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Lesson: Tree Box

December 20, 2015 | By Rachel Zink

With our December theme, Gifts, Giving, and Holiday Celebrations, and lessons like this one, our Arts For Life teachers are helping kids and families celebrate the generosity, hope, and joy they see around them in the hospital, and spread it through their wider communities.


  • To develop fine motor skills through paper sculpture techniques.
  • To promote positive thinking through gift making and giving.


  • Scrapbook paper or white watercolor paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Hole punch
  • Glue stick
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Paint, markers, or colored pencils if using white paper


Teacher/parent prep: Pre-cut pieces of patterned and white paper to 4”x10”.

  • Choose the color of paper to use. Fold the paper in half so the patterned side is facing out and the folded size is 5”x4”.
  • Fold the ends in half and just pinch the top to make a mark on both ends. Fold the outside corners in so the folded lines make a triangle on the top and bottom of the previous middle fold.
  • Punch holes in the other colored pieces of paper to make ornaments on the tree as decoration. Glue in place.
  • Pull ends together to make a tree shape. Punch a hole through the top sides and then put a pipe cleaner through the holes to close. Put present inside.
  • Twist the pipe cleaner to close the box and then shape the pipe cleaner as desired.

Tweak It!

  • Make your own paper first using tissue paper collage, paint, stamps, etc. Then fold into a tree box.
  • Decorate the tree box with other items: sequins, glitter glue, fibers, etc.

Picture: Example by Sarah Ness

© 2015 Arts For Life