Inside: Here are 8 Christmas tree crafts to make with your kids/grandkids to celebrate the holidays. And, check the bonus at the end—how to make amazing holiday candy trains! These are fun ways to create meaningful holiday traditions in your homes!
Christmas Tree Crafts
It’s Christmas—the “most wonderful time of the year!” That time of the year when we celebrate the sights, sounds, and memorable activities of the season with friends and family.
Hands down, my favorite Christmas decoration is Christmas trees—the gorgeous pines and their beautiful decorations, glimmering lights, and spicy aromas. Christmas trees are the magic that makes the season bright!
Here are 8 Christmas tree crafts to herald in the season! Towards the end, I’ll show you how to use all the trees you make to create a Christmas scene that can be used as part of your holiday decorations. And at the very end–a bonus! Learn how to make candy trains–a Christmas tradition we’ve been doing in our family for 43 years and counting!
#1 Hot Glue-Gun Christmas Tree Crafts
These trees turned out amazing and can be used as Christmas gifts for family members. Take a close look at the textures and colors of these trees when using this art technique–it’s very unique!
Grab some watercolor paper, draw a simple pine tree, and use a glue gun to outline your Christmas tree. When the glue is dry, use liquid watercolors and paint your tree. After the paint is dry, pop in a frame and it’s ready for gift-giving!
- Take a pencil and roughly sketch a Christmas tree on watercolor paper
- Outline the tree using hot glue. Let dry
- Take liquid watercolors and paint your tree. Don’t limit yourself to just green—use all the colors of the rainbow to create an interesting Christmas tree with amazing textures and colors.
- Mount on colored cardstock paper and assemble into a frame
#2 Tape-resistant Christmas Tree Crafts
Here’s a fun way to make tape-resistant Christmas trees!
Using painter’s tape, make horizontal, diagonal, or zig-zag lines on your simple trees. With Kwik Stix markers—color them and top them off with fine glitter!
- Choose a triangle tree from the Christmas Tree templates; download it; and print it out on cardstock paper.
- With 1/4” painter’s tape, tape vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or zig-zag lines on your tree
- Color the tree using Kwik Stix markers.
- Add glitter while the paint is still wet. Let dry.
- Carefully remove the tape and cut out the tree.
- Use this tree as part of the Christmas scene (below)
#3 Cardboard Christmas Tree Crafts using Yarn
Grab your stacks of cardboard and make these cute Christmas tree crafts.
Use a tree template and trace your trees onto cardboard. Cut them out, and using Kwik Stix markers, color your trees and top them off with a pop of glitter!
Next, take some yarn in Christmas colors and wind around your tree. When done, glue on some Christmas baubles!
- Christmas Tree templates
- Kwik Stix markers
- Yarn (Christmas colors)
- Small Christmas ornaments
- Using your tree template, trace 3 trees for each child onto cardboard. Cut out
- Color your trees with Kwik Stix markers
- Take different colors of yarn and wind around your trees
- Glue small stars and other Christmas baubles onto your trees
#4 Polka-Dot Christmas Trees
These Christmas tree crafts are super easy. Use a simple triangle tree template and decorate them with polka dots.
We used both dot markers and Kwik Stix markers to create dots of all colors over the tree. If you want, you can use different colors of cardstock to print out your tree template and then decorate them with dots.
- Print out the Christmas tree template on colored cardstock or white (we used the simple triangle tree)
- Using the markers and daubers, make dots all over the tree. It should end up looking like a cacophony of lights on a Christmas tree
- Cut out
#5 Christmas Snowflakes
Your Christmas scene will need some snowflakes—so here is an easy-peasy way of making the most beautiful snowflakes ever using a template, glue, and lots and lots of glitter!
- Free snowflake template
- Download and copy off a snowflake template for each child
- Outline some snowflakes with glue
- Sprinkle glitter over the glue and let set before shaking off the excess glitter
- Color some of the snowflakes, too
- Cut out leaving an edge around the snowflake
#6 Creating a Christmas Scene with Trees, Snowflakes & Villages
Now it’s time to put all those Christmas tree crafts, snowflakes, and even a village or two and create an amazing Christmas Scene!
- Black posterboard (1 per child)
- White lightweight butcher paper
- All the trees and snowflakes each child has made (above)
- White Kwik Stix markers
- Christmas village template
You are going to assemble your Christmas scene using all the trees and snowflakes you made above. We also included some villages we made for another project to include in this scene so it looks like a Christmas village.
- Using white butcher paper, cut a large piece of paper that slopes up and down resembling snow piles against the black posterboard (see above)
- Arrange your Christmas trees around the paper and fill the sky with your snowflakes
- If you are adding the Christmas village—nestle the houses amongst the trees (see how we drew ours here)
- Glue everything in place
- Using the white Kwik Stix marker—make dots around the sky to resemble snow falling
#7 Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree Crafts
This is a good filler activity to squeeze in between projects because it’s easy and comes together quickly. And, it helps your kids/grandkids hone their fine motor and bilateral coordination skills
Take different colors of Christmas pipe cleaners, and using a bunch of colored wooden beads, spools, and paper rolls, have your kids/grandkids thread the baubles onto the pipe cleaners (tree branches) and create Christmas trees.
When done, mount it on a Christmas piece of paper and hang it on the wall
- Christmas pipe cleaners
- Wooden beads, small spools, rolled paper—anything with a hole that you can thread the pipe cleaner through
- Christmas cardstock paper (12”x12”) (Hobby Lobby)
- Take 8 different Christmas pipe cleaners; put them together and twist them at the top.
- Using beads, spools, and rolled paper, thread them through the bottom of the pipe cleaners until you’ve created a Christmas “tree.”
- On your cardstock paper, arrange your tree and glue the top and each “branch” in place
#8 Candy Holiday Trains
In 1980, my husband took a cake decorating class. Not only did he learn how to decorate cakes, but he also learned how to make holiday trains and handmade marzipan.
These trains became an instant favorite in our family and we’ve been making them yearly ever since—first with our kids and now with our grandkids. We’ve also made them for school holiday activities, cub scout troops, church activities, etc. Wherever we’ve made them—they steal the show!
And making these trains has connected our family to our ancestors. On both sides of our families, there is a love of trains–especially around Christmastime. My father, my grandfathers, and even my great-grandfathers had a train they put around the bottom of their Christmas trees. The best part of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning was watching the train go round and round the tree.
The same tradition was in my family and my husband’s and we made it a tradition in our home with our sons. And when our grandkids come to visit during the holidays, the first decoration we put up is the Christmas train!
These candy trains are easy to put together. Click here to watch the video from one of my other Christmas posts before starting—it gives step-by-step directions on how to make the trains.
Supplies per train
- 2 Milky Way candy bars
- 1 package-colored lifesavers
- 6 Wintergreen Mint Lifesavers
- 1 Orange Slice
- 2 Licorice sticks (black or red)
- 1 Chocolate bell covered in red or green foil
- Spice drops
- 8-10” round cardboard
- 1 batch of royal icing
- Make a batch of royal icing (we like this recipe)
- Cover the cardboard with a thin coat of royal icing
- To make the train tracks, use cake tip #47. Make 7 short tracks across the board
- Lay 2 licorice sticks horizontally across the tracks
Assemble the Train
- Cut one Milky Way bar in half. Leave the other one full-size
- Spread royal icing on the full-size Milky Way. Glue to the middle of the track
- With the ½ size Milky Way, spread royal icing on the short edge and glue, standing up, on the back of the larger Milky Way.
- Lifesavers—spread royal icing on one side and attach to the top of the Milky Way bar
- Cowcatcher: spread royal icing on an orange slice and attach it to the front of the train
- Wheels: use 6 wintergreen lifesavers (white) spread royal icing on each and attach to the sides of the train. 2 in the back, one in the front.
- Use tip #4 to hoop and connect the wheels together with royal icing
- Smoke Stack: turn one chocolate bell upside down; coat it with royal icing and attach it to the front of the train. Bend a toothpick (but not completely) and push the shorter end into the top of the bell. Using tip #30, push the cake tip over the toothpick, and as you are pulling the tip out, squeeze out the frosting to create a smokestack effect
- Back of the train: use royal icing and glue on 2 small gumdrops.
For more ideas on Christmas tree crafts, check out: Here are the Best Christmas Tree Traditions to Do With Grandparents!