Paper Christmas Tree

You guys, I have to tell you, I’m feeling kind of festive this year. I haven’t had anything resembling a tree since about 1999, which was the year of The Christmas Branch, a pine branch I put in a vase and on which I hung a single ornament, ever so late ’90s Generation Nowhere irony mixed with Peanuts-Christmas-special-tinged nostalgia. I wanted to do some holiday decorating at my place, but I didn’t want a physical, 3D tree tree, just something evocative of a tree and seasonal goodwill. I toyed with the idea of painting one on kraft paper or making one out of paper snowflakes or outlining the shape on the wall with fairy lights, but then the idea of gluing strips of paper to a large piece of kraft paper came to me and I figured I’d give it a shot.

In another 12 years, I’m sure I’ll be rolling my eyes at my second-decade-millennial Brooklyn-rustic DIY-precious aesthetic, but right now, I kind of love it. One unforeseen benefit of using paper that was already printed on one side is that the print shadow shows through, except on the bright white edges, which gives some visual depth and could, if you were so inclined, look like snow-tipped branches.

It was ridiculously easy to do. First, I cut a length of kraft paper and sketched out a vague triangle shape. I keep a lot of scrap paper around for notes and lists and whatnot, so I took some of that and cut it into quarters, widthwise. I was entertained to see that some of what I happened to grab was from the Haggadah from Michelle‘s seder this spring.
“Allow the bitter to move you” and “Nourish the self with mystery” are good reminders regardless of the holiday. “See the sandwich of both sides” sounds like the kind of fortune cookie I tend to end up with.

Then I just glued the strips in overlapping rows, starting at the bottom. I started out keeping everything tidy and lined up neatly, but quickly figured out that I liked the way it looked when placement was a little more haphazard.

Optional step: set the glue overnight with a large, sleeping cat.


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