Make a Stylized Christmas Tree in Illustrator

13 December 2008

In this tutorial, I will show you how you can quickly make a stylized Christmas tree in Illustrator, you can decorate it as the way you like & maybe you can use it as a Christmas card to send it to your friends & beloved!

So lets begin:

Step 1:
Open a new document, the size of my document is 1200 by 1200 pixels, CMYK mode. With the Rectangle Tool(M) make a square of about 1100 by 1100pixels or any size that you prefer. Fill it with a gradient of your choice, here I have filled it with green colored linear gradient, for the first slider I used,  C-100 M-24 Y-100 K-9. For second slider, C-55.67 M-0 Y-74.22 K-0. Third slider is same as first.The stroke color is white.

Step 2

Now, select the Star Tool & while you're still dragging it keep the mouse button still pressed, hold down the Down Arrow in your keyboard to get a triangular shape. Fill it with white color or any color of your choice, keep the stroke color to none.

With the Selection Tool (V), drag the bottom of your triangle to make it longer, you can also increase its width the same way. Look at the image below to get the idea.

Step 3
Next, select the triangle shape that we made in above step & go to Effect>Stylize>Scribble. With the Scribble dialogue box open change the settings/parameters as shown in the image below. Or you may play a bit to have things as you like.

You should have something that looks like this:

Step 4
Now, if you're happy with the scribble effect that we did in the step above, go to Object>Expand Appearance.

Step 5
Now the next few steps are pretty easy. Duplicate the above scribbled shape, (we will call it tree) 3 times, for duplicating, just select the scribbled tree & go to Edit>Copy and then Edit>Paste in Front, repeat it 2 more time. In all we should have 4 scribbled tree. Look at my Layer Palette to get the idea.

Step 6
Select the tree 1 or for that matter any one of the scribbled tree that we copied & pasted in Step 5. You can also select a tree via Layer Palette, for that you just have to click on the lil black circle on the right side. Once you have selected a tree, select Brush Tool (B) and from the Brush Palette, click on the brush names "Pencil Thin" which is one of the default brush in Illustrator. I also changed the color of the stoke to yellow viz. C-0 M-0 Y-25 K-0 to match my background which is green.

Step 7
Now select the tree 2 as mentioned in step 6 & drag it a bit down with Selection Tool (V). Apply the same brush & color as we did in step 6. Then, go to Effect>Gaussian Blur and give it a radius of 6.6 or any that suits the image you're making.
Now your image should look like this:

Step 8

Now again select tree 3 in the same manner as in step 6 and then select the Brush Tool (B) and stroke it with a star brush, to find the star brush, open your Brush Palette and click on the lil triangle type shape on the right side and then Open Brush Library>Decorative>Decorative_Scatter there you will find a brush named, "Tiny Stars".

Now your image should look like this:

Step 9
Finally, make a very tiny little circle with the Ellipse Tool (L) having a fill of white & no stroke & drag it inside your Brush Palette to convert it into a brush. In the next dialogue box click on "New Scatter Brush" radio button. After that in a  following dialogue box set the parameters as shown in the image below:

And then select the tree 4 which we have duplicated in step 5 and stroke it with the brush that we made as shown above.
Now my tree looks like this:

Step 10
Now we just need to decorate the background and other stuffs of illustration that we made above, which I am pretty sure you can make it far more beautiful then I have.It is more important to learn the technique and I hope you learned something from the above tutorial.

Anyways,here is my final illustration, my image was too big so I had to downsize it considerably for the easy pageloads and thats why you cannot see the details completely here. I decorated it with a snowflake brush, for the border I stroked it with the brush we made in step 9.

You may also like to check:
Make a Christmas Light Bulb in Illustrator


Shermin said...

Which photoshop do u use? :S

Shermin said...

Great tutorial btw :)

Tony5 said...

I must get it!Thanks~~

The Muse said...

@Shermin It is a Illustrator tutorial! :O

@Tony5 Pleasures!

Anonymous said...

simple and very useful

Anonymous said...

its very nice

The Muse said...

Thanks folks!

ianuruddha said...

simple and good

The Muse said...


Anonymous said...

thanks for the tut, very helpful also very simple to follow

Anonymous said...

I'm using CS$ and I couldn't make it to work with the tiny stars brush, the pencil thin did work tho. WOuld appreciate some help!
Thank you

dezign Musings said...

@twocoffeebeans: Maybe, you could draw the star with Star Tool and convert it to brush (drag the star you draw in Brush Palette to convert it to brush).

Anonymous said...

I never realised all these great and easy effects were in illustrator! Thanks

Anonymous said...


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