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 watch my video 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.
UPDATE 2021: I’ve added an extra folder in your download titled CHAIV TREE TOPS. This contains the tops for your trees that I’ve designed to be a single piece. There should be three tree tops in your file, a large, a medium, and small. Follow my tutorial below to see how to assemble these tree tops. If you purchased your trees before my update, you can re-download your folder (here or on Etsy) or feel free to email me at chaivdesign@gmail and I’ll send the updated folder to you.
✻✻✻ Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. ✻✻✻
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 tree tops
In your folder titled “Chaiv Tree Tops”, you’ll find the SVG file which contains three tree top sizes like below. Cut one tree top for each tree you’re making. Make sure the white fold lines in each tree top are dotted. If they are showing up in your software as solid lines, change them to dotted lines before cutting.
After cutting your tree top, fold the three fold lines downwards.
Here’s a quick video on how to assemble your tree top. I’m using hot glue but you can use double sided tape or white glue. For the small size tree top these may be better options since hot glue can be clumpy.
Now attach your tree top to the top of your cone with some hot glue. Try to center and place it on as straight as you can. Set aside until you have all your leaves cut.
Step 7: Cut leaves
In your file you’ll notice I have files with “Nestled” 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
Place a dab of hot glue on the back of the bend of one leaf, and attach it to your cone, starting underneath your tree top. Nestle it directly beneath and between the two leaves in the tree top piece above it. Continue filling the space underneath your tree top piece with more leaves and work your way down the cone.
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.
I hope you enjoy making your trees! 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.