Repurposed Playing Cards into DIY Christmas Tree

Create a DIY Christmas tree from Repurposed Playing Cards

From December 1st to December 23rd I’m sharing three Christmas projects per week, for Twelve Days of Christmas Projects.

Welcome to Day Seven!

You can find links to the other projects at this end of this post.

So a while back I was in one of my local thrift stores and they had a bin full of decks of cards. I think someone must have donated a whole collection at once because there were all different kinds of decks.

Some were from cruises.

Some were from casinos.

Some had the names of places on them.

But, thankfully, there were many that didn’t have any advertising on them at all.

As a thrifty creator I can never pass up a chance to buy something in bulk, so of course I had to look through the entire bin to see what I could find. There must have been fifty deck in there.

It was fun looking through them, and I ended up bringing ten 50 cent decks home, and I’m using one of them in my repurposed playing cards DIY Christmas tree project that I’m sharing today.

Repurposed playing cards into a Christmas tree

deck of playing cards and styrofoam cone

To create my DIY Chrstmas tree I’m using this pretty red deck of cards, and a 12 inch $1 styrofoam cone.

Folding playing cards into shapes

folding playing cards to make a triangular shape

The first stop is to bend the cards into a shape that sort of resembles the boughs of a tree.

This is easy to do by simply folding over one side, like in the above photo.

folding playing cards to create triangular shape

And then you fold over the other side, overlapping at the top of the card.

stapling playing cards to keep them in triangular shape

Then you staple your playing card triangle together so it keeps its shape..

repurposed playing cards after being folded into triangjular shapes

And you just make a whole bunch.

I wasn’t sure how many I would need so I started with the numbered cards. I wanted to save the face cards if I didn’t need them.

Adding trunk made of poker chips

gluing green poken chips onto bottom of DIY Christmas tree

So the cards can hang below the bottom edge of the tree, I needed to use something for a base, or trunk

I had a bag of $1 thrifted poker chips in my stash, so I pulled out some green one and glued them together using my glue gun.

Gluing playing cards onto styrofoam cone

gluing first layer of bottom row of folded playing cards onto styrofoam cone

Then I started gluing on the cards. I added a first layer to the bottom, spacing them out a bit.

TIP: The cards adhere better if you give them a rounded shape that aligns with the cone. You can easily do this with your fingers.If you just stick on a stiff straight cards, they’ll stick out all over the place.

gluing second layer of bottom row of folded playing cards onto styrofoam cone

Then I added a second layer to cover the space.

TIP: When adding the glue for the second layer you need to place it where the cards will come into contact with each other, not just on the cone..

bottom row of folded repurposed playing cards in place on styrofoam cone

Here’s the bottom row all done.

As you’re creating your tree just remember that real trees aren’t perfect so trees that we create don’t have to be perfect either.

two rows of folded repurposed playing cards in place on styrofoam cone

Then I added a second row the same way.

three rows of folded repurposed playing cards in place on styrofoam cone

And then a third row.

It was here at the third row that a couple of things dawned on me.

stapling playing cards vertically so they are easier to bend

It’s better to staple the cards vertically because it makes it easier to give the cards the roundedness that’s helpful for placing them on the cone.

creating narrower triangle shapes when going higher up the styrofoam cone

And as you make your way up the cone, the card shapes need to be narrower. It makes sense that as the cone gets narrower, the card shapes should too.

So, this creating thing is always about learning. I’m learning with every new project I try, and I adapt as I go.

four rows of folded repurposed playing cards in place on styrofoam cone

From the third row up I just covered the gaps as I went, making sure no staples were showing as I went.

five rows of folded repurposed playing cards in place on styrofoam cone creating DIY Christmas tree

Here’s the tree all done.

You can see how the card shapes got narrower as I made my way to the top.

Creating an easy tree topper

vintage star-shaped light reflector with toothpick glued on the back

For a tree topper I glued a toothpick onto the back of a red vintage light reflector.

Vintage light reflector on top of repurposed playing cards DIY Christmas tree

For some extra sparkle I glued a faux rhinestone into the middle of the light reflector, and then stuck it into the top of the styrofoam cone.

Supplies needed for this Repurposed Playing Cards Christmas Tree

  • Deck of cards
  • 12 inch styrofoam cone
  • poker chips
  • hot glue gun
  • hot glue sticks
  • scissors
  • vintage light reflector
  • toothpick

DIY Christmas tree created from red repurposed playing cards

For this project I used every card except one, the Queen of Hearts. I’ll put her with the other cards for a someday project.

Repurposed playing cards into DIY Chrismtas tree

And here’s my repurposed playing cards Christmas tree, with my repurposed garden hose tree, and one of my gift bow trees.

I love how the three of them look together.

DIY Christmas tree from repurposed playing cards

This was such a fun project, and a relatively easy one too. I figure it took me about 3 hours, if I count the time spent folding and stapling the cards while I was watching a Hallmark Christmas movie.

And at a cost of about $2 it was very thrifty.

I hope this project has inspired you to create something fun out of repurposed playing cards. With a little time, and a lot of hot glue, creative things are always possible.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

Fun & Easy DIY Christmas tree from repurposed playing cards

Twelve Days of Christmas Project Links

DAY TWELVE: Quick & Easy Scarf Christmas Wreath

DAY ELEVEN: Repurposed Furniture Legs into Alternative Christmas Trees

DAY TEN: Easy Map Ornaments from Cosmetic Containers

DAY NINE: Vintage Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornaments

DAY EIGHT: Displaying Vintage Ornaments in a Frame

DAY SEVEN : Repurposed Playing Cards into DIY Christmas Tree

DAY SIX: DIY Christmas Wreath from Glittery Thrifted Finds

DAY FIVE: Easy DIY Stuffed Clear Plastic Ornaments

DAY FOUR: Easy DIY Christmas Gnomes

DAY THREE: Easy DIY Felt Poinsettia Wreath

DAY TWO: Easy Angel Ornaments from Tassels

DAY ONE: Repurposed Hand Fan Christmas Trees

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. Love it. Using playing cards to make a Christmas tree who would have thought that….you did. Now I will be looking for playing cards. Merry Christmas

  2. Tuula,

    When I click on the P to pin it to Pinterest it freezes. Will not allow me to pin the playing card tree. First time I did it got something totally different when it came up.

    1. That’s so weird Nancy! It worked ok for me. I just changed a setting to see if that will help.

  3. Barbara Warner says:

    I love your deck of cards Christmas tree! Kind of rustic,kind of chic~ Very retro. I need to make one. Thanks so much for sharing such a creative idea. Merry Christmas!

  4. Tuula, only you would look at a deck of playing cards and say, “I see a Christmas tree”. How clever and adorable is this tree, especially with the poker chip trunk!