How to Make a Christmas Tree Out of Styrofoam Balls and Toothpicks

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You can make a Christmas tree out of Styrofoam balls and toothpicks.
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There are lots of ways to make Christmas trees from Styrofoam, a versatile craft supply that you can paint, glue, piece together with toothpicks and adorn with all kinds of festive decorations. A Styrofoam tree crafted using foam balls and toothpicks has a fun, whimsical look and can be made in a wide variety of sizes and styles. You might leave the entire Styrofoam Christmas tree white for a snowy winter wonderland effect or jazz it up with paint, glitter, tinsel and, of course, a star for the top.


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Styrofoam Tree Supplies

You can craft a Styrofoam tree with just three basic supplies: a Styrofoam cone as the core, Styrofoam balls for the exterior and toothpicks to attach the balls to the cone. However, it's helpful to use glue to reinforce the toothpicks. This could be white glue, low-heat hot glue or any other craft glue recommended for use on craft foam; check the packaging beforehand. You can use balls that are all the same size or use different sizes for a Styrofoam tree with a more tapered shape.


If you intend to paint the Styrofoam balls, perhaps for an all-green natural look or in many bright colors to resemble traditional ball ornaments, acrylic paint is the best option. Most brands of spray paint will damage craft foam, so check the label before use. Make sure you have enough paint to apply several layers to the foam balls for best results. You can apply it with a paintbrush or sponge brush. Also gather some old paper for protecting your surfaces while painting and gluing together your Styrofoam Christmas tree.


Basic Method for Making a Styrofoam Christmas Tree

The basic method for creating a foam Christmas tree from a cone, balls and toothpicks is very straightforward. Insert toothpicks, pressing them into the balls firmly by a few inches or about half their length and then insert the other ends of the toothpicks into the foam cone. Start at the base, insert balls all around the circumference of the cone and then continue adding more balls above and around the cone until it's fully covered. Using the toothpicks enables you to reposition the balls if needed. If you're using balls of different sizes, use the larger ones around the base and smaller ones as you work toward the top.


Once you're happy with the arrangement of foam balls around the core, add glue for reinforcement. Remove each ball one at a time and add a generous amount of glue around the spot where the toothpick is inserted into the ball. Put the ball back in place, making sure the glue adheres to the cone. If you are going to paint the foam balls, it's easier to do so before assembling the tree, especially if you're using more than one color of paint. Add a star ornament of a suitable size to the top of the tree using glue.


Styrofoam Christmas Tree Variations

There are countless creative variations on the basic Styrofoam Christmas tree idea:

  • Drizzle white glue over the top of the tree so that it drips down over the balls and then sprinkle glitter over the glue to look like sparkling snow and ice.

  • Apply glue all over the cone; wrap it all around with yarn, tinsel or fabric trim; and dot the tree with small, painted Styrofoam balls to resemble ornaments.

  • Paint half the foam balls red and leave the other half white to create a festive candy cane or peppermint color scheme.

  • Glue thin tinsel around the foam tree, tucking it between the foam balls as you wind it around the perimeter.

  • Wrap miniature, battery-powered string lights around the tree.