Get yourself in the holiday spirit by making your own grove of these Woodland Christmas Trees. They look magnificent grouped together on a windowsill or a mantel—and the more trees the better. Full disclosure, this is not a 5 minute craft but they’re quite simple to make and I promise the results are worth it.
Woodland themed decor is so popular right now—you can place these trees on a dresser in a nursery or perch them among books in a reading nook. They’re not overtly Christmassy so they’ll look great any time of the year, especially if you make them in different colors.
If you look closely you’ll see that each tree is made up of one single leaf design, glued individually onto a cone. (If you follow my Instagram, @chaivdesign, you know that this leaf is from a rejected snowflake design of mine from 2018.) Gluing each leaf on, one at a time, is the tedious part. But it’s easy to do so you can do it with a glass of wine while watching your favorite show. I watched a lot of Golden Girls while making my trees.
I know it’s tradition for some families to sit together and make garlands for your tree, why not make trees instead? My tutorial uses hot glue for the leaves but if you use white glue you can have little kids help out. They may not be able to get the leaves to sit in the right places but it’ll keep them busy and a wonky tree would just be adorable!
You can purchase the tree bundle here and scroll down to follow along with my tutorial.
In my Woodland Forest Christmas Trees file bundle you’ll find 3 different sized cone templates and 3 leaf sizes. You’ll also find some files with “Nestled” in their titles. In these files I’ve multiplied the leaves and arranged them ready to be cut on an 8.5″ x 11″ paper.
Follow along with my tutorial below to create your trees.
Woodland Christmas Trees SVG
Text Weight and Card Stock Paper
Hot Glue Gun
Step 1: Print and hand cut your cone templates
Your file will contain 3 cone sizes: small (5.5 inches), medium (7.5 inches) and large (11 inches). Use the PDF files in your download to print out your cone templates and cut them out by hand. For this tutorial I’ll show you how to assemble the large cone since it has 3 parts to it, and the first few steps will cover how to create the small and medium cones.
If you’re making the small or medium cone, the next two steps are what you’ll be following.
Step 2: Create cone shape
For this step, it will help to get some tape ready. I like to place my tape on the edge of my table. You’ll need 4 or 5 pieces for the small and medium cones and about 10 to 12 pieces for the large cone.
Start by curling your cone into shape. The dotted line that runs vertically on your cone is your guide for where you’ll line up the other edge of the cone. Try to line it up all the way to the tip. More importantly, make sure the bottom edges are aligned, because this will help your cone to sit flat.
I’m using text weight paper in these images but if you’re using a heavier paper you may have more trouble getting the tip to curl in. Curl the tip end of the cone with a fingernail to get the tight curl. Also if you’re using heavier paper you may need to use hot glue instead of tape. Don’t worry too much if your tip isn’t perfect because you can cover it with the leaves later on.
Step 3: Tape cone
Take a piece of tape and place it on the flap at the top of your cone, then use the tape to pull the flap over to meet the dotted line.
Now tape the rest of the cone edge. If the bottom of your cone is not aligned, trim off the part that is sticking out so that the bottom of your cone is smooth.
If you’re making the small or medium cones, you’re done and you can scroll down to Step 6 to create the rest of your tree. Continue to the next step to finish making your large cone.
Step 4: Assemble parts 2 and 3 of large cone
Take Part 3 of your large cone and align it’s left edge along the dotted line on top of Part 2. Make sure the curve of both pieces are aligned. When you have them aligned, tape them together.
Step 5: Attach bottom of large cone
Now take the new piece you’ve just created with Parts 2 and 3 and tape it to your cone, following the dotted line along the bottom of the cone. I find it helpful if you first place a piece of tape on the area (of the bottom piece) you’re about to tape down. Don’t worry about matching the vertical seams of the cone and the bottom piece (see image below) since you’ll be covering the whole cone with leaves.
When you get to the end, you may have two flaps like I do below, or you may just have one flap to tape down. Finish your cone by taping the ends together.
Now your large cone is ready to become a tree! Below are the three cone sizes that are included in my tree download.
Step 6: Cut leaves with cutting machine
In your file you’ll notice I have files with “Nested” in their names. I’ve taken each leaf size and nested them together into rows that will fit on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Below is the number of pages of leaves you’ll need to cut for each tree size. I don’t have exact leaf numbers counted for each tree so if you follow my guide below you should have extra leaves left over.
Small Tree – 2 pages
Medium Tree – 3 pages
Large Tree – 7 pages
For these final steps, I’ll be making a medium sized tree. I use a brown cone only because it looks better with green leaves. Feel free to use any color you like but if you’re making a white tree I recommend using white cones.
Prepare your leaves by bending the ends of each leaf. Place the leaf end between your thumb and forefinger and gently bed upwards to get a slight angle.
Step 8: Glue leaves onto cone
I’m not exactly sure why but I start my trees at the top, rather than the bottom like most DIY trees do. Maybe because I want to make sure the top leaves are spaced out correctly? Nevertheless, if you think it’s easier to start at the bottom I say do it and let me know how it goes. This tree is so forgiving I have a feeling it won’t make a difference in how your tree looks.
Using a hot glue gun, glue one leaf to the top of your cone, letting part of the tip go beyond the cone tip like in the image below.
Next you’ll be creating the point at the top of your tree. Place hot glue on two leaves and place them both (at the same time) at the top of your cone, butting them against your first leaf to create a pyramid. You may have to pinch the top to make sure the three leaves meet at a point. This part may be a little tricky—if any leaves look wonky you can just pull them off and start again. If there are globs of glue left behind, trim it off with scissors.
Now all you’ll be doing is gluing your leaves on, one at a time, working your way to the bottom of the cone. You’ll see that after the first three leaves, the next row of leaves will nestle nicely between the leaves above without leaving any space.
Here’s what the top four rows of leaves will look like:
As you move down the cone, you’ll see that the leaves won’t nestle perfectly into each other because there’s more space on the cone. At this point you can start leaving some space between each leaf like in the image below.
You can use the end of a paint brush or any thin tip to reach in and press each leaf down as you glue them.
Continue gluing leaves on until the tips of your leaves start to reach the bottom of your cone.
There will be space left at the bottom of your cone which you can just leave empty. Now just set your tree down and fill in any gaps along the bottom that you think need to be filled in.
Your tree is done! You can fluff up or press down any leaves that look out of place.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to send me photos of your trees or if you post on social media my Instagram is @chaivdesign and Facebook page is Chaiv. I hope you enjoy this one!