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
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
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.
And then you fold over the other side, overlapping at the top of the card.
Then you staple your playing card triangle together so it keeps its shape..
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
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
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.
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..
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.
Then I added a second row the same way.
And then a third row.
It was here at the third row that a couple of things dawned on me.
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.
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.
From the third row up I just covered the gaps as I went, making sure no staples were showing as I went.
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
For a tree topper I glued a toothpick onto the back of a red vintage light reflector.
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
- vintage light reflector
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.
I love how the three of them look together.
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.
Twelve Days of Christmas Project Links
Thanks so much for reading and until next time,