Mod-Podge Magazine Christmas Trees

I had been planning on doing a Button Christmas tree with my kids this season, inspired by this image on Pinterest.  We had tons of beautiful buttons left over from the Button Pumpkin project, and I was eager to put those to use.  However, as we learned from that (sorta failure of a) project, covering an entire form in buttons is HARD WORK, and takes way more stamina than the average person has (in my house anyway.)

So, when I heard about the Creative Challenge our friend Rachelle from TinkerLab was planning to host — how to use your recycled magazines / catalogs for a child-directed creative project — a light bulb went off.  We’d cover those foam cones with magazines first, and then use the buttons as decorations!  Forget trying to cover the whole darn thing! Yay!!

Christmas Tree Materials

  • Foam cones from the craft store – these are the kind to use for floral arrangements
  • Catalogs – there’s no shortage of those arriving in the mail these days…
  • Buttons & other miscellaneous embellishments (sequins, jewels, etc)
  • Pins – we used some w/ large green heads, which made them more decorative
  • MOD-PODGE – I’m sure all of you are all over this stuff, but I’ve had a jar of it in our craft drawer for a year and never used it. Oh My Lord – what have I been missing??

First, S & I went to town cutting up the catalogs.  I ended up creating most of the volume of scraps, but she had a grand time with her scissor work.

So we ended up with a nice tray of assorted-size scraps.

Getting Started

And then the real fun began.  I have to admit that S and I both had SO MUCH FUN covering our cones (yes, I had to get in on the action too.

She needed a little help getting all the holes covered, but she did a remarkable job managing a tricky (sticky) material.

She was disappointed when I told her we’d have to wait for the glue to dry before we could add the buttons.  But then I realized – why stop here, since we already have a nice, sticky surface?  When I asked S if she thought we should add some glitter, her eyes lit right up.  We took her cone outside (yep, even somewhat crafty moms hate glitter on the kitchen floor), and S sprinkled away.

It didn’t take long for the Mod-Podge to dry, and S began sticking on the buttons and other sparkly things she found for ornaments.

I have to say, this project was a huge hit in our house, and will be a holiday repeat for us for years to come.  It was also such a treat for my daughter and me to explore materials that we don’t normally use and find a new favorite – Mod-Podge!  Thanks so much to Rachelle for inspiring us with her creative challenge!

Thank you to all who participated in our giveaway. The winner is Pamela Cain – congratulations, Pamela!

Please check out the other amazingly creative moms who are also participating in the Creative Challenge!

Child Central Station , kids in the studioTeach MamaThe Imagination Tree,Childhood101Teach Preschoolhands on as we growArtful ParentPaint Cut PasteA Mom With A Lesson PlanToddler ApprovedKiwi CrateArt 4 Little Hands,  Red Ted ArtThe Chocolate Muffin Tree,  Imagination Soup,Michelles Charm WorldMessy PreschoolersTinker LabMommy LabsPutti Prapancha

63 Replies to “Mod-Podge Magazine Christmas Trees”

  1. I don’t like glitter either. 🙂 I think I saw (also on Pinterest?) the idea of curving card stock into a cone and covering that., too, to make trees. Either way, such fun to use Mod Podge, isn’t it?! The trees came out lovely!

    1. Oh, I didn’t see you asked a question. For myself, I like carving stamps, playing with paper, and fabric–including wool felt (especially lately).

      The kids like paper, tape, and scissors. Other stuff too, but the scissor/paper/tape combo has occupied my kids for nearly a decade now.

      1. My kids love paper, tape & scissors too! Seriously, my daughter used nearly an entire roll of scotch tape yesterday wrapping dozens of “gifts” for her younger brother.

  2. Lara, this is such a gorgeous project. Your daughter’s focus is wonderful — she’s clearly have a great time. I can see why you pinned that tree, and now I’m pinning you!

    1. OH I love glitter but YES have to hide it. I have a craft box, had it out when we were doing a project, I did not secure the lid and my 3 yr old got the WHOLE red glitter container out and sprinkled it around and said it was fairy dust. I got to her before she got to the living room carpet. I had red glitter everywhere for a long time. I NOW have a greater respect for glitter.

      Love the cardstock trees idea, Pinterest was the source, but love love love it! I have buttons I have carried arounf since highschool in my sewing basket that I now have an excuse to use with my 3 yr old glitter fairy

  3. What a fun craft! I’ll have to give it a try with my little guy.

    Lately my favorite creative material has been felt. I’m always amazed by the new crafts I see others make from different colored felt.

    Happy Crafting!!!

  4. LOVE these trees- something that I may be doing with my son the week before Christmas! Personally, I scrap and make cards so I like papers and the related tools and embellishments. My son has enjoyed playing with some of my rubber stamps and ink pads- as he gets older, I’ll give him more access to them.

  5. Those are too cute! Knowing my kids, I”d have magazines mod-podged to my walls! We love working with foam stickers and crayons and (in the summer) we paint on the deck 🙂

  6. OMF (Oh My Fabulous!) Love it! I’m huge fan of Mod Podge (we used it on our project too!!).

    My kids are 6,5,4 and LOVE upcycling caps from everything we use! We keep a GIANT container full of caps for many different games, projects and activities!!

  7. Our favorite materials are fingerpaints. It’s amazing to watch how creative kids are with just simple paint and paper. Plus getting a little messy is always fun : )

    1. Yes, we love fingerpaints too. I haven’t yet given my 22 month old free reign on them yet… but I should really just let loose, shouldn’t I?

  8. we have a “treasure box” filled with bits and pieces of this and that…the girls love to glue it onto paper

  9. My boys love anything with glue, glitter, and paint. Such a fun ideas! They get really creative with cardboard boxes, wheels from broken toys, buttons, and stuff like that! Fun! thanks for the chance to win!

    1. We love recycling TP tubes also! I have a drawer in our laundry room where I toss cardboard tubes, egg cartons, etc — to use for all our upcycling projects.

  10. I love subbing glitter glue for glitter – but always wonder if it’s still true the glittered projects can’t be recycled (even in single stream recycling communities). What a great giveaway. I’ve been meaning to look on Tinkerlab’s site – I’m heading there now

  11. Hi, just wondering would the embellishments stick after modge or do ypu need to pin in items? just wondering if you tried. Love the Tree!

    1. We waited until the modge had dried, so we used pins or just added more glue (my daughter is a firm believer that you can NEVER have too much glue!) Thanks!

  12. We just made trees at our house as well, so right now my favorite craft supply is old knitting yarn cones. My grandma had some old ones that she no longer needed and a little bit of paint and sequins later and we have nearly instant Christmas trees!

  13. I love to use fabric scraps….esp. vintage or old clothing scraps!

    This tree idea is great…and perfect for hodge-podge fun (with modge-podge!)


  14. Such fantastic ideas….I so need to keep a look out for some cones….or I’ll look at making my own. Fabulous way to use up all those catalogues! thanks for sharing all your great ideas 🙂

  15. These are beautiful! i’ve grown to like glitter. At home it is fine, but try doing it an art classroom! Kids love glitter and it is worth the mess! Favorite materials are construction paper, paint, and glue!

  16. Stumbled upon your blog from Imagination Soup and am delighted to have discovered such a wonderful craft. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Mod Podge is my hot favorite too. My kids’ latest favorite is the flour+baking powder+color art and then microwaving it for puffy art.

    1. Ooh – I haven’t tried the puffy art project yet. I will have to add that to our list for xmas break – thanks for sharing!

  17. I love the feeling of being impressed. Thank you for your gifts and talents.

    Favorite creative materials? My little ones vote for paint, paper and scissors!

  18. My favorite material with kids is probably liquid watercolors. They are fun, versatile, and easy to clean up.

  19. So many great ideas. Thanks so much for sharing these. Forget the toys, our kids love projects projects projects. The recycle bin is never safe!

    1. Well, I have 3 kids – my youngest is almost 2… I let him into way more stuff than I did when my other two were his age, but that’s more b/c the stuff is already out. The safest method I’ve found is to put him in the high chair w/ some materials — sometimes crayons or markers or a wet paint brush with a little paint on it and let him paint paper or even just his tray. My daughter is 4 and she is a huge project junkie… she’s been into it since she was 3 and a bit. At a younger age (and even now at times), it’s much more about exploring the materials than actually creating a finished project — which is equally fun for her!

  20. I love this! We have so many catalogues coming in the mail right now that I’d love to do this with. I’ve also been wanting to try out modge podge too. Thanks for the idea. The kiwi crates look fabulous!

  21. Favorite material is watercolor paint – on paper, cardboard tubes, and always on skin! Easy clean up and my son has as much fun coloring water with it as he does painting. Great cone idea – inspiration for making some hats!

  22. wooden crafts sticks are always fun to pull out of the cabinet because they each immediately have their own ideas about what to make. no help from me necessary.

  23. I love this activity to do with my grandchildren. we have not really explored out to much yet but we do love our glitter and glue.

  24. My kids love pipe cleaners (er fuzzy sticks or something I think they’re called now) and beads. They can make all sorts of ornaments and fun things with just those two things.

  25. We love GLUE DOTS and tape, markers and cardboard. We reuse ceral boxes to organize kids stuff and decorating them makes them personal. Think Magazine holder or paper sorter and you get the idea of how we reuse the boxes. 🙂 Helps if the kids make the container, then they LIKE to put things back in the container. We used modpodge or glue dots to secure the item for storage. Like a dried up marker is secured to the front to tell us the quaker oatmeal container is for markers… 🙂 that kind of thing. One shelf is for the kids to display thier stuff (but they have NO idea they are organizing). This has helped me repurpose thestore bought plastic containers for other things in the house without having me buy them. Other things we reuse- plastic trays in oreo cookie “bags” are drawer or box sorters for necklaces/beads or pens/pencils and trader joes cookies come in clear plastic tubs, we reuse kids secure a new label for the stuff that fits inside. This type of fun makes me happy. LiL 3 yr old used 3 cookie tubs, decorated them to give to her big brother as a gift to store his legos…

  26. My daughter loves anything messy, from paper mache to clay to fingerpaint. We’ve started to make a lot of textured paint recently (mixing tempera with anything from cornstarch to salt to oatmeal to, yes, glitter) and has so much fun running her fingers through it while painting.

  27. Katie loves stickers most right now but things change. We had a glitter glue phase and a paint phase. I’ve lost my patience for the bigger projects lately (4 month old baby sister anyone?). Love this project–I want to try ModPodge myself. I have to ask–what will you do with this after the holidays? Will you save it for next year? I get a little stressed about all the stuff we create and then the desire to hoard (er, keep) it.

    1. This is one that I think I will store w/ the holiday decorations for next year – they turned out quite pretty and look so nice on my kitchen windowsill! I have to admit, though, that many of the kid-created holiday crafts (except those that hang on the tree) will be “recycled”

  28. My kids love creating with paper towel tubes. We’ve made kaleidoscopes, telescopes, periscopes, trains, lemonade serving sets… The possibilities are endless with tubes!

  29. all kinds of paper, TP and paper towel rolls, catalogs, add glue and scissors and a fine time is had by all. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  30. I used to hate glitter but my mom gave me these great glitter trays she uses for scrapbooking. It makes cleanup easy and not a dreaded chore. Right now we are using a lot of old magazines to make origami garlands and paper chain garland. We also are having fun creating winter hat ornaments from tp/paper towel rolls.

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