DIY Teacher Gift: Student Tree

We create family trees to proudly display in our homes. Around World Teacher Day we think about the “family” our children have outside our home and in their classroom, so we decided to create student trees for my kids’ teachers.


This project is a trash-to-treasure keepsake. My son’s teacher found a paper tree on a canvas in the trash, so the inner DIYers in us transformed it into a student tree art piece she can hang in her classroom for years to come.



  • Paper leaves (different colors and various shapes)
  • Paper tree (Check local craft stores for a large stencil, print, or a design from electronic cutting machine software.)
  • Glue Dots, removable
  • Black Sharpie marker


Step 1: Acquire copies of the teacher’s student list from the school.

Step 2: Glue the die cut of the paper tree onto a canvas. Our tree and canvas was about 20″x24″.

Step 3: Cut out paper leaves. You can trace and cut each one, or use an electronic cutter.

Step 4: Write the names of the students on each leaf. We color-coded the tree. For example, all the students in her 2014–2015 school year are written on blue leaves. And all the students from 2013–2014 are written on yellow leaves.

Step 5: Use glue dots to randomly stick the leaves on the tree. We used glue dots that could be repositioned; however, you can use permanent glue dots, as well.



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