04 December 2012

DIY Christmas Decor: Decorated Paper Mache Tree

My next DIY Christmas decor project was inspired by decorative trees I found at Target a few weeks ago. I really liked the look of them, but didn't want to spend $10-15 a piece for such a simple item. I instantly knew that I could remake these for much less.

The three looks I liked best were the feather tree, the knit tree and the berry tree. I lucked out that I already owned all of the supplies needed to decorate and just needed to purchase the trees.
You can buy these paper mache cones at pretty much any craft store for just a few bucks each. I chose to use a variety of sizes since I wanted to have a small group of trees to display.
To decorate the trees, I already owned Christmas sheet music that I purchased from the thrift store last year, a red beaded garland (hand-me-down from my mom), yarn, and a ton of white feathers left over from an ornament project my mom and I did a number of years back.
I broke the beaded garland apart and used the glue gun to start lining them around the bottom of the cone, working my way up to the top. I lucked out that there were minimal gaps and the beads fit almost perfectly to cover the paper mache. I glued on bead on the top point to finish.
The yarn tree was my alternative to the knit tree, from Target, since I have no knitting skills whatsoever. My compromise was to use a nice sweater-like looking yarn and simply wrap it around the cone for a few layers, stopping every couple of spins to add a dab of hot glue to hold. The was the easiest and fasted tree to make.
For the feather tree, I chose the largest, thickest feathers and hot glued them 'facing' down starting along the bottom of the cone, I filled in the gaps underneath with shorter pieces to cover any showing paper. I simply worked my way up, using shorter pieces as I went up with each layer. Looking back I think I should have painted the cone white to start with, but I'm still really happy with the end result.
The last tree was made with Christmas sheet music that I punched into the shape of a heart. I originally wanted to replicate the sheet music trees that I saw at Anthropologie last year, but wanted to keep the consistency of the cone shaped trees. This was my alternative. Starting at the bottom, I simply put a dab of glue just on the bottom tip of the heart, leaving the top of the hearts loose. I tried to alternate the layers a bit to keep them from looking too 'perfect'.
The trees are now the centerpiece for our dining room Christmas table setting. You can see a peek at the table above. Most of the items for our table were purchased at Target, Michaels or AC Moore. I wanted to keep things pretty clean, but festive looking.
This project probably cost me around $8-10 total to create since I already owned all of the supplies excluding the trees. A much more cost effective version than the Target trees!


  1. Those trees look beautiful! Great job! I love that you happened to have most of the supplies just laying around lol.

    1. Sometimes I have the weirded coincidences. I'm a big fan of 'use what you have' if I can avoid purchasing more.

  2. Loooove these super easy and inexpensive options. They really do look high end!

  3. Now I know what to do with the leftover bag of white feathers that I was about to throw out! Thank you!

  4. Now I know what to do with the leftover bag of white feathers that I was about to throw out! Thank you! Great job!