Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DIY: Recycled Paper Palm Tree

Thanks to my new blogger friend Veronica, over at Life In the Thrifty Lane (how cute is that name?) reminded me that I failed at posting a how-to on my recycled palm tree! *gasp!*
Sorry to anyone who was interested in how to do this! Its so easy, so lets get to the basics....
Paper grocery bags
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Styrofoam ball
Spray Paint

Step 1: Take you grocery bags and begin cutting leaf shapes. No need for a template, you don't want them all uniform. Make plenty of different sizes. To make my two palm trees I cut up four grocery bags, and ended up with a lot left over.

Step 2: Crumple each leaf and then unfold again. You want lots of creases in them.

Step 3: Spray paint the leaves. Don't worry about full coverage. Its OK to have some of the paper show through. It kind of makes a worn effect, which feels more natural to me.

Step 4: Fire up that hot glue gun and beginning at what will be the base, start gluing the largest leaves to your styrofoam ball. No need to fully cover the bottom of the ball. Your leaves will cover it, and besides you have to have somewhere for the stick base to go in.

Step 5: Continue to cover the ball until its at a fullness you like. Allow to dry.

Step 6: Push stick into the base of styrofoam ball. For added security you can use hot glue on the end of the stick when pushing it in.

Step 7: Viola! Your masterpiece is complete!

Total cost (for me) to make 2 palm trees:
Sticks: 4 feet bamboo poles at Dollar Tree, $2
Styro Balls: 2 balls at Michaels, used 40% off coupon, $7
Spray Paint: Already had, but I did buy it on sale at Menards for a different project.
Hot Glue: Yep, already had that too.
Grocery Bags: you guessed it, already had those as well.

Total: $9 for TWO palm trees!

The party I made these for was a brown and mint green jungle theme. But you could make these in all kinds of colors. Maybe hot pink or yellow for a funky luau, or try white for a more elegant affair! Try adding glitter to your leaves, or to the tips of the leaves! The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!


  1. Thank you for the tutorial Jessi (and thank u for reminding me that I didn't have a contact e-mail on my blog..can't you tell I'm new!!!) The magic of spray painting...I would have never thought that the leaves were painted plastic bags! Have a good week :)

  2. I have a question...Do you remember what size styrofoam balls you used? Im going to make these for a baby shower Im planning next month! =) "Circle of Life" Themed



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