I used the DIY coconut tree as a cake topper for a kid’s Caribbean-themed party. I plopped it on the cake (it helps if you have fluffy frosting) and scattered Trader Joe’s chocolate covered sea salt caramel balls to represent the coconuts. You could also use malted milk balls. The coconut tree could also be used as part of a centerpiece with a shallow bowl of sand, etc. The coconut tree can be made in three easy steps:
- To make the trunk: Tear strips of a brown paper bag 1½ inches wide and long enough to wrap around a toilet paper roll about 1½ times. Crinkle the strips so they have some texture. Wrap a strip around the toilet paper roll and secure with a rubber band. Repeat with the rest of the strips.
- To make the leaves: Fold a piece of green construction paper in half, fold in half again, and then cut along the folds. You will end up with four equal size pieces of paper. Repeat with a second piece of paper. Then fold each of the eight pieces of paper in half. On the bottom of each piece, cut a ½- inch slit about a half an inch in from the fold (this will form the tab to connect the leaf to the tree trunk). Then, from the top of the slit, cut the paper into the shape of a half leaf. When the paper is unfolded, it looks like a leaf with a tab at its base. Now, cut several strips about ¼ -inch wide down the sides of each leaf to look like fronds. Be careful not to cut through the crease.
- Securing the leaves: Pile 2 to 3 leaves on top of each other (it’s best if they’re not perfectly lined up) and staple them together at the tabs. Tape the leaf bundles to the top of the toilet paper roll and fan out the leaves as desired.