Handmade holiday cheer starts here!

Handmade Christmas trees Art Design Joy

I love decorating our fireplace mantle for Christmas and try to add something new every year! The tricky part is finding things with enough height that aren’t too wide to use.  So when I saw a set of plain kraft paper cone trees I knew they’d be perfect as a trio of handmade Christmas trees!

The trees are inexpensive and come in different sizes, and they can be found in most craft supply stores.

I wanted to do something different to decorate the trees and decided to collage them.  Black and white imagery has always appealed to me, and I love the graphic aspect of typography.  The combination of the two provided the inspiration for the trees!  I’ve collected vintage images for years, and love to combine the lovely flourishes of old type faces with new fonts.

I began the project by scanning type from vintage post cards and books and added new fonts and images.  The free printables for the images I used are available at the end of this post.
Handmade Christmas tree pages

I printed the images on my home printer and cut them out with irregular and torn edges.  I used scissors with a decorative scalloped edge on a few of the pieces.  I also tinted the edges of several of the main elements with a tea stain to give them an aged look.music

Since I had printed the images on a inkjet printer I first gave them a light coat of matte clear acrylic spray.  That prevents the Mod Podge from smearing the ink.  If you use laser prints that step isn’t necessary as the toners don’t smear.

I painted the tree bases black and began gluing the images onto the trees using matte Mod Podge.  I printed several sheets of the music pages to use as backgrounds and placed the type at different angles over the music.  I used the images I liked the best on the fronts of the trees and didn’t worry about the backs since they weren’t in view on my mantle.


When the trees were finished (and dry) I added a sealer coat of Mod Podge overall to protect the collaged edges.  While the Mod Podge was still wet I added a light sprinkle of clear glitter.

Top the trees with sparkling stars and they’re ready for a Merry Christmas!

Print the collage images here-







2 responses to “Handmade Christmas trees

  1. The whole mantle is lovely and I want to make something similar, I took advantage of the snowflake download but will find choose the other images from my own stock and art… I do have a quick question… what was the base tree made from? Not the painted stand but the tree shape that you applied the images too? I have had issues with the foam trees when applying paper to styrofoam… any suggestions on that?

    1. Hi Lynne. I’m glad you like the trees! I used a set of brown kraft cardboard trees for the project since they’re easy to work with. I added a picture of them in the blog post as I wouldn’t want anyone to try the project with styrofoam trees, as I agree that it’s hard to glue paper to them! Hope you like your finished project!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *