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DIY Craft: Vintage Inspired Handmade Tree with Paper Flowers - Great Idea for Wedding Décor!

Updated on October 12, 2017
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As an artist and homeowner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.

Handmade Rustic Tree Decoration
Handmade Rustic Tree Decoration | Source

Inspired by the vintage look of the home accessories available at Anthropologie and Pottery Barn, this charming tree is easy and fun to make. Using basic supplies found around your house, this colorful tree decoration would be a wonderful centerpiece for a wedding or bridal luncheon, a special baby shower, or for decorating your home!

This crafty tree is made from a basic cone structure wrapped with twine or yarn, then decorated with colorful paper flowers, some buttons, and an applique detail of your choice.

Detail of tree decoration
Detail of tree decoration | Source

Materials for Vintage-Inspired Tree

  • cone structure - size of your choice. This cone can be either paper, cardboard, or styrofoam
  • tissue paper (optional) for wrapping around cone
  • twine or yarn to wrap cone - if using yarn, I would suggest using a thicker yarn of aran or bulky weight
  • shoelace (optional) for tree detail
  • a bunch of magazine photos or decorative paper for flowers (thicker paper or cardstock is better)
  • buttons, beads or sequin for the centers of your flowers

example of applique
example of applique | Source
  • applique of your choice (optional) - this can be a design of your choice, like a bird or butterfly, to add an extra detail. You can also just cut a shape out of paper.
  • white craft glue that dries clear
  • glue pen that dries clear
  • scissors
  • base for your tree (optional)

Wrapping your cone with twine or yarn
Wrapping your cone with twine or yarn | Source

Directions for Making a Vintage-Inspired Tree with Paper Flowers

  1. I started by wrapping my cardboard cone with tissue paper. This step is not necessary if you are wrapping a cardboard cone with twine, but I would recommend wrapping any styrofoam cone so the foam does not show through your wraps.
  2. Starting at the top of your cone, use a paintbrush to coat the top inch or so of your cone with glue.
  3. Taking your twine or yarn, start to wrap your cone. Be careful to cover the very top point of your cone. As you are wrapping, use your fingernail to tighten up the wraps so none of your cone structure shows through.

Wrapping your cone to make a tree decoration
Wrapping your cone to make a tree decoration | Source

4. Let your first 4 or 5 wraps dry before you continue wrapping your cone. This will avoid having your twine or yarn unravel from your cone.

5. Continue wrapping your cone, letting it dry a little after every couple of inches.

6. When you get to the bottom of your cone, make sure your bottom edge is even. Trim the end of your twine or yarn cleanly and glue in place. Then put your cone aside and start cutting out your flower pieces.

basic flower template to make different flowers for tree decoration
basic flower template to make different flowers for tree decoration | Source

7. I used a simple shape to make a stencil for my flowers. You can use this flower template to make three different sized decorations for your tree.

Layered flowers for handmade tree decoration
Layered flowers for handmade tree decoration | Source

7. I cut my flower shapes out of images from thicker magazine paper. I made a larger flower, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, a medium sized flower, and a small flower - all using the same template.

8. Cut out enough flower shapes to make about 20 flowers (depending on the size of your cone), layering at least two sizes together to create some dimension to each flower. I mixed different colors together when layering my flowers, but this is a personal choice. You could also use all one color for all your flowers.

9. Then fold each of the petals towards the center of the flower so they stand out a little.


10. (Optional) Use a shoelace or some other yarn to create a basic tree shape on your cone. This tree will provide the branches to place your flowers on. A glue pen is great for gluing down your tree shape. Once you have your tree glued down, pin it in place while it dries.

11. Once your tree is dry, start placing and gluing your flowers on your tree, or in the design you choose.

Detail of vintage-inspired tree decoration.
Detail of vintage-inspired tree decoration. | Source

12. Continue decorating your tree with flowers, layering the sizes and colors as you choose. You can also use artificial flowers or leaves to embellish your tree.

13. Add in any other details you wish. I put a felt applique bird on one of my branches, then surrounded him with some of my paper flowers. I like the extra detail and texture he adds to my design.

14. You can also add a button, bead, or sequin to each flower center for more color and interest!

Use a jar filled with buttons for the base of your tree decoration!
Use a jar filled with buttons for the base of your tree decoration! | Source

Ideas for Displaying Your Tree

You can add an interesting base to your tree to finish your design:

  • I used a chunky candle holder for the base of my tree. I stuck one side of a piece of velcro to the candle base and the other side to the bottom of my cone so my tree would stay in place.
  • You can use a small juice glass or bowl as a base. Turn it upside down and hot glue the bottom of your glass or bowl to the bottom of your tree.
  • Perfect for bridal luncheons and baby showers - fill a small jar with some colorful buttons, beads, or pebbles. Then glue the top of the jar to the bottom of your cone. If you've used a styrofoam cone, embed the rim of your jar into the base of your cone.


Copyright © 2014 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.


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