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3-D Christmas Tree Card

As this Christmas card opens, a 3-D tree made from pleated paper rectangles pops out, like a small gift. Although it can be glued into any size greeting, it is especially attractive in a tall, slender card that mimics a pine tree's natural dimensions.





  • Card stock or blank store-bought cards
  • Scissors
  • Art paper
  • Bone folder
  • Glue
  • Fine brush
  • Star-shaped hole punch (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Fold a piece of card stock in half or use a blank store-bought card. Cut art paper into rectangles of graduated lengths and widths (adding about 1/4 inch to widths and 1 to 2 inches to lengths).

  2. Step 2

    Pleat each rectangle accordion-style, making same-size folds in each; score folds with a bone folder. Open card, and center rectangles in spine of card. Glue down end folds to form a pop-up tree that expands as you open card. 

  3. Step 3

    To make the "bucket" that holds the tree, fold another paper rectangle into four accordion folds. Glue end folds on either side of card's spine. 

  4. Step 4

    If you wish, use a star-shape hole punch to make a star for top of tree. Fold star at the center, and glue both sides to card.

Martha Stewart Living, Holiday 2008



Reviews (6)

  • hahd 28 Jul, 2012

    Great card. What are the exact measurements of the pieces you fold like an accordian?

  • tlc59 6 Dec, 2011

    LOVE this!!!! I love all of your products. I will definitely be making this card....

  • Normom 6 Dec, 2011

    I love the crafts here but am often disappointed in the instructions. Just give us some ideas of measurements!! It would be so much easier. It is a cute card and turns out fun but even with the Martha scoring board the folds were a little wacky at 1/2 inch. I may try them bigger.

  • francifularts 6 Dec, 2011

    I am currently teaching my students how to create simple pop up cards for the holidays. I will be sure to share this idea with them! Another variation to it could be creating paper springs which also look like accordions. To create one you take two strips of paper and glue them in an L shape (at right angles). Then you fold one piece over the other continuously until you run out of paper, then secure the ends with a dab of glue. Using two different colors at first makes it easier.

  • melcri 10 Oct, 2011

    I love all of your cards, can't wait to make this one. I record your shows to view when I get off from work. I have a great deal of your products and love them. Thanks Ms. Stewart for sharing your craft ideas with others.

  • thexarni 17 Sep, 2011

    i love it....i cant way to do this card!