These DIY wood Christmas trees are the absolute cutest and today I’m going to show you how to make your own solid wood tabletop trees! I made mine pretty big, but you can also make mini versions of DIY wood Christmas trees for a smaller, more subtle wintry centerpiece – or perhaps for a mantle.
I bought planed pine for these DIY wood Christmas trees, but you could use leftover wood scraps you have already, or even plywood (leave unfinished edges for a raw and rustic look, or add edge banding for a more polished plywood version of this DIY wood tree). My original plan was actually to use something expensive and unusual, like a plank of amazingly beautiful purpleheart I’ve been eyeing up for years (you can spot it in the photo below). But, unfortunately, making nine wooden Nordic trees trees in the sizes I had envisioned would have cost almost $300 for the wood. Yikes! So I chose pine instead, and paid around $50-60 for all of my supplies (wood, turquoise stain, wood glue – I had everything else), which means each of these DIY wood Christmas trees cost less than $7, which is pretty affordable for such statement-making holiday decor!
If you’re buying wood for these DIY wood trees, my advice is to skip the home improvement store and head to a lumber yard catering to woodworkers to find beautiful wood to use for your DIY wood Christmas tree project. With a beautiful, quality wood, these DIY tabletop trees can become heirloom holiday decor. Because I ended up choosing a very inexpensive planed pine, I decided to stain it a fun color! I have wanted to try this brand of turquoise stain for years – and these simple DIY wood Christmas trees were definitely the perfect project!
The tutorial for these wooden trees is simple, but first you have to decide on a size. My completed trees are three different sizes:
- 11″ wide x 20.5″ tall
- 9″ wide x 17″ tall
- 7.5″ wide x 14″ tall
Knowing the size of wooden tree you’d like to make will help you decide how much wood you require and, if you’re buying new, what width/length of plank you will need for this project.
Supplies for DIY Wood Christmas Trees:
Note: this is what I bought to make 9 of my DIY wooden trees, see measurements above. You can adjust the wood required for smaller/larger trees, or fewer/more. If you’re not sure what size you’d like to make, you can always cut out a few from leftover cardboard and tape them together, just to get a sense of the scale.
- 2 planks of planed pine (my planks were 11″ wide, 7 feet long, and 1″ thick)
- Wood glue
- Wood stain (I used Saman brand water-based in turquoise & white)
- Old rags or brushes for applying stain
- Plastic sheet to protect surfaces while staining
- Circular saw to cut wood (or jigsaw or handsaw – whatever you have to cut wood)
- Sand paper
- Painter’s tape
- Large ruler
- Disposable gloves to protect hands during staining
How to Make These Easy DIY Wood Trees:
Using a pencil, mark the desired width of the base and height of the tree, and draw the triangle shape on the plank of wood. Once you cut out the main triangle, for the middle of the tree, the remaining wood can be used for the sides of the tree. I wanted the sides of the tree a bit inset from the top, so I cut them a bit shorter (as you can see here):
Cut one side of the middle triangle, like so, using the circular saw:
Then clamp the cut side to the rest of the plank of wood so it doesn’t drop and tear while you’re cutting the other side:
Then cut the second side. When you’ve cut both sides of the middle triangle, cut a straight line along the bottom of the smaller side triangles that flanked the middle triangle:
Ta da! That’s it for cutting! Those four cuts and you have the makings of a DIY wood Christmas tree! Now lightly hand sand all of the edges, the surface, and also the points of the triangles, so all of the edges are rounded and the surface is nice and smooth to the touch.
Cut out all of your trees and sand in one batch, then glue them together all at once as well. Apply a small bead of glue to each side triangle and affix to the center of the middle triangle. Apply the glue to the straight side of the triangle – not the angled side. Use the glue sparingly because you don’t want it to squish out (stain doesn’t like to adhered to wood glue).
Position the side triangle (just eyeball it) on the center of the main triangle and press gently. Repeat for the other side. Then use painter’s tape to secure the wood while the paint dries.
Repeat for all of your DIY wooden Nordic trees. Let the wood Christmas trees dry overnight:
Then apply the stain/paint/finish of your choosing. Or leave them au natural and call it a day. I used Saman brand water based stain in both turquoise and white (the white was leftover from our DIY solid maple wood counters in the kitchen). I brushed on the stain because it helped get it into the tight little groove where the wood triangles have been glued to each other.
If you’re using the same Saman brand of stain, brush the stain on and then let the stain sit for a few minutes and wipe off. I like to use old, worn out and cut up cotton jersey pyjama pants as rags for this type of project. If you’re using another finish, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I’m using gloves here only because I cut myself and ended up with a silly, and bizarrely painful, infection, so I wanted to protect my inflamed finger from everything. This water based stained washes off skin so easily, so that’s not why I’m wearing gloves here. Although, it’s not a bad idea to wear them anyway… (I tend to avoid PPE unless there’s a bony hand warning on a container).
Interested in creating an ombré effect, I experimented and mixed together the white and turquoise for a pale blue hue (far left in the photo below) and also experimented with staining the trees turquoise and then brushing white stain on top (fourth tree from the left). In the end, although the ombré was a fun look, I preferred the intensity of the turquoise stain undiluted – it looks like a blue spruce! With the creamy white washed trees, the turquoise stain also really pops! So I stained over those experiments again with just the turquoise stain. Now I just have turquoise and white wood Christmas trees.
Here are the finished DIY wood Christmas trees!
I didn’t seal them because I liked the matte look, but you can definitely add a top coat if you prefer To add some coziness to my wooden tree centerpiece, I cut an old (thrifted) cream wool blanket into a curvy table runner. I plan to embellish it with some pearls and sparkling beads – and also some little fairy twinkle lights – so this centerpiece sparkles and glows like snow in the moonlight. But I just couldn’t wait to show you my DIY wooden trees – plus I wanted to make sure you had enough time before Christmas to make some for yourself or as handmade gift to give.
I love these DIY wood trees and I don’t even miss the idea of fancier wood – affordable pine stained turquoise and whitewashed is fun, but still has a Nordic tree kinda vibe! I might make a smaller set for the table next year though, not that I mind the tall wooden trees – our ceiling height can pull it off – but maybe for entertaining they’re a bit too tall? Lol. Not a concern for this year, when it will just be hubby and I due to social distancing, but next year I might want some wood trees low enough that we can converse with dinner guests over them.
Then again, maybe not 😉
Although I didn’t end up going the ombré route, I did vary the intensity of the turquoise stain so there are subtle variations which add depth and interest. I ended up staining four of them white and five of them turquoise so I can mix up the placement if I like – I could even divide them up and use them in two separate monochromatic groupings.
I love how these turned out! I’m working on some more holiday DIY projects, and can’t wait to show you my simple and minimalist Christmas home tour in December, but you can always check out my DIY project gallery for more ideas – I group my projects based on season near the bottom of the gallery. Or check out all of the Christmas archives here for more minimalist holiday decorating ideas, including more DIY wood Christmas tree projects you can make and give as gifts!!