How to Make Wooden Christmas Trees: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you looking for a unique and rustic addition to your holiday decor? Look no further than wooden Christmas trees! These DIY trees can be made from a variety of materials such as scrap wood, driftwood, dowels, and even pallets. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they can also be customized to fit your personal style and taste.

Making a wooden Christmas tree is a fun and easy project that can be done by anyone, regardless of skill level. There are many tutorials available online that provide step-by-step instructions and supply lists. Whether you want a simple tree made from painted dowels or a more elaborate tree crafted from reclaimed barn wood planks, there is a tutorial out there for you. Plus, making your own tree allows you to save money and avoid the hassle of storing a bulky artificial tree year after year.

Understanding Wood Types

When it comes to making wooden Christmas trees, choosing the right type of wood is crucial. Different types of wood have different properties that can affect the final look and durability of your tree. Here are some of the most popular types of wood used for making Christmas trees:


Pine is a softwood that is easy to work with and readily available. It has a light color and a straight grain, which makes it a popular choice for making Christmas trees. Pine is also affordable, which makes it a great option for DIY projects. However, because pine is a softwood, it may not be as durable as other types of wood, and it may dent or scratch more easily.


Cedar is a hardwood that is known for its natural resistance to decay and insects. It has a distinctive reddish-brown color and a straight grain, which makes it a popular choice for making Christmas trees. Cedar is also lightweight and easy to work with, which makes it a great option for DIY projects. However, because cedar is a hardwood, it may be more expensive than other types of wood.


Oak is a hardwood that is known for its strength and durability. It has a light to medium brown color and a distinctive grain pattern, which makes it a popular choice for making furniture and other decorative items. Oak is also resistant to rot and insects, which makes it a great option for outdoor use. However, because oak is a hardwood, it may be more difficult to work with than other types of wood, and it may require special tools and techniques.

When choosing the type of wood for your Christmas tree, consider the look you want to achieve, as well as the durability and cost of the wood. Each type of wood has its own unique properties, and choosing the right one can make a big difference in the final result.

Choosing the Right Tools

When it comes to making wooden Christmas trees, having the right tools is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable DIY experience. In this section, we will go over the essential tools you will need to create your own wooden Christmas trees.


The saw is one of the most important tools you will need to create your wooden Christmas tree. A jigsaw is perfect for making curved cuts, while a circular saw can be used for straight cuts. When choosing a saw, make sure it is comfortable to hold and easy to use. Safety should also be a priority, so make sure to wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes.


After cutting out your Christmas tree shapes, it’s important to smooth out the surface and soften any rough edges using sandpaper. A sanding block is perfect for this task, as it allows for even sanding and a smooth finish. When choosing sandpaper, make sure to select the right grit for the job. A lower grit is perfect for rough sanding, while a higher grit is ideal for finishing and polishing.


A paintbrush is essential for adding color and personality to your wooden Christmas tree. When choosing a paintbrush, make sure it is the right size for the job. A small brush is perfect for intricate details, while a larger brush is ideal for covering larger areas. It’s also important to choose the right type of paintbrush for the type of paint you will be using. A natural bristle brush is perfect for oil-based paints, while a synthetic brush is ideal for water-based paints.

In summary, having the right tools is essential for creating your own wooden Christmas tree. A saw, sandpaper, and paintbrush are all essential tools that will help you achieve a smooth and beautiful finish. Make sure to choose tools that are comfortable to use and prioritize safety at all times.

Designing Your Wooden Christmas Tree

When it comes to designing your wooden Christmas tree, there are a few things to consider to ensure that you end up with a tree that meets your needs and preferences. In this section, we will discuss how to sketch the design of your tree and how to select the appropriate size and shape.

Sketching the Design

Before you start building your wooden Christmas tree, it is essential to sketch out your design. This will help you visualize how the tree will look and ensure that you have all the necessary materials before you start building. To sketch your design, you can use a pencil and paper or a digital drawing tool.

When sketching your design, consider the following factors:

  • The height and width of the tree
  • The number and size of branches
  • The shape of the tree (e.g., conical, cylindrical, or asymmetrical)
  • The type of wood you will use
  • The type of decorations you plan to hang on the tree

Sketching your design will help you identify any potential issues before you start building. You may discover that you need more or fewer branches or that the tree’s shape needs to be adjusted to accommodate your decorations.

Selecting Size and Shape

When selecting the size and shape of your wooden Christmas tree, consider the space where you will place the tree. If you have limited space, a smaller tree may be more appropriate. If you have high ceilings, you may want to consider a taller tree.

The shape of your tree will also affect its appearance. A conical tree will have a classic Christmas tree shape, while a cylindrical tree will have a more modern look. An asymmetrical tree can add a unique touch to your holiday decor.

In addition to size and shape, you should also consider the type of wood you will use. Softwoods like pine and fir are popular choices for Christmas trees because they are easy to work with and have a pleasant scent. Hardwoods like oak and maple can also be used, but they may be more challenging to work with.

By considering these factors, you can design a wooden Christmas tree that will fit your space and style perfectly.

Cutting the Wood

When making a wooden Christmas tree, cutting the wood is the first and most important step. Here are some tips to help you cut your wood accurately and safely:

Choose the Right Saw

When cutting wood for your Christmas tree, you will need a saw that can cut straight lines. A circular saw or jigsaw is ideal for cutting straight lines, while a handsaw is better for making curved cuts. Make sure your saw is sharp and in good condition before you start cutting.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Before you start cutting your wood, take the time to measure it carefully. Use a measuring tape to mark the length and width of each piece of wood, and double-check your measurements before you make any cuts. This will help ensure that your wooden Christmas tree is the right size and shape.

Use a Cutting Guide

To help you cut straight lines, use a cutting guide. You can make a cutting guide by clamping a straight piece of wood to your workpiece, or you can purchase a specialized cutting guide from a hardware store. A cutting guide will help you make accurate cuts and prevent your saw from wandering off course.

Wear Safety Gear

When cutting wood, it is important to wear proper safety gear. This includes safety glasses to protect your eyes from sawdust and flying wood chips, gloves to protect your hands, and a dust mask to prevent you from inhaling sawdust. Make sure you follow all safety guidelines when using power tools.

By following these tips, you can cut your wood accurately and safely when making a wooden Christmas tree.

Sanding the Edges

Now that you have cut out your wooden Christmas tree shapes, it’s time to sand the edges to give them a more rustic and distressed look. Here are some tips to help you achieve the desired effect:

  • Use a medium grade sandpaper (e.g., 80 grit) to round over the sharp edges of the wood. This will help create a more natural and organic look.

  • Sand the edges in a random pattern to create a more natural and uneven appearance. Avoid sanding in a straight line or uniform pattern.

  • If you want a more heavily distressed look, you can use a rougher sandpaper (e.g., 60 grit) to create deeper grooves and scratches in the wood.

  • Be sure to sand the edges evenly on all sides of the Christmas tree shapes to maintain a consistent look.

  • If you prefer a more polished and refined look, you can use a finer sandpaper (e.g., 120 grit) to smooth out the edges and create a more uniform appearance.

Remember, the goal of sanding the edges is to create a rustic and distressed look, so don’t worry about making them perfectly smooth or even. Embrace imperfections and let the natural beauty of the wood shine through.

Painting and Decorating

When it comes to painting and decorating your DIY wooden Christmas tree, you have a lot of options to choose from. In this section, we’ll go over some tips and ideas to help you create a beautiful and unique holiday decoration.

Choosing Paint Colors

The first step in painting your wooden Christmas tree is to choose the right colors. You can use acrylic paint, wall paint, or spray paint to achieve the desired effect. Consider the overall look you want to achieve and the colors that will complement your existing holiday decor.

If you’re unsure about which colors to choose, consider using traditional holiday colors such as red, green, gold, and silver. You can also opt for a more modern look with non-traditional colors like pink, blue, or purple. Experiment with different shades and combinations to find the perfect look for your tree.

Adding Decorations

Once your tree is painted, it’s time to add some decorations. There are many ways to embellish your wooden Christmas tree, from simple to elaborate. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Ornaments: Hang traditional Christmas ornaments or make your own using materials like ribbon, beads, or felt.
  • Lights: Add a string of lights to your tree to create a warm and cozy atmosphere.
  • Garland: Drape garland around your tree for a festive touch.
  • Stencils: Use stencils to add patterns or designs to your tree.
  • Pinecones: Glue pinecones to your tree for a rustic look.

Remember, the key to decorating your wooden Christmas tree is to have fun and be creative. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with different decorations until you find the perfect look for your holiday decor.

Safety Tips

When working with wood, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind when making your own wooden Christmas tree.

Proper Handling of Tools

It’s important to use the right tools for the job and to handle them properly to avoid injury. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always use sharp tools to avoid slipping or losing control.
  • Keep your tools clean and in good condition to prevent accidents.
  • Use clamps or a vice to hold the wood in place while you work on it.
  • Never leave your tools unattended, and make sure to store them in a safe place when you’re finished.

Using Protective Gear

Protective gear can help prevent injuries while you work on your wooden Christmas tree. Here are some items you should consider using:

  • Safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying wood chips or sawdust.
  • Gloves to protect your hands from splinters and cuts.
  • A dust mask to prevent you from inhaling sawdust.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when working with wood. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your wooden Christmas tree project is a success without any injuries.

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