Thursday, December 1, 2011

Free Printable Paper Christmas Tree and Ornaments

Please scroll down and click the "Paper Christmas Tree and Ornaments Template" link further down on the page to download the free printable paper Christmas tree template. 

This printable paper Christmas decorations template will give you a lot of bang for your buck (not -- it's free!). It's a 3D paper Christmas tree, plus a set of round and star ornaments that can be used on this or any other Christmas tree, or to make a garland.
I made the colors for this template nice and cheerful, using bright green for the Christmas tree and magenta and orange for the ornaments. After creating all those muted shabby chic Christmas gift bags and cupcake toppers, and the multi-layered shabby chic paper wreath, I was ready for some color.

This Christmas tree can be dressed up or dressed down. If you don't want to use the ornaments on the tree, you can string them together to make a pretty holiday garland by using some beads or even just knots between the paper balls to keep them from bunching up. And because the patterns I used aren't specifically holiday-related, you can also use these for birthdays and other special occasions. Speaking of the patterns, I used a mix of modern and traditional designs for the tree and ornaments. IMHO, the overall effect is modern and fun.

Download the template by clicking the link below:
The template is in .jpg format and requires no special software to view.

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Supplies:
  • Good quality card stock (I used Red River Paper's 47 lb. Premium Matte)
  • Scissors
  • 1 3/8" scalloped or circle cutter 
  • Glue stick (I recommend using a repositionable glue stick, such as Elmer's Craft Bond)
  • Glue
  • 10 lb.-weight beading cord or equivalent (to attach ornaments to tree and create garland)
  • Ribbon (optional for ornaments) 
  • Very small hole punch or thick needle (to punch holes in tree to hold ornaments)
  • Toothpick(s) for star on top of the tree
  • Beads (optional for garland)
Instructions for making the printable Christmas tree and ornaments: 

1. Download the .jpg template by clicking on the link above. To save it to your hard drive, right-click if you have a PC and control-click if you have a Mac.

2. Print eight (8) copies of the template for the tree. If you'd like to make the ornaments and garland look like the sample photos, you'll need six circles for every ornament and four circles for every garland ball.

3. Carefully cut out the tree components along the outer edges using sharp scissors or a craft knife and straight edge. Fold each piece in half, with the printed sides facing in and the tree "branch" points perfectly aligned. Apply repositionable glue from the glue stick to the unprinted side of one piece and glue the back side of another piece to it. Do this until all eight pieces are glued together, including the last two that will attach the final two panels. The tree will now stand by itself.

If you want to hang ornaments on the tree, use the hole punch or thick needle to punch holes where you want them. You might want to do them one at a time as you add the ornaments, in case you decide you want fewer than you originally anticipated.

4. To create the ornaments, cut out enough circles to have three magenta and three orange for every ornament you want to make. Fold each piece in half with the printed side facing inward. Apply the glue stick to the back of one of the pieces, similar to these paper pumpkins. Repeat this, alternating the magenta and orange pieces until five of the pieces have been glued together. If you use the scalloped cutter, be sure to align the scallops on both sides so the edges don't look sloppy.

5. Before sealing the sixth ornament piece in place, thread a 5 1/2" long piece of beading cord or equivalent through a hole in the tree that was created in step 3. Fold the thread over and make sure the ends align, and then encase both ends inside the ornament and seal the sixth piece in place. Put some extra glue stick or a small amount of liquid glue in the center to secure the string in place.

Adjust the length of the string, so there's enough room for the ornament to hang freely and also provide for a ribbon bow, if you so choose. If you do it right, there will be string hanging down the bottom of the ornament. Before you cut it off, put a little liquid glue around the bottom of the ornament, covering where the string exits. This will provide a seal to further help the string stay in place. When the glue dries, you can carefully cut the string, getting as close to the bottom of the ornament as you can. Repeat this for as many ornaments as you want to add. I used one ornament per branch, alternating high and low "branches." You can use more or less if you want. You can also use the star template instead of or in addition to the circles. If you choose, you can add ribbon at the top of each ornament.

6. To make the star on top, use the same method that you would for a circle. The only difference is that you'll insert a toothpick into the center of the star, which will allow you to anchor the star in the top of the tree. The toothpick will also give you a place to add ribbon below the star.

7. To make the garland, create as many balls as you want, using four instead of six pieces per ball. You can use six pieces if you want, but unless you have an army of helpers, you might regret that decision when you get about half-way through! Anyway, use the technique described in step 4 to create the balls. (As you can see from the photos, I used a combination of orange-only, magenta-only and an orange-and-magenta combination.) You can then either encase the cord as you go or do it later. If you want to do it later, apply some glue to about 3" of the tip of the cord and let it dry, so you can thread it through easily.

I used beads between each ball but you can use knots instead, or a combination of knots and beads. If you use knots, you can put a lot more space between the balls, which will make the garland longer with less effort than using just beads as spacers.
I hope you have as much fun making these free Christmas printables as I  had designing them! If you've enjoyed this template, would you please "+1" and Facebook "Like" this page? that will help others find it. Thanks!

Credits: Thanks to Wicked Princess Scraps and Marisa Lerin of PixelScrapper.com for the overlays used to create the various patterns in this template.
You might also like these other holiday posts, which feature free resources:
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15 comments:

  1. Thank you for share it! it's so cute! I love it! Have a beautiful day from spain under the gorgeous sun of December!

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  2. Thanks for the kind words, Odile!

    Greetings from North Georgia, where it is also sunny -- but not so warm.

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  3. I love this 3-D tree! We made our 3-D pumpkin for our Thanksgiving table- and I featured it on my blog and in a video I did for iVillage (giving all credit and links back to your blog of course!) And I plan to include this printable in my Links to Love post over at www.momof6.com
    Thank you!

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  4. Thanks a million for featuring my pumpkins and 3D Christmas tree, Sharon. Thanks also for the kind words about me in your Links to Love post. I was very touched by what you wrote. :-)

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  5. it's very nice....thank you for share it

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  6. Nice!, Great ideas!. Love it! Thanks for sharing.:)

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment and have a great holiday. :-)

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  7. You are always so clever! Great job.

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  8. Thanks Carla. Shared and tweeted to all my Christmas friends.

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I welcome your comments!