Button ‘Tree of Life’ Craft Tutorial

Autism is often synonymous with a strong interest in sorting and arranging, making this button ‘Tree of Life’ craft project a desirable one for many kiddo’s (and adults) on the spectrum. It also puts fine motor skills to work, in a fun and colorful way.

The symbolism of the ‘Tree of Life’ and the meaning of the tree of life (and / or tree of knowledge) encompasses many religions and cultures throughout the world, emanating at different times throughout history, with a commonality rarely seen in other forms of symbolism.


You will need:

  • Paper
  • Buttons (or other glue on embellishments)
  • Pencils, crayons, texta’s or paint
  • Glue
  • Frame or cardboard


  1. Draw your tree (or print the blank tree from this page).
  2. Colour your tree with pencil, crayons, texta or paint.
  3. If using texta or paint, allow your colouring to dry before the next step.
  4. Sort buttons into the groups of colours you want to decorate your tree with.
  5. Sort buttons between ‘large’ and ‘not large’ (small).
  6. Arrange your large buttons on your tree first.  When you like the layout, glue the buttons on the tree.
  7. Arrange your small buttons on your tree. Fill in the outside of the tree first, making your way towards the tree trunk.  Glue your small buttons into place.
  8. Sign and date your artwork.  I signed mine on the tree trunk in a darker colour than the trunk.
  9. Leave your artwork flat overnight, so it can dry properly.
  10. When dry, frame your tree.

Cadence’s Helpful Hints

  • I did this activity outside. The wind blew my paper and all my arranged buttons fell off. I had to sort them all again and arrange them on my paper all again. (Stick the paper to the table with sticky tape or blue tac!)
  • The finished tree is a bit heavy for the paper.  If you don’t have a frame to put your tree in, you can use cardboard. Cut the cardboard to the same size as your paper. Put glue on the cardboard and stick your paper to it.

1 thought on “Button ‘Tree of Life’ Craft Tutorial”

  1. Little Miss H would find it very hard to deal with, If she experienced the wind blowing her project over and having to start again, so thank you for explaining how you dealt with that as it models to her what to do :-)!

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