A paper craft project for kids..Making a Christmas Tree out of Your Name

Making a Paper Christmas Tree out of Your Name

Turning my name into a paper Christmas Tree, along with making Paper Snowflakes, was one of the many craft projects that I did in the fifth grade. I think Sister Mary Charles (nee Catherine Lily) was a genius, coming up with art projects for us to do, on a very limited budget.

The First Step in making your Name Tree is to take an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and fold it lengthwise, so it is longer than tall.

Step 2 ..With the center fold of the paper facing you, using a #2 pencil, softly write your name, so it graduates in height, starting high on the left to low on the right. The first letter of your first name will be the tallest, and become the bottom of your tree. The tail of the last letter in your last name will be the shortest, and become the tree’s top. Make sure that the letters of your name go right down to the center fold of your paper. Your signature will become 1/2 of your tree.

Step 3 ..With your pencil, lightly draw around your signature so your name is not just a pencil line, but has some volume / thickness. Make sure it touches the bottom fold and is thick enough, because this will be your guide when you go to cut out your name.

Step 4 ..Start cutting out your name, but don’t cut completely across the bottom fold. The fold is uniting your 2 halves. I am right-handed. When I cut out the samples, I started the cutting project at the end of the last letter of my last name, which is on the right side of the paper. With regular scissors, (that I loosened the screw up a bit, (this makes for easier cutting) I started cutting around my name. When I thought there was too much scrap / unneeded paper in my way, I then cut off that portions, to get it out of the way, and continued cutting until I completely cut out the upper part of my name. I then started opening up spaces around the bottom of my name, between the letters.

When I cut out the centers of letters (e,g,o, etc.), I lightly folded the letters in half, without creasing them, made a snip down the center, and worked from there hollowing them out.

Step 5 ..After completely cutting out your name, unfold and glue it to a Bright or Dark piece of colored construction paper. If you want, stop there. As an adult, I appreciate the simplicity of just the white silhouette against a dark background. But as a kid I liked the tree decorated.

Step 6 ..On separate pieces of paper, make size appropriate decorations for your tree. You can cut ornaments, like stars out of colored paper.  You can also make / design things on white paper using crayons, colored pencil, poster paints, colored markers (as I did), or as we did in the 1960’s glitter and spangles. Cut them out and glue them here and there on your name tree. You can even embellish directly on your tree if you wish.

The next illustration is a Name Tree using Printed Letters, versus Written ones. (post continues after illustration).

Magic Marker colored Decorations, on my Name Tree

So there you have it, another Retro 1960’s Winter art project to do with the kids. If you like this project and want to try another look at..

Companion Post
Cutting / Making Paper Snowflakes 10-27-2011, 
Turn your Paper Snowflakes into a Snowflake Snowman 12-14-2011, 
Make some Animals from Cut Paper Snowflakes 12-19-2011,

(Christmas Decorating)
Putting Lights on a Christmas Tree ..The EASY WAY 11-3-2011,
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree with Tulle 10-20-2012,
Christmas Tree Decorating..Step by Step, Like a Pro 11-13-2011,
It’s Easy to make a Tulle Christmas Wreath 11-8-2012,
Make an Easy NO TIE Bow for your Christmas Wreath 12-8-2011,
Some Ideas for Repurposing, Reusing, Recycling an Old Christmas Tree 11-20-2012


About fredgonsowskigardenhome

Your eyes deserve to view beauty. I hope Fred Gonsowski Garden Home helps to turn your vision, into a reality.
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2 Responses to A paper craft project for kids..Making a Christmas Tree out of Your Name

  1. Marguerite says:

    Your articles are interesting and inspiring. I have good memories of the trees you did for the Institute. Since your project instructions are very easy to follow, (I made the snowflake) I will try the Name Tree. Thank you.

    • Hi Marguerite, Those were indeed wonderful days, when we had the Festival of Trees at the Albany Institute of History and Art. It is too bad they stopped having it. The event was such a hit and got a lot of people in the Holiday mood. Each year I did it, was like a homecoming, seeing, visiting and catching up with the goings-on of the tree decorating people. Even though the Institute stopped having the trees, it did inspire other organizations, that took some of their ideas, and they started their own festivals, and some are still going.

      When I was making the two samples for the Name Tree, I thought, for being 5th graders, we were really good at cutting things out. I do wonder, if kids now are as talented as we were back in the day? Hopefully they are. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You!

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