Junk Mail Christmas Trees

3 Materials
2 Hours

Hello There,

Are you ready for Christmas? Has your home been decorated since Thanksgiving with delightful seasonal cheer and elfish charm? Is it magazine spread, Martha Stewart and party-ready? Are your gifts all wrapped with the most stylish of wrappings?

Well, I am not I am still trying to decorate and I don't even want to talk about gift wrapping. : -)

If you need a last minute quick and easy project to add a little more decoration to your home then this might just fit the bill.

For this project, you will need the following materials

  • Junk Mail Catalog
  • Small Tin Can
  • Safety Can Opener
  • Hot Glue
  • E6000 Glue
  • Twine
  • Sliver Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Two Bottle Caps
  • Tooth Pick
  • Sliver Plaid Dimentional Paint
  • Silver Thumbtacks

Step 1 – Fold Magzine

If you watch the video, you will note that this wasn’t quite as straightforward as I thought it would be, and you can decide for yourself whether or not the three-fold or the five-fold version is what you want. I recommend using a magazine catalog with around 100 pages or 50 folded pages.

Three Fold Tree – Yes I know there are four pictures here but the last fold is folded up and then tucked under. Hopefully, that makes sense.

For the Five-Fold Tree – Start by making the folds above and then add folds four and five. I know you are thinking that I don’t know how to count right now and I guess that one could argue that there really are more than five folds but there is a lot of folding, unfolding, and refolding for the last fold that I rolled into one. The video will explain the folds better if the pictures are too confusing.

This is my five-fold tree once all the folds are completed. I like how skinny and tall it is.

Step 2 – Open and Clean Can

You can use all kinds of things for the trunk of your tree. I have seen some beautiful tree trunks made from candle holders. You can also choose not to add a tree trunk. But I wanted to make my trees different heights, so I decided to use some tin cans. They are a good choice if you need to make a heavier base say if you have cats that might be prone to knocking the aforementioned trees off the mantel.

To make the tin can tree trunk, you will want to use a safety can opener. In addition to leaving no sharp edges on the can or the lid, this type of can opener also allows you to replace the top on the can. Next, clean the can, remove the label, add some rocks or other weighted items, and use the E6000 glue to reattach the lid to the can. If you are impatient like I am, you can also use a little bit of hot glue to make the connection solid more quickly.

Step 3 – Assemble Tree

Once the can is ready, use hot glue and E6000 glue to secure the folded magazine top to the tin can base. At this point, your tree is ready to decorate. First, I added some paint colors to mine with a dry brush technique. Then I wrapped the base with some brown twine.

Step 4 – Finishing

Here again, you can do your own thing. I choose to use some silver thumbtacks to decorate my tree. Then, I used two bottle caps, a toothpick, and dimensional paint to make the tree topper. You can see more details on my tree decoration in the attached video.

Thanks, bunches and oodles for stopping by.

Happy Upcycling,


Suggested materials:
  • Junk Mail
  • E6000 Glue
  • Hot Glue
Cindy @ Upcycle Design Lab
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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4 of 13 comments
  • PZF PZF on Jan 16, 2022

    I am old (65). I remember making similar trees out of Reader's Digest magazine in the 60's. These are much prettier. We just used to fold the pages, then my Dad spray painted them with something that probably was toxic! But we thought they were great.

    • Carolyn Carolyn on Jan 24, 2022

      Our Brownie group made the Reader's Digest trees also, and my mom still has the one I made. It is actually fairly sturdy, probably b/c it is smaller in size. Might try to make with my nieces over summer for next year. Great memories!

  • Thanks for checking out my project. I remember those Reader's Digest. My favorite magazine was McCalls because they put paper doll cut outs on some of the pages. Gives me fond memories of visiting my grandparents house 🙂