Cardboard & Button Christmas Tree


Cardboard and Chopstick Christmas Tree by Amber

I made this little table top Christmas tree for the girls. They are really into stringing beads and buttons these days. They love the act of decorating (and redecorating) a tiny tree.

This is also the perfect little something to send to someone who doesn’t decorate much for the holidays …… you can stuff it in an envelope.

We collected some of our orphan buttons from the ground around train stations and parks we frequent here in Tokyo and some are from our old clothes.

Cardboard Christmas Tree by Amber

To make the tree:

You will need a chopstick, scissors, cardboard and a rubber band.

  1. Trace around the mouth of a drinking glass and add 1cm to the diameter to make the largest section of the tree. Cut it out.
  2. Continue tracing and cutting out the circles, making each one about 1cm smaller than the last. I ended up with 7 layers.
  3. Poke a hole with the chopstick through each circle and thread it onto the tree, starting with the largest. Be careful not to push the circles down too far.
  4. Draw and cut out a star by lining up the corrugations so that you can thread it onto the top of the chopstick.
  5. Cut a long strip of cardboard (about 2-3cm wide) and roll it up with a rubber band to make the base.
  6. Decorate with your favorite orphan buttons or disassemble and send to a friend.

Starry Cardboard Birthday Crown


Starry Cardboard Birthday Crown by AmberStarry Cardboard Birthday Crowns by Amber

Starry Cardboard Birthday Crown by Amber  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An easy beautiful birthday crown that my daughter put together on her big day. She wants to wear it again next year, and I agree it turned out beautifully. There is definitely a Glinda, Good Witch of the North quality there.

If you can’t find gold cardboard, try jarred gold paint and pizza box lids……..

Celebrating 50 posts! with Cardboard Pom Poms

It’s hard to believe, but nearly a year and 50 posts have passed since the start of The Cardboard Collective!

I’m so thankful to all of you!

The blog has been a space where I have used cardboard to find solutions to all kinds of creative challenges that we face in our little family. You have cheered me on with your comments and kinds words of encouragement to keep innovating and creating.

My home has morphed from a tiny Tokyo apartment into a full-blown cardboard lab!

A place where boxes are stacked in corners to their tipping point, paper bags full of cardboard scraps are stuffed into empty closet spaces, and little paperboard models of future designs wait patiently on my bookshelf.

Where will another year take us?

Hopefully to better control of the cardboard stash, and new ideas! But in the mean time…

Are you ready to Celebrate?????

cardboard pompom

Aren’t these little cardboard fireworks the perfect symbol for all of the dynamo qualities of cardboard?

cardboard pom poms

cardboard pom poms

These cardboard pom-poms are a prime example of what can come of fiddling around with beautiful colors and textures that might be hiding in even your recycling bin.

I love that they look like little bursts of cardboard energy strung neatly in a row. cardboard pompom

The tools I used for this project include needle nose pliers, wire (I used large paperclips), and a cardboard cutting tool like a utility knife or these corrugated roofing sheers that I like to use for heavier cardboard projects.

I cut the cardboard kiwi boxes into 1 cm strips and bundled about 30 together with a piece of wire.

After I tightened the wire as much as I could, I started gently bending and fanning the cardboard pieces out, exactly the same way that you would if you were making a pom pom from yarn. As you bend the cardboard you will want to tighten the wire more to help the pom pom maintain it’s shape.

Lastly I threaded a piece of paper cording through the middle of the pom pom and just kept adding to my string.

Where are the cardboard hats and kazoos? Well I haven’t gotten that far yet, but in the meantime…

Happy 50th everybody!

Here’s to another year of making cool cardboard stuff.