Make A Christmas Tree From Old Planks

As we are heading towards the end of 2021, it dawned on me that last year’s Christmas tree was returned to the kindling pile at the end of December.

And we no longer had a Christmas tree.

We took this approach as we didn’t want to store something for a whole year to use for one month.

This means that I now need to make another one, but making the same one would be a bit boring, so here is our 2021 DIY Christmas tree, again made from stuff we had laying about.

The Design

Well, it should at least be tree shaped.

“How tall should it be?” asked Miss 7.

“I think it should be as tall as you,” I answered.

“That’s tall!” she excitedly exclaimed.

So we roughly measured her height (approx. 150 cm) looked in our timber stack in the shed and found some bed slats from a dismantled bed frame, and set about laying our pieces on the floor to hone our design. The timber dimensions are 120 mm wide by 19 mm thick.

Adjusting the length of the planks to get a tree shape

Keeping It Simple

Now if you’re good at maths, and can make an isosceles triangle, work out the angles of each cut and have finished mitred corners. Or if you are skilled in the art of tongue and groove joins, feel free to flex those muscles and create a masterpiece of carpentry excellence.

However, when you’re finished, you might not want to throw your creation back on the scrap pile.

Because we do want to throw this back on the scrap pile, reclaimed self taper screws and poorly fitted butt joins will suffice.

I did however use protruding dowels at the top so we had something to use to hang our tree from. Yet drilling a hole would have been just as good. I’m not going to sand this thing. Decorations will cover anything otherwise unforgivable. Just make sure it’s safe. No protruding screw tips, sharp corners or splinters.

What We Did Pay Attention To

I asked Miss 7 and Master 10 to carefully unwrap the delicate Chrissy stuff that we do have for decorating, so that we could measure the dimensions of some of the larger pieces and make our tree around them.

My idea was to create shelves within the tree shape for things to sit on, but also to hang from. Our shelves had to be spaced far enough for things to hang at full extension.

I measured the extended length of our largest bauble with the longest string, and that determined our shelf space. And I used reclaimed screws to fit them too. Two for each side of each shelf, 20 mm in from each edge.

Measuring the length of the longest bauble

Gettin’ Fancy

I did consider fitting metal hooks to the shelves to hang the decorations. I’m sure I had some. But do you think I could find them? No, I could not.

Instead, I made blind hanging points.

Creating the hanging points for the baubles

To do this I drilled a 40 mm diameter hole using a hole saw, then drilled a hole in the front side of the shelf to penetrate the 40 mm hole, and slid a piece of 6 mm dowel into it, with a notch cut into it. The notch should stop things sliding off the dowel.

As a bonus, Miss 7 thought I was so clever making these hangers, making them totally worth it.

But Did It Work?

“That looks cool as!” bellowed Master 10.

The first bauble in place

The hanger design worked out perfectly according to my children, and if they’re happy then I’m happy. We just need to convince The Cash Hippy now.

Time To Impress The Boss

The Cash Hippy’s only requirement with making a Christmas tree was there needed to be a star at the top.

We have a star, a keepsake from somewhere, and it sat perfectly (we fluked it) atop our tree, held down by Christmas lights draped over the top.

I hung the tree with a piece of wire to our fireplace flue which isn’t currently in use, and set about loading up our decorations, hoping to impress The Cash Hippy with our handy work.

The finished Christmas tree

And she was. You know you’ve got it right when she Snapchats it to her friends.

In Conclusion

What would I do differently? Nothing.

What I see hanging up is the image I had in my head from the beginning.

As a suggestion if you wanted to change something you could hang it from a strong picture hook, add a foot and have it standing on the floor, add more shelves, less shelves, more hooks, paint it. It’s entirely up to you.

This isn’t a how-to, more like a you-can-too.

This design is totally flexible to meet your specifications. You may have different timber dimensions, you’ll certainly have different decorations to house. You might even find those pesky hooks you know are somewhere but just can’t remember … you get the idea.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Just remember to have a crack. What’s the worst that could happen?

Mr Hack

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