Recycled Cardboard Version of a Wheat Straw Tree Ornament.

Cardboard, Paper and Wheat trees

I love playing with wheat straw! I love the look of almost anything made with wheat straw! However, it is not readily available to everyone - not something most crafters keep in their stash. I really, really wanted to share my little wheat tree ornaments but not one alternative material worked until I asked myself the question "What would Michele use?"

Cardboard, Paper and Wheat trees

Cereal boxes of course!!! I would have NEVER thought of it without her recent tutorials for everything from wreaths to baskets and garlands! Made from recycled cereal boxes!

Wheat Tree ornament

I cut up a cereal box, glued printed sides together using Mod Podge, and when dry, cut it up into 1/8" wide strips! OMG - perfect!

Truth be told, I wasn't too sure I would like this material in this application - but it turns out - I love it!!

Then I decided to try coating one "test" tree with glitter and - beautiful! I can not get my glittery tree to sparkle in my images but take my word for it - this little beauty sparkles like everything!!

Cardboard, Paper and Wheat trees

Basking in the glow of success - I decided to try using card weight scrapbook paper! Just to see if it would work! And it does work! Beautifully! I am loving this tree too! Especially how it looks like it has been decorated!

Thank you Michele! Without your lead, I would have been stuck at wheat straw forever!!!

So! Here is how to make them! With wheat, paper or cardboard! (BTW I tried chenille, but did not like the bits of sharp wires at the end of each branch. I don't recommend it - especially for kids.)

I made the tutorial while playing with wheat - but it works just as well with cardboard or paper!

Wheat Tree ornament

The trees average between 4" and 6" tall.

1. Begin by cutting about 16 strips 1/8"wide and 2" to 6" long from cardboard or paper; and 2 strips 1/4" wide and 6" long. Precise cutting is important to the overall appearance of the tree so I recommend using a cutting board or rotary cutter.

Wonkiness works with straw - not so much with paper or cardboard!

Wheat Tree ornament

2. Secure a piece of masking or painter's tape on your work surface, sticky side up as shown.

Wheat Tree ornament

Two pieces of tape may work better for you!

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3. Now place your paper or cardboard strips as shown. Wheat is always going to be a bit uneven, but paper and cardboard allow you to space things perfectly!!

Wheat Tree ornament

4.Using hot glue, attach one of the 1/4" wide strips right on the center line. The tape will show through the openings between the strips and acts as a great guide.

Don't get too heavy handed with the hot glue - you just need enough to hold the strips in place.

Wheat Tree ornament

5.Once the glue is dry, turn the tree over and carefully remove the tape.

Wheat Tree ornament

6. Place a bead of glue using the "trunk" as your guide!

7. Place the other 1/4" wide strip right on top of the glue and maneuver it so that the edges of both "trunk" strips match up. Let dry.

Wheat Tree ornament

8.Using a straight edge and pencil, lightly mark your tree shape.

Wheat Tree ornament

9. Cut along the pencil lines.

Wheat Tree ornament

10. Then trim the top and bottom of the "trunk".

Wheat Tree ornament

11. Slip a bit of string or floss between the first and second "branches", wind around the "trunk" a couple times, tie a knot at the back, and then create a hanging loop by knotting the ends.


This may sound strange, but

This may sound strange, but per my mother's request, there was a wheat spray (with some added fresh flowers) used as a floral spray on her casket last fall. Afterward, I didn't know what to do with it -- tossing it out seemed rather heartless -- and seeing as how I am of Swedish descent -- I am now going to turn the wheat into these neat little straw trees which hopefully will grace family holiday trees for years to come! Thanks for the great idea!



This is SO AWESOME!!

such a brilliant idea of

such a brilliant idea of yours!!!
I love them all, but the scraps of cardboard is my fave.
but from somebody that lives in the UK we dutch love recycling of paper.LOL
Perhaps that's the anwser.
An other great tute of you. thank you for it, i love how they show hanging together like a tiny fairy xmas view.
I have left many windows empty over still, perhaps this is a great idea for me as well;-XD

These are so clever and

These are so clever and looking at them I have realised how many items around my house I could use. Brilliant to recycle cereal boxes though.

Great idea for cereal boxes.

Great idea for cereal boxes. This could make a great classroom version of the straw ornaments since the cereal boxes are recycled. But I have to say I adore the scrapbook paper version. The pattern does make the tree look decorated, just gorgeous. I bet this would be a fun way to recycle holiday cards into next year's ornaments too.

Pam! Your little forest scene

Pam! Your little forest scene is brilliant; each version lovelier than the next. I'm admiring the very simple and graphic tree shape you've used (proving that simple can indeed be beautiful). I also love how you've played with all different materials to create your collection: the plain cardboard (yay!) versus the sparkly, the wheat straw versus the chenille. Well, I just love the whole thing!!!

Thank you Michele!  I am glad

Thank you Michele!  I am glad you like them!  Seriously, I couldn't have ever come up with this one on my own - you inspired me to think "inside" the box!!!

What a simple and effective

What a simple and effective ornament- I love it! We go through a good deal of drinking straws in our family, and the plastic sort could also be washed and recycled in this craft; or the paper sort could be used if you can get hold of them. (Not having a guillotine, 1/4" strips out of double cardboard sounds a little tricky to cut.)

Straws would work

Straws would work beautifully, Gill!  

Ha! That guillotine is so old it is probably worth a fortune as an antique!  But it still works like a champ.  Double cereal boxes can easilly be cut with scissors - just carefully so the lines are straight!

Maybe i should experiment with something purposefully wonky!  Might be fun! hummmmmmmm

These are great, Pam! I love

These are great, Pam! I love both the glittery one and the scrapbook paper one. I would love to try this- thanks for sharing it with us!

Awesome!! I just love this

Awesome!! I just love this idea! :)