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3-D Christmas Tree Card Tutorial

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.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, Holiday 2008



  • Card stock or blank store-bought cards

  • Scissors

  • Art paper

  • Glue

  • Fine brush

  • Star-shaped hole punch (optional)


  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. 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. 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. 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.

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