Laden with balloon coconuts, this tropical tree helps set the party mood and serves as a centerpiece to pile birthday presents under.
Start with two 10-inch by 5-foot pieces of corrugated cardboard and duct-tape them together to create a 2-ply tree trunk.
Make a V-shaped base for the trunk by folding a 6- by 30-inch cardboard strip in half. Cut 2 slits (3 inches long by 3/16 inch wide) 4 inches in from each end. Cut matching slits 1 1/2 inches in from both sides of the trunk bottom. Slide the base onto the trunk.
Cut 2 large palm leaf shapes out of green poster board. Cut a 4- by 1/16-inch slit centered in the top and the bottom of one of the leaf shapes. Make a similar slit centered in the bottom only of the other leaf shape. Cut a slit in the center of the trunk top as well. Attach the palm leaves to the trunk as shown in the diagram above.
For tree bark, wrap long, 8-inch-wide strips of brown craft paper around the trunk on a diagonal, overlapping the edges slightly and gluing or taping the paper in place as you go.
Finally, cut a few 1 1/4-inch-long slits in the sides of the upper trunk. Attach inflated balloon coconuts (we used burgundy-colored ones) by sliding the balloon necks (just above the knot) into the slits.