Get in the Holiday Spirit with This Cardboard Wish Tree

Editor’s Note: Babble is a part of The Walt Disney Company. 

image source: Caroline Gravino | babble

With the holidays right around the corner, everyone is in the spirit of giving. This season, get your little ones involved by making a DIY Christmas tree filled with holiday wishes!

Simply make this fun cardboard tree and have everyone join in and write a wish on an ornament, then hang it up! It’s the perfect way to spread good cheer around the holidays and get the whole family to participate in the positive wish making.

image source: Caroline Gravino

We had so much fun making the tree and the kids loved how whimsical it looked. It made them feel like they were in a cartoon! I didn’t coach the kids on what to wish for, as I wanted everyone to come up with their own ideas. And I was super tickled with some of the wishes like, “find a unicorn” or “meet a mermaid.” While other wishes really touched me like, “world happiness” and “food for everyone.” It just goes to show that kids have a heart of gold! After placing our wishes, we all felt so good. I always tell my kids that real happiness is never in what you get but in what you give to others. And by setting positive intentions, we set ourselves in motion to help the world become a better place.

Follow the directions below to make a tree of your own. Then make it extra special by creating a second to donate — helping brighten your community during the holidays. Give it to a teacher for their classroom, or to a children’s or senior center. Then invite them to write a wish for others on their ornament to help spread goodwill!

Cardboard Christmas Tree


  • 1 large cardboard box
  • Permanent marker
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Craft knife (if needed)
  • 2 cereal boxes
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Self-adhesive velcro strips or dots
  • Duct tape


  1. Draw 3 triangular tree “top” shapes, one out of each section of the box. The fourth section of the box will be used to draw your tree trunk. 
  2. Cut out these shapes — if you’re using thin cardboard, heavy-duty scissors will work; and if it’s thick, use a craft knife. 

    image source: Caroline Gravino
  3. Paint them white. Let dry. Then outline each in black paint for a very graphic “cartoon” effect. Let dry. 

    image source: Caroline Gravino
  4. Glue the triangular tree tops, one on top of each other, to form the tree. Then glue the trunk to the base. 
  5. Make ornaments using a cereal box. Draw the shape of the ornaments — there are no rules here so be creative but remember to make them roomy enough for writing a wish! 

    image source: Caroline Gravino
  6. Cut out each ornament with scissors and then paint each ornament a fun color. Once this paint dries, outline in black paint. Then affix velcro to the back of each ornament.  

    image source: Caroline Gravino
  7. Tape your tree to the wall using duct tape or other heavy-duty tape. Affix velcro to the tree in each place you want to hang an ornament. 
  8. Have everyone write wishes on the ornaments with permanent marker. 

    image source: Caroline Gravino
  9. Then have them attach their ornament wishes to the tree. 

    image source: Caroline Gravino

Disney is sharing the joy this holiday season by giving back to deserving kids and families. Click here to find out ways you can volunteer with your family — to help make your community healthier, happier, and stronger

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