is a great and creative Christmas craft. I will definitely try this one at home.

livingsta from United Kingdom on November 15, 2012:

Beautiful! I am so tempted to do one this Christmas. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Voted up, beautiful and sharing!

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on November 14, 2012:

An creatively engaging and economical hub! I enjoyed indulging in creative activities and this is one Christmas project I would like to try. Your well-explained hub is packed with detailed instructions, clear step-by-step photos and helpful video. Your first photo is beautiful. Way to go!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up, pinned & Shared

Thelma Alberts from Germany on November 09, 2012:

Wow! Very creative. I will definitely make one of these Christmas trees. Thanks for the video and for sharing your creativity. Voted up and useful.

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on October 22, 2012:

Thanks for the video. It explained the project very well. I love the recycle projects.

Gypsy48 on October 19, 2012:

Very creative idea. I will have to give this a try, thanks for sharing :)

Ink Drops on October 19, 2012:

That is soo cool. Love the idea and will definitely make one this year. Thanks for sharing.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 19, 2012:

Great idea for Christmas and a beautiful tree at the end. Your instructions are easily followed. The photos are great and the video is so helpful. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us! Voted up and shared!

Virginia Kearney from United States on October 17, 2012:

I had forgotten this craft--I think we did this when I was a kid. My kids would love it! Thanks for the great idea.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on October 17, 2012:

Lisa - Wonderful hub! You are constantly producing such creative and easy ideas. The end result is beautiful and I will be attempting a Halloween version.

This is great. Voting up

Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on October 17, 2012:

That is such a cool idea. I love recycle and reuse ideas. I may make one for my mantel this year. Thank you for laying out the steps.

Arwen Hann from New Zealand on October 17, 2012:

Very cool.

perlongnina on October 16, 2012:


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 16, 2012:

How very clever! I have never seen that done before. Now we will try it this Christmas and I have you to thank for it! :)

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