How to make felt Christmas trees

Mike Aspinall 22 November 2021

Stuck for ideas for some festive decor and have some felt lying about? Here's an ingenious trick to try

It sounds obvious but, as a professional crafter, I make a lot of things. I make things almost every day. And I love it! But what I don’t love is the waste that it can generate. I take steps to reduce this waste as much as possible – but it’s impossible to avoid things like scraps and off-cuts of paper, fabric, card etc.

After a recent project, I was left with quite a few scraps of felt. I collected it into a little pile and it sat in my craft room, unused, for a few weeks. I just couldn’t bring myself to throw it away! I knew there must be a use for it… then inspiration struck!

The great thing about this project is that you can literally use anything you have available! Card, fabric, felt, wood, paper, foam, cork… just follow the simple steps below.

What you’ll need

  • Scraps of felt (or whatever material you want to use)
  • A wooden cube or square bead
  • Strong glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

What to do

Decide how wide you want your Christmas tree ornaments to be. This will likely be determined based on the wooden bead you’re using for your tree trunk. For instance, I used a 2cm square wooden cube as my trunk – so I decided that a 5.5cm wide tree would look best.

With your size decided, cut out a square of felt to this width. Then cut out lots more squares, each one getting gradually smaller. I ended up using 22 squares for my ornaments, each one approx 0.25cm smaller than the last.

However, I was using quite a thick felt – so make sure you adjust the number of squares to get the height and shape you want, with the material you’re using. (Generally, using more squares that are closer in size will form a taller, slimmer tree).

Lay out your squares in size order. Apply a pea-sized blob of strong glue to the centre of the largest square. Similarly, add a small blob to the middle of the next largest square. Leave them for approximately a minute to become tacky, then place the glued sides together (aligning the sides neatly), and press firmly together. Hold for a few minutes.

Repeat this process with each subsequent square, to slowly build up the height of the tree.

Once finished, glue the wooden trunk to the base of the tree. Leave it all to dry for 24 hours.

I love that these trees are completely upcycled from waste material – yet they look brand new! For a slightly different effect, try gluing circles together (instead of squares), to change the shape of the tree. You could even use different colours – pretty much any materials and colours you have available would work. It’s a great way to stop those scraps from ending up in the bin!

Read more: Vegan food from around the world

Read more: 10 delicious recipes from canned goods

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter