Paper palm trees are quick, simple and inexpensive to make. You can use any large sheets of paper to make your palm trees, but butcher paper is ideal because it comes in long rolls and it can be painted for a more realistic palm tree. The addition of painted Styrofoam balls as coconuts completes the look. If you are decorating for a tropical-themed party, make a dozen or so of these trees in various sizes and display them around the room.
Unroll a sheet of butcher paper about 2 feet long and spread it out on your work surface. You may need to place some weights on the corners of the sheet to hold it flat.
Mix some cold water into the red and green paints so they have a runny consistency. Paint the upper half of the sheet of butcher paper with the green paint, wait for it to dry, then paint the lower half of the paper with brown paint. When this side is dry, flip the paper over and paint the reverse side in the same manner.
Roll the sheet of paper, starting from one of the short ends, into a 1-to-2-inch wide tube and secure it at the top and bottom with a couple of binder clips.
Take your scissors and make a vertical cut from the green end of the paper tube down to the top of the brown part. Repeat this with three or four more vertical cuts evenly spaced around the perimeter of the tube.
Remove the binder clips from the top and bottom of the paper tube and hold it in your left hand so that the tube does not unravel. With your right hand, push the inner rolls of paper upward from the lower end, twisting the tube with your left hand so that it elongates telescopically to about twice its original length. The cut green parts should splay out like the fronds of a palm tree.
Apply a few strips of double-sided tape or some dots of glue underneath the vertical seam in the paper to secure the trunk of the tree and prevent the tube from unraveling.
Paint several Styrofoam balls brown and glue them onto the tree at the top of the trunk, underneath the fronds.