Paper Trees

Skill Level: Beginner

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  • Three Craft Foam Cones,* green: 2 7/8" x 5 7/8";    3 7/8" x 8 7/8";    3 7/8" x 11 7/8"
  • Floral foam plug*, 2 5/8" x 3 3/4"
  • Design It:® Foam Cutter*
  • 12" x 12" decorative paper*: three "Fern Velvet Dots", two "Seersucker Stripe on Fern", one "Iridescent Green Grasscloth"
  • Three clay pots, terra cotta,  2 3/4";   3 1/4"  and 3 3/4" diameter
  • One pkg. paper crimps, natural
  • Three - 5/16" diameter wood dowels: 12"; 15"; and 18" lengths
  • Toothpicks
  • Glue stick*
  • Craft glue*
  • Rotary paper trimmer*
  • Cutting mat*
  • Circle cutter
  • Paper edger
  • Scissors
  • Metal ruler
  • Black permanent, fine-line marker



STEP 1: Cut foam cones. Use marker and ruler to measure and mark middle-sized cone into thirds. Use foam cutter on cutting mat to cut cone.

STEP 2: Insert dowel. To make channels in cone sections, start with bottom section. Insert 15″ length dowel into top center, twisting down through section. (Be careful not to press foam so much that dowel becomes loose. If it does, insert toothpicks to tighten.) Remove dowel. Repeat with middle section of cone. Press top section of cone down onto dowel without going through the top. Remove dowel.

 STEP 3: Cut circles and strips. Using circle cutter and cutting mat, cut circles from “Seersucker Stripe on Fern” paper, measuring: 5″ and 5 1/2″ (for bottom section); 4″ and 4 1/2″ (for middle section); 3″ and 3 1/2″ (for top section). Use rotary paper trimmer to cut another sheet of same paper into eight 1 1/2″ wide strips. Use paper edger to barely trim off edge of the 5 1/2″, 4 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ circles and along one long edge of each strip. Cut 1/2″ slits approximately 1/4″ apart along edge of each circle and along decorative edge of each strip. Use barrel of marker to curl up edges of paper.

 STEP 4: Cover bottom section. Start with bottom foam section. To cover underneath bottom, apply glue to bottom and lower edge of foam. Place foam onto 5″ circle and bring up paper edge, pressing it into glue, easing and slightly overlapping paper as needed. Apply glue about an inch above bottom edge and press straight-cut side of one strip into glue. Glue and wrap rest of strip around foam, allowing piece to extend slightly beyond bottom. Trim strip where ends meet. An inch above that strip, repeat with another strip, and then a third. For top row, apply glue to top of foam and press 5 1/2″ circle into it, folding it over sides to cover edge and create last ruffled row. Use craft knife to make slits through paper where holes are on top and bottom. Insert 15″ dowel through paper-covered foam bottom section.

 STEP 5: Cover middle and top sections. Repeat Step 4 using middle foam section, 4″ circle on bottom, and 4 1/2″ circle on top. In the same way, cover top foam section using 3″ circle on bottom and 3 1/2″ circle on top, but do not cut slit in very top.

 STEP 6: Assemble tree. Cut floral foam plug into thirds. (Set aside two of them for other trees.) Use tacky glue for the following. Glue plug piece into 3 1/4″ diameter pot. Press dowel into center and glue. Apply glue to top of floral foam and cover with paper crimps. Carefully press bottom middle and top sections of tree onto dowel, evenly spacing sections. (Insert toothpicks into holes to secure as needed.)


Follow Medium Tree Steps 1 and 2, but use large cone and 18″ dowel. For Step 3, cut circles from “Fern Velvet Dots” paper as directed but for bottom section cut 6″ and 6 1/2″ circles instead of 5″ and 5 1/2″. Continue following remaining steps but use four strip-rows in each section due to larger size and use 3 3/4″ diameter pot. 


Follow Medium Tree Steps 1 and 2, but use small cone and 12″ dowel. For Step 3, cut circles from “Iridescent Green Grasscloth” paper, measuring: 4″ and 4 1/2″ (for bottom section); 3 1/2″ and 4″ (for middle section); 2 1/2″ and 3″ (for top section).  Continue following remaining steps but make only two strip-rows in each section due to smaller size and use 2 3/4″ diameter pot.

*The following products were used for this project:  • FloraCraft® Design It® Foam Cones, Design It® Foam Cutter and Floral Foam Plug • The Paper Company™/ TPC Studio™ Papers • Elmer’s® X-Acto® Rotary Paper Trimmer and Cutting mat; and Craft Bond™ Extra Strength Glue Stick and Tacky Glue.

Sources for product used in project as photographed


(800) 253-0409

One Longfellow Place

Ludington, MI 49431

 Elmer’s® Products, Inc.

(888) 435-6377

460 Polaris Pkwy. Ste. 500

Westerville, OH 43082 

 The Paper Company™/ TPC Studio™   

(800) 525-3196

510 Ryerson Road

Lincoln Park, NJ 07035

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