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.

Oh My Deer: Cardboard Antlers

If you are anywhere around Michigan (USA) this week, don’t go out and about with a pair of these on your head.


Like it or not, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandpas are out in their  hunting blinds right now hoping to bring home some four-legged game of the white-tailed variety.

For those of use city dwellers who are not out hunting and are limited to interacting with wildlife like birds, dogs, cats, rats and the occasional tanuki, we’ll be snug in our beds on a cold November morning.

If you’d like to make your own pair of cardboard antlers, it’s ideal to use light weight cardboard that is plain brown on both sides. I first cut a paper pattern from newsprint, then traced onto my cardboard with pencil. Be sure to allow for enough length at the base of the antlers to fold up a small cardboard tripod. Adhered with a little masking tape at the back, the cardboard loop allows you to string a ribbon or head band through the antlers and easily secure them to your head to help them stay in place.

You can add more horns to your antlers by making a cut at the base of the horn piece and at the place where you will insert the horn on the antlers.

So whether you are celebrating a trophy buck, curling up with a copy of Imogene’s Antlers, or dressing up as our favorite reindeer this Christmas, I hope you enjoy making these cardboard antlers. With the pattern, I’m sure you could assemble this project in 10 minutes or less; less time than it would take you to go to the store and buy something similar and no extra burden on the planet when you pop them into the recycling box at the end of the season.