These folded paper tree creations make for the perfect Christmas Decorations. This idea comes from our contributor Kara Whitten. There are two ways to make a tannenbaum: one with straight edges for a modern look and one with an upturned edge to mimic real branches.
Cut paper into squares. For large trees, you will need one 4-by-4-foot square, one 3-by-3-foot square, and one 2-by-2-foot square. For all other smaller trees, one square (of any size) will yield one tree.
Fold paper square corner to corner, producing a triangle. Next, fold that triangle in half to create a smaller triangle. Open the paper back up and fold in half to create a rectangle and then fold the rectangle in half to create a square. Unfold to reveal the crease lines.
Next, tuck the two sides towards the center line to create a diamond shape.
Fold in the left and right side flaps to the center line on both sides to form a kite shape.
Taking one side at a time, open the fold and fold the edge inward towards the center of the kite. Repeat with all four flaps.
Use your scissors to cut off the bottom triangle of the kite shape as shown. Make sure that you are cutting off the open tip and not the folded tip.
At this point you can spread out the flaps slightly to create your straight-edged tree. For the folded edge tree, continue on to step 8.
Using scissors, cut horizontal lines into each of the 6 flaps. (The size of the lines will vary depending on the size of tree you are making, but we recommend to cut approximately half-way in towards the center of each flap.)
Fold the cut lines down to create small triangles; repeat around all 6 sides of the tree.
For large paper trees, once all three squares have been folded into trees, simply stack them one on top of the next (starting with the largest tree on the bottom) to create a tall origami paper tree.