Make a 3D Tree Out of Cardboard: Easy DIY Tutorial

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Making a 3D tree out of cardboard is a fun and creative way to add some festive cheer to your home or office. Whether it’s for Christmas, Halloween, or any other occasion, a cardboard tree is a great DIY project that is easy to make and won’t break the bank. Not only is it a great way to upcycle old cardboard boxes, but it’s also a fun activity to do with friends or family.

To make a 3D tree out of cardboard, you’ll need a few basic supplies such as cardboard, scissors, glue, and paint. There are many different ways to approach this project, and the design possibilities are endless. You can create a traditional Christmas tree, a spooky Halloween tree, or even a colorful rainbow tree. The only limit is your imagination! In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to create your own 3D cardboard tree, and provide some tips and tricks to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible.


To make a 3D tree out of cardboard, you will need the following materials:


The most important material you will need is cardboard. You can use any type of cardboard, but corrugated cardboard is recommended as it is sturdier and easier to work with. You will need at least two large pieces of cardboard to make the tree.


You will need a good pair of scissors to cut the cardboard into the desired shapes and sizes. Make sure your scissors are sharp and can cut through the cardboard easily.


A ruler is essential for measuring and marking the cardboard accurately. You will need a straight ruler that is at least 12 inches long.


A pencil is needed to mark the cardboard before cutting it. Make sure you have a sharp pencil that can make clear and precise lines.

Paints and brushes

If you want to color your tree, you will need paints and brushes. You can use any type of paint, but acrylic paints work well on cardboard. You will also need brushes of different sizes to apply the paint.

Glue or tape

To assemble the tree, you will need glue or tape. You can use any type of glue or tape, but a hot glue gun is recommended as it dries quickly and holds the cardboard together firmly.

In summary, to make a 3D tree out of cardboard, you will need cardboard, scissors, a ruler, a pencil, paints and brushes, and glue or tape. Make sure you have all the materials before starting the project.

Creating the Tree Trunk

Creating the trunk of a 3D cardboard tree is a fun and easy project that requires some basic material and a little bit of creativity. In this section, we will guide you through the process of creating the tree trunk step by step.

Cutting the cardboard into strips

First, you will need to cut the cardboard into strips. You can use a ruler and a utility knife to cut the cardboard into strips of equal length. Make sure to cut enough strips to form the hexagon shape of the trunk.

Measuring and marking the strips

Next, you will need to measure and mark the strips. Use a ruler to measure the length of each strip and mark it at equal intervals. This will help you to fold the strips into a hexagon shape.

Folding the strips into a hexagon shape

Now it’s time to fold the strips into a hexagon shape. Take one strip and fold it into a hexagon shape, making sure that the marked points meet at the corners. Repeat this process with all the strips until you have a set of hexagons.

Gluing the hexagons together to form the trunk

Finally, you will need to glue the hexagons together to form the trunk. Use a hot glue gun to attach the hexagons together, making sure that each hexagon is securely attached to the next one. Continue gluing the hexagons together until you have formed the trunk of the tree.

In conclusion, creating the trunk of a 3D cardboard tree is a simple and enjoyable project that anyone can do. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can create a beautiful and unique tree that will add a touch of nature to your home or office.

Making the Tree Branches

To make the branches of your 3D cardboard tree, you will need to follow these steps:

Cutting cardboard into branch shapes

  • Start by drawing the shape of your branches on a piece of cardboard.
  • Cut out the cardboard shapes using scissors or a utility knife.
  • Make sure to cut multiple branches in varying sizes to give your tree a more natural look.

Painting the branches

  • Once you have cut out your branches, it’s time to paint them.
  • Choose a color that will match the overall look of your tree. Brown or gray are good options for a realistic-looking tree.
  • You can also add texture to your branches by using a sponge or brush to create a wood grain effect.

Attaching branches to the trunk

  • To attach the branches to the trunk, start by creating small slits at the top of the trunk where you want the branches to go.
  • Insert the branches into the slits, making sure they are secure.
  • You can also use glue or tape to reinforce the branches and make them more stable.

By following these steps, you can create realistic-looking branches for your 3D cardboard tree. Make sure to experiment with different shapes and sizes to create a unique and interesting tree.

Adding Leaves

To make your cardboard tree look more realistic, you can add leaves to the branches. Here are the steps to follow:

Cutting leaf shapes out of cardboard

  1. Draw and cut out leaf shapes on cardboard using scissors or a craft knife. You can use a stencil or trace a leaf shape onto the cardboard.
  2. Vary the size and shape of the leaves to make them look more natural.
  3. Use green cardboard or paint the leaves green to give them a more realistic look.

Painting the leaves

  1. Use acrylic paint to paint the leaves in shades of green.
  2. Add some brown or yellow to the paint to give the leaves a more natural look.
  3. Let the paint dry completely before attaching the leaves to the branches.

Attaching leaves to the branches

  1. Use a hot glue gun or craft glue to attach the leaves to the branches.
  2. Start at the bottom of the tree and work your way up, adding leaves to each branch.
  3. Vary the size and shape of the leaves as you go to make the tree look more natural.
  4. Add leaves to the trunk of the tree to make it look fuller.

By following these steps, you can create a beautiful 3D cardboard tree that looks like it was plucked straight from nature.

Finishing Touches

Now that you have created your 3D tree out of cardboard, it’s time to add some finishing touches to make it look even more realistic. Here are a few ways to add texture and stability to your tree:

Adding Texture with Paint or Other Materials

To add texture to your cardboard tree, you can use paint or other materials such as tissue paper, glitter, or even real branches. First, decide on the color scheme you want for your tree. You can use traditional green and brown colors or get creative with blues, pinks, and purples. Once you have your paint and materials ready, start by painting the cardboard tree with a base coat. Then, add texture by dabbing on different shades of paint or gluing on tissue paper or glitter. You can also add real branches to the cardboard tree to give it a more natural look.

Adding a Base for Stability

To make sure your 3D cardboard tree stands upright, you can add a base for stability. One way to do this is to create a cardboard box that fits around the base of the tree. Cut out a piece of cardboard that is slightly larger than the base of the tree and fold it into a box shape. Then, glue the box to the bottom of the tree. You can also add rocks or other weights to the bottom of the box to make the tree even more stable. Another option is to use a wooden or plastic base that the tree can be attached to.

By adding texture and stability to your 3D cardboard tree, you can create a beautiful and unique decoration that will impress your friends and family. Experiment with different materials and techniques to make your tree truly one-of-a-kind.