DIY: Tin Can Christmas Trees

by Dana on November 29, 2012

Last year in Lucy’s Kindergarten class I was asked to share a Christmas Craft.
And the idea of decorating a Christmas tree kept coming to mind.  Green paper trees, a bunch of gooey decor that kids would love, and…..recycled tin cans for trunks?!  We threw it all together and made:

The kids really had fun with the craft.
And the little trees work as a cup holder for candy canes, pencils, plastic ware for the Christmas party, etc.  We used ours Christmas Eve for dinner.

Here’s what you do….

• Draw a triangular tree on cardstock.  I found that it worked best to cut the tree from cardstock first, then glue it to green paper and cut again.  This ensured that the gluestick got on all the important angles and edges of the tree.  And the double layer of cardstock/paper made it nice and sturdy to hold up the ornaments the kids threw on.

• Gather and clean tin cans.  I asked all the parents in the class to help with this, donating their old food cans.  Fruit and veggie cans work best (rather than soup or spaghetti sauce) because there’s little lingering odor.  Remove the labels and make sure there are no sharp edges where the tops were removed.  Press down any metal pieces and smooth it out.
• Cut pieces of brown paper to fit around the cans and glue it on with a small line of hot glue in the back.

The pieces are ready!
Time to decorate.

Use whatever craft supplies you’d like to make your tree look cheery and festive.
When it’s decorated, use a hot glue gun to glue the bottom of the tree to the trunk.

Now swing by the school Christmas party and share the fun with the kiddos. It’s even more exciting if it happens to be pajama day as well.

Before the party, I prepared all the trees and trunks.
Then the kids could concentrate on decorating the trees.

The kindergarten kids loved:
• Cheap jewels from the craft store
• Jingle bells for the branches (attached with small safety pins.  They were a big hit)
• Glitter glue
• Colored pom poms
• Foamy stickers

When the kids left for P.E. I glued all their trees to the trunks and placed a candy cane in each one.

And that’s a Kinder party wrap.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 anna November 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm

those are so perfect! what a great project! I’m definitely going to do this!


2 Maria November 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm



3 Kristina November 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Great idea!


4 Spencer November 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

What is the best way to smooth the can edge so we don’t have a mess of blood everywhere?


5 Dana November 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I used a knife to push down any sharp spots. There weren’t very many to be honest. Most of the cans were smooth.


6 jennifer berendt November 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm

There are even special can openers that cut smooth.


7 jemz November 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

This is adorable!


8 Katie R November 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Thank you thank you! I’m in charge of the kindergarten craft at my daughters school in a couple of weeks and was looking for a craft that hadn’t been done already. This is perfect! Yeehaw!


9 Princess Pamela November 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm



10 Crystalyn November 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I love all of their little trees! My daughter would have so much fun with this.


11 Marion November 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

This idea is very great !!! Thanks for sharing !



12 Delia November 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Super cute! I bet you could use cans with the pop lids so that you get a smooth edge with no jags. My boys would love to make their own trees. I’m putting this on the advent list! You do kids crafts so well Dana.


13 Christine C. November 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm

What a fun idea!


14 erika November 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm

so cute love this idea!


15 Anne November 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Could use this for my Sunday School. Thanks for sharing! : )


16 Ariana November 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Fun stuff! Hey, I can’t remember what city you live in, but check out this list! Trader Joe’s is coming to Texas!!! And even more awesome, it opens in SLC tomorrow! wooooooo Candycane Joe Joe’s here WE COME :)


17 Catherine November 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm

this are awesome! looks like those kiddos had fun.


18 Kristin November 30, 2012 at 12:48 am

Very cute trees – and I love that little gal’s Angry Bird PJs. :)


19 this is lemonade November 30, 2012 at 2:16 am

What a wonderfully simple but charming idea! I love how you can put surprises in the tin behind the tree. Could start a simple stockingless and more thrifty and wasteless Christmas tradition of small treat gifts rather than extravagant extraneous things :)


20 Becky T November 30, 2012 at 6:51 am

Sending this to my teacher-buds. This is a MUST do! Thanks!


21 eva scott November 30, 2012 at 7:00 am

SUCH a cute idea!!!!!


22 Bleu November 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

Gave me an idea to transform it to a advent calendar! Thanks!


23 Annalia November 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Great idea! When I saw the title, I thought you were cutting up tin cans to make intricate, super-sharp Christmas trees….and I was NEVER going to do that…but this I could maybe handle. :)


24 Lindsey November 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

That’s soo cute, I may have to try this with my son!!


25 Judith Ann from Cape Cod December 3, 2012 at 7:45 am

I think if you add a “tube of animals” from the forest, I mean toy, section of Michaels, this would be a great woodland play scene for any time of year. Thanks for the great idea!


26 Melisa December 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Over from Pinterest and must say this is a wonderful and easy project! Thanks for sharing!!


27 Lisa W. December 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

Thanks for the great ideas. We made these last night.


28 crafttimee December 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

very cool I think is very easy and anybody can make it


29 mygirls49 September 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm

This craft was ingenious,I love the idea of reusing tin cans if you have any crafty ideas to make candle holders out of tin cans please share them.


30 mygirls49 September 14, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Yea, yea, yea!!! Shes crafty!!


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