Cardboard Christmas Tree

Christmas for us is so linked to being with parents, siblings, and grand parents that we can’t imagine staying on our expat soil during the holidays. Only a colicky-3-months-old-refux-sufferer convinced us to stay. No Christmas at home means no Christmas tree, so this year we made an ultimate Cardboard Christmas Tree of an expat family!

Otherwise we go. Even if it means a 2 days road trip in snow and darkness. Even when Z got sick, landed in a hospital 5 days before Christmas, forcing us to cancel the tickets. We spent hours looking for new tickets 2 days before Christmas, and by spending a fortune, managed to sit with out family for Christmas Eve celebrations. 

As our families live far away from each other, we always spend around 1 week at my in-laws’, and another one at my parents’. It means we’re away for quite a while. Adding the fact that the Polish tradition is to decorate the tree on the Christmas Eve (or a day before), it doesn’t make any sense for us to buy one.


But.. we have a 4 years old Christmas freak, or rather a 4-Years-Old Christmas-Tree-Beggar, so this year we made a 3D cardboard tree with our real Christmas tree decorations – an ultimate Expat Family’s Christmas Tree.

I’m not at all artsy-craftsy talented (really!!), so the final result is far from perfect (and definitely not Pinterest-worthy), but it does make us all happy!

If, for whatever reason, you would like to do it too, here’s how to, followed by a (very amateur) video at the end:

(And if you’re an artsy-craftsy pro let me know your tips!)

  1. Find a big cardboard box. The bigger, the better. 
  2. Draw a shape of a Christmas tree: twice. 
  3. Cut out the shape.
  4. Cut in a line (1cm wide), the length of around 1/3 of the tree starting from the top on one tree. On the second tree shape cut a line (1cm wide), of he length of 2/3 of the tree starting at the very bottom of the tree. 
  5. Cover the shapes with contact paper. I didn’t use paint as it would made the cardboard too wet and soft.
  6. Fold 1/3 of both tree legs.
  7. Put both trees together by sliding the one with the line cut from the bottom, on top of the the other tree.
  8. Use the hot glue gun and a small piece of cardboard to glue the tree (remember the folded legs?) to said cardboard piece.
  9. Use paper clips as hooks fir the decorations: unfold the clip, push it through a tree, fold back.
  10. Decorate!

If at any point you have an idea of how to make this process easier/faster/more fun, or an idea for how and what to put on the top of the tree – let me know!


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