Craft a festive masterpiece this holiday season as you transform a simple paper mache cone into a unique paper mache Christmas tree.

Two textured Christmas trees made from paper mache cones and texture paste.

Season’s greetings, texture enthusiasts! Join me for one of my favorite Christmas projects: Painting with Texture Paste to create a Paper Mache Christmas Tree. We’ll turn a plain paper mache cone into a holiday showstopper. With texture paste and a splash of paint, let’s make a Christmas tree that’ll have everyone saying, “Wow, you made that?” It’s super easy too, so let’s get started!

Gather your Materials and learn how to use texture paste on a Paper Mache Christmas Tree:

The items I used are below with source links, from which I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases, but at no extra cost to you.

Paper Mache Cones

Embossing Medium (texture paste)

Pastry Bag

Palette Knife

DIY Paint

Metallic Gold Paint

Small Artist Brush

Top Coat

Step-By-Step Tutorial – Scroll down for a video tutorial if you learn better visually!

Step 1: Applying Texture Paste to a Paper-Mache Cone:

There are many Texture Pastes out there, but my favorite is called Embossing Medium. It’s spreads on surfaces really smooth and doesn’t crack upon drying.

Embossing Medium by Paint Couture.

Using an Pastry Bag, I spooned my Embossing medium into the bag and cut the tip off.  The bag just made it easier and quicker to apply the texture paste to the paper mache cone.

Cut the tip of your pastry bag to the desired size.

 

I started the design of my branches by adding small circles of the texture paste along the bottom of the cone.

Squeeze out texture paste making small circles on the bottom edge of the paper mache cone.

 

Using a round palette knife, I “dragged” the texture paste upward, making a tear drop shape. Do this all the way around the bottom of  the cone.

Use a round palette knife to drag texture paste to create tear drop shape.

Tip: A spoon could be used instead of a palette knife.

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Once you have the bottom layer done; start your next layer of “branches” in-between each of the tear drop shapes.  Continue this process all around the cone until you reach the top.  Your circles will get closer together as you go up the cone, but continue with the same technique all the way to the top.

Create second layer of branches by adding circles of texture paste in between each tear drop.

 

When reaching the top of the paper mache cone, spread texture paste all the way to the top.

Step 2: Allow Texture Paste to Dry

Once you’re finished spreading texture paste all the way up the cone, you need to set it aside and allow it to fully dry.  It will dry hard to the touch in about 12-16 hours and will be ready to paint!  See how smooth the Embossing medium dried? There are no cracks!

Close up of Texture paste that has dried with no cracks.

Step 3: Painting over Texture Paste

Now you’re ready to paint the entire tree.  I used DIY paint in the color White Swan, but of course you can use whatever color you like.  DIY paint is a clay-based chalk paint which sticks to pretty much anything, so there is nothing you need to do before you begin painting.  As you brush the paint on, be sure to cover the entire cone, especially the areas where there is no texture paste.

Paint the entire tree white once texture paste has dried.

After you’ve painted your textured tree, allow it to dry, or use a heat gun to speed it up.

Tip:  Chalk type paints dry well under a heat gun or hair dryer, but be careful if you’re using an acrylic paint.  Acrylic paint doesn’t like a lot of direct heat, but a hair dryer on a warm setting would be fine.

Step 4: Sealing paper mache Christmas tree with a Top Coat (or Personalize, then Seal)

Once the painted paper mache Christmas tree is dry, you can seal it and be done OR highlight the “textured branches” with a metallic paint first.  I decided to highlight my branches first.   I then brushed on a Satin Topcoat by Paint Couture.  It goes on a little milky but dries clear with a nice sheen.  It’s my most favorite topcoat because it self levels and doesn’t leave brush marks!

If you like how your tree looks just white, then you’re done!  I can’t wait to do more  of these.  I think I’ll leave the next ones all white and possibly add some German glass glitter all over.   I’ll be sure to add a link for that project when I do!  If you prefer a color other than white, then paint it whatever your favorite color is for Christmas decor.

Step 5: Personalize Your  Tree (Optional)

For these trees, I went a little further and highlighted the “branches” with a metallic gold paint.  I started out using the tip of my finger and decided a small artist brush was a little quicker.  You have many options here!  There are many different colors of metallic paint if you’re not a fan of gold.  There’s also glitter and even little things you could glue on as ornaments.  The possibilities are endless!

Troubleshooting –

There’s really not much that can go wrong with this project.  A few things to mention though: If you seal it before using a metallic paint, the metallic may not stick.  Again, I used the metallic paint all along the branches, and then sealed it with the satin topcoat.   If you seal first, and decide you want to add gold, then I recommend using a gold wax, rather than the gold paint.  A general rule is wax is always last!

If for some reason you don’t like your paint job, then start over! No biggie; especially if you’re using a good chalk paint.

Image of 2 textured Christmas trees made from paper mache cones and texture paste

I really love how these turned out!  My mind is spinning with all the different ideas I have for paper mache Christmas trees!

As you put the final touches on your paper mache Christmas tree, give yourself a virtual high-five because, hey, you just made a masterpiece! Your unique blend of texture paste and paint has turned a plain cone into the coolest holiday centerpiece on the block. Now, show it off, share those pics, and let your creativity sparkle this season. Wishing you a tree-mendous holiday filled with creative joy and lots of festive cheer!

Hope this was helpful!  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

Talk soon!

Joanie

PS – Don’t forget to join my VIP community for more projects!

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