Even the smallest of dwellings require a little tree so we’re going to show you how to make an origami Christmas tree. This one is made from pretty Japanese papers in green, silver and gold and is very straightforward to make based on a simple folded fan shape. You could just as easily make yours from gift wrap, or go for an all-white look for sophisticated elegance. If you’d like to try even more paper folding goodness then check out our easy origami for beginners post which will give you eleven more projects to work on!
If you like this article, how to make an origami Christmas tree, why not check out some of our papercrafts – like these origami Christmas decorations or these easy origami projects, or how about getting your glue gun and making this realistic paper rose? If you’re in a crafty mood, why not check out the best glue gun and best die-cutting machine. Thinking about buying a craft printer to print all your free papers with? Check out our review of the best printer for card making and discover the best printer for printing on card.
Origami Christmas tree tutorial
Why not use your papers that come in every issue of Mollie Makes to make your origami Christmas tree? You can download a selection from our desktop, iPhone and iPad wallpapers. Or, if you prefer, we have a selection of free patterned papers from Papercraft inspirations, Cardmaking & Papercraft and Quick Cards.
You will need:
• 14 paper rectangles, two of each measuring 21 x 28cm (81⁄4 x 11in), 18 x 28cm (7 x 11in), 16 x 28cm (61⁄4 x 11in), 13.5 x 26cm (51⁄4 x 101⁄8in), 12 x 26cm (43⁄4 x 101⁄8in),
9 x 25cm (31⁄2 x 97⁄8in), 6 x 22cm (23⁄8 x 85⁄8in)
• Piece of patterned paper measuring:
• 11.5 x 11.5cm (41⁄2 x 41⁄2in) for the trunk
• One sheet of A4 (US letter) silver paper for the base
• Two 30cm (12in) wooden barbeque skewers
• Thin wire
• Pencil and ruler
• Craft knife and cutting mat
• Small pair of scissors
• Glue stick and quick-drying glue tube
• Darning needle
How to make an origami Christmas tree
If you’re looking for more Christmas magic then learn how to make cards with our free step by step tutorials! We also have a range of free card making downloads so you can make your own seasonal Christmas cards. Ready to learn how to make an origami Christmas tree? Let’s get started!
You Will Need
Start by making the base for your origami Christmas tree. Cut strips of paper 2cm (¾in) wide. Take the first strip, run a glue stick along one side and start winding it up into a tight coil. As you come to the end of one strip, glue on another strip and continue winding, until you have a disc at least 3.5cm (1³⁄8in) wide. The wider the base the more stable the tree will be; to ensure your tree stands straight, make the base as flat as possible.
Taking one of the larger paper rectangles, place it pattern side down with one of the short edges facing you and fold over by 1.5cm (5⁄8in). Turn the paper over and fold the other way, again by 1.5cm (5⁄8in). Continue to concertina fold in this way to the end of the strip (if you are left with a spare bit that is not big enough to fold, trim it off).
Concertina fold and trim
Trim the ends of the folded strip to a point, curving the cut slightly to give the edges of your origami Christmas tree a scalloped point.
Glue to make a semi-circle
Fold the pleated strip in half and press firmly at the crease. Run a glue stick along one edge of the fan shape and stick to the other edge to make a semi-circle.
Stick two semi circles together
Fold the correspondingly-sized paper rectangle in the same way, then stick the two semi-circles together to form a complete circle. This is the base of your origami Christmas tree!
Make six other branch layers
Take a small piece of wire approx 14cm (5½in) long. Fold it in half and poke the ends through at the centre of the circle from front to back on either side of the two joined semi-circles. Turn over and twist the ends of the wire together to secure. This completes a branch layer.Repeat steps 2–6 to make the other six branch layers from the pairs of paper rectangles.
Take the patterned paper square (for the trunk) and run the glue stick over the reverse side leaving a 2cm (¾in) strip unglued along one edge. Starting at the unglued edge, roll up to make a tube approx 1.5cm (5⁄8in) in diameter. Cut into sections as follows: one measuring 2.5cm (1in), three measuring 2cm (¾in) and two measuring 1.5cm (5⁄8in).
Thread the paper branch circles onto skewers
Starting with the second smallest circle, begin to thread the paper fold circles onto the skewers, placing the skewer ends through the holes where the wire joins the two semi-circles. Setting aside the two smallest paper tubes, use the paper tubes in ascending size to separate the paper fold circles. Push the circles/tubes along the length of the skewers to approx 1.5cm (5⁄8in) from the top.
Secure the tree to the base
Once the largest circle has been threaded on, it is time to secure the tree to the base. Prepare the base by using the darning needle to pierce two holes approx 1cm (³⁄8in) apart either side of the centre. Thread on one of the set-aside small paper tubes, place a blob of quick-drying glue into each hole, and push the skewers right down into the holes.
Thread the other small paper tube onto the skewers at the top of the tree, place a blob of quick-drying glue onto the end of each skewer and stick the smallest paper fold circle on to finish your origami Christmas tree.
How to make an origami Christmas tree – top tip
The pleated circles also make wonderful decorations. Fold some really large ones in gold and silver and hang them up for a stunning display.
More origami Christmas trees!
This beautiful origami Christmas tree is made from circles of pretty patterned paper with an origami lucky star as the tree topper – get the full tutorial for how to make this origami Christmas tree over at Gathering Beauty!
2. Flower-inspired origami Christmas tree
This Christmas tree is a clever adaptation of an origami flower and a creation of Vicente Dolz. To make this tree you’ll need seven flower units for the branches, one piece for the trunk, and a star. Get the full tutorial (plus a handy video) over at Origami Spirit.
3. Easy origami Christmas tree
Practise your paper folding skills with this easy origami Christmas tree by origami artist Jo Nakashima. Get the full video tutorial over at Jo Nakashima website.
4. Kirigami Christmas tree
These paper Christmas trees make beautiful decorations and can be made with just one square sheet of paper and a pair of scissors. It is best to use any paper between 70 – 100 gsm such as computer paper, wrapping paper or magazines – whatever you have around the house! Get the full tutorial over at Foldability.
5. Paper Christmas tree
This is a fun project, and one that is really easy (and quick) to make! You need little more than paper, glue and a few glittery bits to pull off something that requires just a few minutes of your time, yet looks like it took hours to plan and create. Get the full tutorial for this paper Christmas tree over at Kinder Art.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this project, how to make an origami Christmas tree! We have plenty of other origami projects here on Gathered, too – like these Christmas origami decorations or this origami lampshade or these origami cats.
For even more Christmas goodness why not check out our Christmas knitting patterns and free Christmas decoration crochet patterns? We also have a collection of free Christmas quilt patterns so you can give special handmade gifts this year.