Making and decorating a felt Christmas tree is a fun and inexpensive project to introduce toddlers to Christmas traditions, while keeping them away from the real tree.

Felt is great for kids because it's soft, lightweight, and sticks to itself. The ornaments and presents can be placed and moved as often as your little ones like, without glue, which -- as anyone with kids knows -- can be a real mess. Plus, kids love being able to take ownership over their own tree and moving the ornaments is a great way to get them practicing their fine motor skills.

Here's how to making your own felt wall christmas tree at home:

  • First, print any pre-made patterns on cardstock paper and cut them out. You'll use these to trace the shape of the ornaments onto the felt.
  • Next, cut out your tree by folding the large, green sheet of felt in half and cutting the shape of the tree away from the fold, starting at the top. When you unfold the sheet, you should be left with a complete, symmetrical tree.
  • Use cut-out patterns to make your ornaments and presents. If you have scrap pieces of felt leftover from other projects, this is the perfect place to use them. After the base of the ornament or gift box is finished, you can create different designs to glue on top to make them more detailed.
  • For a wall-mounted christmas tree, hang your tree using masking tape or velcro. If you would prefer to avoid sticking things to the wall, you can opt to make a cardboard back. To do this, lay the felt tree over the cardboard and cut it so there's just enough excess felt on either side to wrap and cover the edges. Attach the felt in the back to the cardboard and affix sticks (paint stirrers work great) to provide the stability you need to lean it against the wall.
  • Keep a basket next to the tree to store the extra ornaments and presents so kids can add and swap.

Since a felt Christmas tree is thin and lightweight, it is easy to store under a bed or in the back of the closet until next year.