Awesome Recycled Magazine Tree Level: 4-8


Recycled Magazine Tree

Art Lesson Plan by Maria G. Casey



Recycling is super important to sustaining our ecosystem. One way we can reuse materials is in art projects! This lesson plan makes the most of an item that we all have sitting around our homes: magazines. While magazines can, in fact, be thrown into the recycling, it is an unfortunate truth that many of them wind up in the trash can instead. So rather than letting these magazines fill up landfills until they eventually decompose, ask your students to bring them into class for this fun art lesson plan! For more ideas about recycling in the art classroom, check out our blog post Recycle in the Art Room. And for more information about recycling in general, check out Recycling Basics.



To show children how to create a tree with an old magazine and how they can reuse materials to do great pieces of art. To help children improve their fine motor skills while they express their feelings, reduce stress, and get many of the advantages of creating art.



Anchor Standard #3
-Refine and complete artistic work.

Anchor Standard #6
-Convery meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Anchor Standard #11
-Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.



Use old magazines or newspapers to create a tree. Draw the trunk and branches of the tree beginning at the bottom of a white paper and cover them with different sizes of magazine sticks that I will show you how to make. When you finish to cover the trunk and branches you can glue some circles of magazine paper that you will also learn how to create. It is fun and nice to use different sizes of circles too.


Step 1:
GENTLY tear off magazine sheets. Fold them in three equal parts, unfold them and cut each part with the scissors. FOLD the pieces of magazine you already cut in half until you form a line. Unfold them and fold the right and left side of the paper to the line you can see at the center. After that you have to fold this in a half and then in another half.

Recycled Magazine Tree Art Lesson Plan


Step 2:
GLUE the edges of your folded paper and, with the help of your stick, roll each piece until you get a circle. Do many circles of different sizes. You can do that by glueing and rolling more than one folded pieces of magazine.

Recycled Magazine Tree Art Lesson Plan


Step 3:
DRAW the trunk and branches of your tree in the white paper using your pencil.

Recycled Magazine Tree Art Lesson Plan


Step 4:
ROLL again, with the help of a stick, some of the pieces of magazine sheets that you cut in three parts at the beginning of the project. You have to start from the left corner at the bottom and roll up until you finish. Use some glue while you roll. When you finish, carefully pull the tightly rolled magazine apart from the stick. When you have many rolled magazine sticks cut them into 5 or more small pieces and paste them in the trunk and branches you drew. Now paste the circles you made on the top of the branches. Remember to work clean since your paper is white.

Recycled Magazine Tree Art Lesson Plan



While your students are working on their pieces, teach them these fun facts about recycling!

  1. The average family uses 6 trees worth of paper each year.
  2. But, recycling 1 ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,000 kilowatts of electricity.
  3. It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum versus manufacturing new aluminum.
  4. The average American generates 4-5 pounds of trash each day.
  5. Approximately 75% of this daily trash can be recycled, but only 30% of it actually is.
  6.  Do your part and recycle!
*Don’t forget to put student name and year on the drawing, at least one inch away from the outside border.*

To use this lesson as an art fundraiser, go to

Required Materials

  • 01Display My Art drawing paper
  • 02Ruler
  • 03Stick
  • 04Magazine
  • 05Scissors
  • 06Pencil
  • 07Glue
There’s Still Time to Order!
Don’t miss the chance to order your child’s art and cherish their keepsakes.
Create One of a Kind Keepsakes.
Enroll your School for Fall Fundraising Now!
Virtual fundraising has never been so simple!
What Makes Virtual Fundraising With Us Great: 1. Online Design Feature 2. We handle payments 3. Now offering FREE shipping to Home
Check Out Our New Design Feature!
Upload Your Artwork and Create Custom products!