How to Make a Christmas Centerpiece with Paper Trees

Three easy-to-make paper trees come together to create a magical DIY Christmas centerpiece. Add your favorite holiday figurines and faux snow for the ultimate snowy tablescape.

Create this easy and festive winter-theme centerpiece in an afternoon. Using a variety of tree types adds visual interest, while fairy lights add a touch of magic. The forest scene can be easily unassembled and reassembled for use year after year.

Paper Christmas Tree Centerpiece

What You Need

  • White lazy Susan or shallow tray
  • 10-15 sheets colored printer paper
  • 8-inch green round honeycomb ball
  • Papier-mâché cones, two assorted sizes 
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Tiny gold tinsel, assorted varieties 
  • Small decorative trees and holiday figurines
  • Epsom salts 
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • Craft glue 
  • Gold and iridescent glitter 
  • Spray adhesive 
  • Fairy lights

Accordion Paper Tree

Step 1: Fold and Cut Paper

tracing out green paper tree

Cut out the shape of half a tree from a thin piece of cardboard. Round the edges. Fold green printer paper in an accordion style to fit the size of your tree template. Trace around the template on the folded paper. Cut out. Repeat with 25 pieces of green paper, and glue together along the folds.

Step 2: Open and Glue

adding hot glue to paper tree

Once dry, open and hot glue the ends together. Hold together until the glue sets. This will create a round three-dimensional paper tree.

Step 3: Add Glitter

spraying tree with adhesive

Once all the glue is dry, spray adhesive lightly around the tree and sprinkle with glitter.

Honeycomb Paper Tree

Step 1: Cut Tree Shape

Cut out the shape of half a tree from a thin piece of cardboard

Cut a tree shape out of a store-bought honeycomb ball. Use different sizes of honeycomb paper balls to create a collection of trees with varying heights.

Step 2: Glue in Place

hot glueing accordion paper tree

Join sides together with hot glue, being careful to keep glue from dripping to the outside. This will create a three-dimensional honeycomb tree shape. Hold in place until glue sets.

Use this technique to create paper bells.

Step 3: Add Glitter

sprinkling glitter to paper tree

Spray the outside of the tree with adhesive. Sprinkle with glitter.

Tinsel Christmas Trees

Step 1: Wrap Cone

wrapping gold tinsel to paper cone

Attach tinsel to a papier-mâché cone with hot glue. Start gluing from the bottom and wrap around, moving upward, until the cone is covered. Repeat with a different size cone and tinsel.

Editor's Tip: If desired, spray papier-mâché cones with spray paint to match your tinsel and let dry. This will eliminate color gaps betwen rows of tinsel.

Building the Centerpiece

Step 1: Place Large Trees

placing trees in centerpiece tray

Place the large paper trees in the center of a lazy Susan or tray. Fill in the bottom of the display with a thin layer of Epsom salts to hold the large trees in place. Epsom salts provide the sparkling look of real snow when paired with string lights, but you could also use faux snow from a crafts store. 

Step 2: Add Lights

pouring salt into the Christmas paper tree centerpiece tray

Take a strand of small, battery-powered string lights and place them around the edges of the tray. Bury them under a layer of Epsom salts to hide wires.

Step 3: Add Small Characters

Christmas Centerpiece with Paper Trees

Continue filling the tray with Epsom salts so the lights are covered and the layer is close to the top of the tray. Fill in open areas with small bottlebrush trees and woodland figurines. Turn on the lights, and enjoy your winter centerpiece!

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