Fun Things - Field Trips, Games, Creative Ideas

Upcycled Tutorial

A couple of years ago, I came across a neat paper craft on Pinterest.  It was making Christmas trees from old catalogs/magazines.  I decided to try a couple, and they were so easy and fun to make!  I then used the trees for props in my craft show displays (I am an Usborne Books Consultant).   At my booth, several older ladies smiled and commented that they used to make them with Reader’s Digest magazines years ago.  I continued to use them during the holiday season in my displays. 

Another vendor at an event, who happened to be a paper-crafter, took notice of my trees.  She asked me if I sold them, and I told her no, but perhaps I should make more so I could!  She suggested that I make a kit, and let the customer make their own.

“What a neat idea of marketing the trees as a kit”, I said.  I remembered purchasing a string art kit for my daughter from our farmer’s market recently.  She enjoyed stringing the thread around the nails in the shape of our state herself.  I had several outdated Usborne mini catalogs laying around, so after a fun evening of creativity, my first upcycled craft kit was born!

There are a just few affiliate links below.  If you need any of these items, please use the links – it helps keep me crafty!

This craft is fun for older kids and adults as well!  It’s amazing what you can do with something that would otherwise go in the trash.   Depending on the size of your catalog, you can do one in under 30 minutes.  Grab a cup of coffee or cider, your favorite holiday music, and fold away! 


You will need:  a catalog/magazine

Optionalbone folder, spray adhesive, glitter, tree topper

Step 1:  Fold the top outer corner of the catalog page down to the spine creating a triangle, and crease the fold with your finger or a bone folder to make a clean, sharp crease.

Step 2:  Fold the page again to make another triangle by folding the diagonal edge of step 1 to align with the spine.  Crease with your finger or bone folder.

Step 3:  Flip your page over and grab the little triangle tail, bring it up to the bottom of the magazine page.  Crease and tuck it into the pocket created by your double-folded triangle.

It will look like this on the bottom

Tips:  Do step 1 for every page, then step 2 for every page, then finish with step 3.  Also, if you have a thick catalog, break the spine by bending back and forth a few times before you begin.  To add sparkle, apply a thin coat of spray adhesive  to the tree and sprinkle with glitter.  You could also use spray paint, but I think the catalogs are colorful enough as is.  Let dry overnight, and top with a star.  (I found mini toppers at The Dollar Tree).

There you have it!  A fun, easy, inexpensive craft made from what was once going in the garbage.  Ta-Da!

These would make a nice gift for a book lover, or to go with a magazine subscription, or someone who just appreciates crafty things.  I like to put a few on my bookshelf when I’m not using them at a show.  I encourage you to make your own, but if you don’t have many catalogs or magazines of your own, I have my kits for sale for $6 that includes a catalog, printed instructions, and a star topper – all neatly packaged and ready to give as a fun gift! 

There is also a FREE PDF of instructions that you can print available for a limited time in the shop.  If you would like my kit, contact me at

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