Recycled Magazine Christmas Trees

Recycled Magazine Christmas Trees

Found In: Activities Christmas

Do your bit to save the planet with this gorgeous recycled Christmas Tree craft activity!
This is one of many free activities.
Golden Carers has 1000s of activities and resources for senior care.

Do your bit to save the planet with this gorgeous recycled Christmas Tree craft activty!

Collect unwanted magazines: craft, women’s, airlines magazines etc. Also, ask your Avon lady to keep her outdated books for you; they are ideal if you want to make a small christmas tree for a table decoration. This is the perfect activity for inviting residents’ relatives to join in. Try it!

Place finished Christmas Trees on mantlepieces, shelves, tables, reception areas, nurses stations and residents rooms.


  • To engage in the spirit of Christmas. To encourage goodwill.


  • Unwanted magazines.
  • Glue and paint brushes.
  • Construction/kindergarten paper
  • Felt off-cuts, any colour.
  • Christmas decorations, anything you have: paint, glitter, buttons, beads, ribbons, knitting wool, cotton wool, ‘faux’ pearls.
  • See video to learn how to separate magazines. Separate as many as you like in 28 to 34 pages.


  • Ask your staff and volunteers to make a few trees prior to activity session and leave them un-decorated to show and inspire residents.  The idea is to have a few trees ready to be decorated by residents once you have finished the demonstration.


  • Sit with residents around a table and make sure they all have a good view. If any of your residents are able to fold the magazines for you, by all means let them do so. The other residents will be intrigued and curious watching you. Explain to them what you are doing and show them a couple of trees you and staff made previously, let them handle them to encourage commentaries.
  • Start the 1st folding: Lay magazine in front of you and gripping the right hand corner of one page and fold towards the middle of the magazine. (See video to learn this step).
  • Continue in this fashion until all pages are folded.
  • Stand magazine on a table gently so it won’t crush. 
  • Start 2nd folding:  Fold the bottom right hand corner up to meet the first fold. Continue until all pages are folded.
  • Start 3rd folding: Take right hand corner of page (where first 2 foldings meet) and fold down as far as it will go against the spine of the magazing (similar to first folding).
  • The tree is ready, pass it around and let residents handle it and start a conversation on tree decoration.
  • Give one tree to each resident able to participate in decoration.
  • Place as many decorations and glitter as possible near each one and suspend you own comments, let them express their individuality. Praise when finished. Ask  if they would like to decorate one for their family.
  • OPTIONAL Tree Stand:  Cut a square of construction/kindergarten paper 15 by 15 cm. Cut a square of felt (any colour), any colour the same size and glue together. Brush a generous amount of glue onto paper side & place tree on top. Wait to dry.

Video demonstration

Save time with 1000's of meaningful
activity ideas for every occasion.

Enter your email address to collect your free activities.

✓ 100% Privacy ✓ No Spam

Comments   Post a Comment

Leesha 19th Dec 2019 Coordinator Day Centre
This was a lovely activity - the final product looked great,
Talita 30th Dec 2019
So lovely to hear. Thanks for your feedback Leesha. x
kay 7th Dec 2015
What a great way of recycling old magazines and they look so good too
Mandy 12th Nov 2015 Recreational Activities Officer
This is a wonderful activity and our residents have been enjoying the craft and decorating. They will be used as centre pieces on our Christmas tables :)
patricia 8th Sep 2015 aged care nurse
Hi How lovely are these. Must do with my clients. trish
Mary-anne 13th Nov 2013 Diversion Therapist
I made these last year at the retirement village i worked at and they went down a treat and more to make this year.
Leanne 28th Nov 2012 Team Leader
I folded 3 trees last night whilst watching TV and even without decorations, my colleagues are gathering at my desk saying what a brilliant idea. They even want to have a craft afternoon at our next Staff Meeting and that was from our Co-ordinator who does not enjoy craft at all!! Thank You :)
Joanne 22nd Nov 2012 Leisure and Lifestyle Co ordinator
We glued tinsel and glitter on as well...the Women's Weekly (Australian) is thick and easy to use as well. This is an age old idea and well worth trying. Thanks for posting this.
ruth 9th Feb 2012 Recreational Therapist
these trees turn out lovely as well if you glue tinsel on them and a few small ornaments if you also put some scratchies on them they make a great gift for that person who has everything already
paula 11th Dec 2011 RLO
Im not very good at craft, but i tried these and love them so easy to make, i got the residents to fold the magazines then i sprayed them and put glitter on, they turned out lovely :-)
Debbie. 8th Dec 2010 Co-ordinator
thanks, these trees were great! we used these for all ages from school children to our aged people of our community to make them for our clients to be as a centre peice for the table at their christmas party, we also made some more that wentthanks so much look forward to anymore ideas of this value to make for their contribution to the festive season they certainly have been a large talking point in our groups
so once again thank you for the ideas from cheryl RAO
Rosemary 13th Sep 2010 Diversional Therapist
Look great Iam going to try these thanks for the ideas
Neide 30th Nov 2009 Sister
Fiquei impressionada com a facilidade que vc explica. Nem precisa entender ingles para entender tudo que está sendo dito.
Debbie 28th Nov 2009
Fantastic, I spray painted mine red, green, gold. they look great on the table.
No Avatar