Do your toddlers have a hard time leaving your Christmas tree alone? Try giving your kids their very own (unbreakable) felt Christmas tree to decorate over and over again this Christmas season!
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My little boys are drawn to the lights on our Christmas tree like moths to a flame. It’s adorable to watch them stare at the twinkling lights, and poke at them gently. The only problem is that the gentle poking often turns into not-so-gentle grabbing of ornaments.
Last year, I saw this idea for a kid-size Christmas tree made out of felt. Perfect! I thought. Now they’ll leave the big tree alone! Not quite the case in reality, but they definitely loved having their own special tree.
Unfortunately, last year I really only got as far as cutting out the tree shape and a few random circles for ornaments. This year I decided I wanted to add to it, and I wanted my boys to be able to help with the decorations. That way, I got two activities out of one project: (1) making the decorations, and (2) playing with the tree!
The good news for you: I simplified the process by creating ornament templates you can use to create decorations for your own felt Christmas tree. Here’s how I made mine, and you can, too:
Felt Christmas Tree for Kids
- 1 yard green felt (for tree)
- additional felt in various colors (red, white, yellow, blue, etc.)
- felt ornament template (free printable below)
- freezer paper & iron (if you want to use this EASY method for cutting felt)
- hot glue gun
To make the felt tree, fold your large piece of green felt in half, and draw half a tree along the fold with pen (or chalk).
I’ve made several of these trees now (one for us, and several more for gifts) and I’ve always just free-handed my tree shape. If you use chalk to draw the lines with, it’s easy to brush it away and try again if you don’t like the shape the first time.
Once you’re satisfied, cut along your lines, unfold the tree and voila! you have a Christmas tree!
Tip: Make your tree wider than you think you want initially, because you can always cut it down. The first tree I made was a little skinnier than I would have liked, but the boys still love it, so it’s no biggie. We’re not aiming for perfection here! (I have to regularly remind myself of that.)
Next, make the ornaments for your tree using the templates below. Need help? Use this easy felt-cutting method.
Now it’s time to get the kids involved!
I had a bag of random Christmas craft supplies (pom poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc.) that I got on clearance a few weeks ago, and I figured it would be perfect for this project. The dollar store has similar supplies, or you could just order a craft kit from Amazon.
Spread out the felt shapes on a table, dump all your decorating supplies in a big bowl, and let the kids go to town decorating the ornaments and gingerbread men.
My kids had varying levels of interest in this part. My toddler mostly just wanted to load the pom poms into his dump truck (what else is new?), but his four-year-old brother really enjoyed picking out what size of googly eyes to use for the gingerbread men and which colors of pom poms to put on which ornament. He’s got an awesome eye for design. 🙂
Once my preschooler had finished designing his ornaments, I hot glued everything on just the way he wanted it. That was crucial. Don’t mess with the design of a four-year-old.
We put our tree up on the wall (I used painter’s tape, although you could also use Command strips or push pins), and got to work playing! P.S. – I love how work and play naturally go together for kids.
I’m looking forward to being able to use this fun activity for many years to come!
Update December 2023: Six years later, we STILL put up our felt Christmas tree every year. My youngest son (now 6) plays with it the most now. It’s held up really well for all these years of use!
Oh, and if you love the idea of a felt tree but making one yourself just doesn’t feel doable right now, you can buy a pre-made felt tree on Amazon.
On the other hand, if you want MORE felt projects, try making one of my travel felt boards for kids. They would make an inexpensive and easy DIY gift for kids, grandkids, or friends this year!
- Travel felt board set: one-hour tutorial + free printable templates!
- Travel felt board “Under the Sea” play set
- Travel felt board “Birthday Wishes” cupcake play set
- Travel felt board “Silly Jack-o-lantern play set