Here’s everything you need to get to crafting these super-easy-to-make and seriously stunning paper birch trees! Spending $20 or $30 for a similar Christmas decoration is for the birds–just craft your own and save your budge for the important stuff!! Enlist the kiddos to help and you have an instant vignette for a Christmas dinner centerpiece or a beautifully bedecked mantel!
PAPER BIRCH CHRISTMAS TREES by MyMommaToldMe.com
- paper mache cones a.k.a. fiberboard “doll cones”, in varying heights (I found these in-store at Michael’s and online at FactoryDirectCraft.com)
- Modge Podge in your preference of gloss or matte finish (accept no substitutes–I don’t care what people claim on Pinterest, Elmers glue and water does not Modge-Podge-equivalent make!)
- paint brushes
- white card stock paper
- scissors (and a craft paper cutter would be ideal for cutting out the strips, but is not necessary)
- Birch Tree Bark print paper
Print out birch tree bark pattern (see above) and cut out the strips (there are three strips per page). For your reference, a 7 inch cone will take at least 4 sheets of the template pattern (which is at least 12 strips). I used a craft paper cutter for this but you can easily use scissors and a steady hand.
Start at the bottom of your cone and apply a generous coat of Modge Podge to the cone, place a strip of the birch bark on the cone and wrap it around, positioning the strip so that some of the paper hangs over the bottom edge of the cone. Trim off the excess paper with your scissors.
Continue to decoupage up the tree int he same fashion. As you get higher up the tree you will need to shorten the length of the strips. Make sure to seal the edges down by applying the Modge Podge to the outside edges.
You will end up with your cone looking like the pic above, a smooth version–which I think looks great by itself, so if you like a cleaner look stop here (and just add a bit more to cover the top of the cone). If you are going to add the fringe, then don’t worry about covering the very tip since it will be covered later by the fringe.
With your remaining birch strips, use your scissors to make a fringe. Cut about 2/3rds of the way up the strip. You can make your fringe narrower or wider depending on the look you’re going for. I preferred a flatter-laying fringe so I opted to go wider–about 1/4th of an inch thick. Continue to fringe until you have enough strips to cover the tree.
For the bottom of the tree, cut your fringed strips about in half. Tip: The smaller the size of the fringe strip the more even they lay on the tree. Apply a generous coating of Modge Podge to the top of your fringe and adhere to the covered cone. Overlap strips accordingly to better hide seams (see pic above) and continue in this manner up to the top of your tree.
For the very top point of your tree, take a small piece of fringe (about 1 1/2 inches) and roll into a cone shape. Seal the shape together with Modge Podge and allow to dry well before applying to the tip of your tree. To apply the top fringed cone to the tip of the tree, coat the tip of the tree generously with Modge Podge and press the cone into place for at least 20 seconds. Allow your trees to dry fully.
As I said before, I like a flatter-lying fringe, but if you prefer to feather out the fringe on your tree just use your fingers as a form and the card stock really will hold whatever shape you give it. Above, is how the tree looks feathered and I was able to “de-feather” the trim later when I decided I didn’t like it!
I hope you enjoyed doing this craft project as much as I did! I have so many plans for my birch tree forest: as a replacement for bottle brush trees in a Christmas village (that I have yet to make), trimming them with red pom poms or frosting them with icy-white glitter, winding those small battery-operated fairy lights around them for some electrified action!
Please share with us what you do with your paper birch trees! Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!!