Encyclopedia Tree!


I am the librarian at my school, and I have been on a quest since I started to find uses for our numerous sets of Encyclopedias. The fact is that kids just don’t read encyclopedias anymore, why would they? They are challenging to navigate, out dated, and can’t even compare to the information available on the internet! Anyways, I tried to give them away, begged teachers to take them for art projects, but at the end of the year, I still had a couple entire sets. So it has been a personal challenge of mine to see how many different projects I could use them for. I have already made jewelery, flowers, vases, origami….
I was going to buy a tree for the library, but then I thought, why not make one?
All you need is….
a cardboard tube (the one I found was from a roll of fabric)
A few old encyclopedias
lots of tape
I didn’t have a tree stand either, so If you want to make your own, you need some screws, four encyclopedias and a drill.

To make the stand, I set up the encyclopedias the way I wanted them. I found that a pinwheel design seemed to be the strongest. So I predrilled all of the holes about an inch away from the top…

Then, I screwed in on encyclopedia at a time, until I had a firm base…



To make the tree, I started by cutting out four circles of cardboard, four different sizes. Then, I cut a hole in each of the circles…

I put the rings on the base…

Then, I started rolling cones of paper (ripped out pages of the encyclopedia) and I attached on to each level of the tree. I wanted to make sure the rings were spaced out the right amount.

Once I was sure they were in the right place, I taped them securely in place. Then, I started rolling and rolling cones. I used a strong tape with filament to tape each cone onto the rings.


Next time I make one of these, I will start from the bottom and work up! The next step was to fill up all of the spaces with cones.
Then finally, to make the top of the tree, I taped six cones together…

Then, slid the cones over the top of the tree. Tada!

Here it is, in my library…


I think I am going to give the kids some red construction paper, and have them make some origami ornaments.
A couple people have asked if I am going to paint it, but I like the way it looks, I would also be concerned that the print would show through the paint. I might add some sparkles or glitter glue though!

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