Before I get into the nitty gritty, I should confess that there are some things I wish I could change about this DIY holiday project. In my mind, I originally envisioned a more simplified tree (like a cookie-cutter shape - really simple), but on a whim I decided for a little more realism. The top was looking good and I got cocky. Then it started to get windy (I was working outside) and this giant sheet of plywood acted like a sail. I was flailing. I started to rush and then the tree got a bit thick in the middle and then I tried to thin it out but made it look a little wibbly-wobbly.
I still think the idea is cute but, if I'm being honest, I don't love my wonky tree. So if you're going to make one, I suggest a simpler shape.
It was simple enough to make: I grabbed a full sheet of plywood (any size will do), lightly sanded it smooth to the touch and then sketched out approximately where the tree silhouette would be so I could decide where I'd like the pegs. The pegs are just a length of wood dowel that we chopped into 3" lengths. We lightly sanded the rough edges smooth and affixed them each with wood glue before doing any staining or painting.
Once the glue dried, I stained the plywood white and then painted the tree in black acrylic paint - painting the wood dowels too, so they blend in. With everything dry, I just propped it against the fireplace. One tip: don't choose really thin plywood if you're going to make a larger version because the plywood can warp.
When I was a kid, I think my advent calendar filled with chocolates might have been my favorite part of Christmas, so I started to think that with more pegs and numbered cloth sacks filled with goodies, this could be a sweet advent calendar too.
On the subject of faux tress, I've gotten a few questions about the sparkly trees in the background of some of my photos. They are flocked trees (4 foot and 6 foot heights) from Canadian Tire and they come pre-wired with lights. They come apart for easy storage and transport, which is convenient.
I think that they looked best unadorned, but I did try hanging some ornaments on them too and they work nicely to display just a few special ones.
Click the link to see more DIY Christmas decorating ideas, in collaboration with Canadian Tire.