How to make an origami Christmas tree. Even the smallest of dwellings requires a 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 giftwrap, or go for an all white look for sophisticated elegance.
Origami Christmas tree tutorial
• 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
Make the base of the tree
Start by making the base for the 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 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.
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.
The pleated circles also make wonderful decorations. Fold some really large ones in gold and silver and hang them up for a stunning display.