A few weeks ago as I made my way into the veeerrry back of the basement to get out the Christmas decorations, I literally ran into a stack of plywood signs that Mr. A and I used at our wedding reception. I had a hard time getting rid of them as they took FOREVER to make and because they were so pretty, but really, a large stack of plywood? It had to go. I kept my two favorites (of course) and started dragging. As I made my way to the garage, my hoarder brain thought, “I can’t get ride of these; I could do this or wouldn’t it be cool if I made that?!” So, I concluded if I could make something in the next week, I could keep them, if not, it’d go to my dad’s workshop.
I schemed and schemed and came up with the cutest little table top decorations to go along with our 2015 Christmas theme: neon. I wanted something kinda funky, but also clean so I could reuse them in years to come. The best part about these simple little trees is they’re completely customizable from the size to the color to how you use them in your decorations.
Continue reading for the full how to!
- A Printer
- A Pencil
- Christmas Tree Template
- 1/4 inch plywood (i used less than a quarter of a sheet – some places will let you cut down in store)
- A Band Saw
- Sander or Sandpaper
- Painters Tape
1. To start, you’ll want to download (available above), print and cut out my template or create your own. Again, this project is great because it’s very customizable. For example, you could add dimension to your tree by giving it notches like this.
2. Once you have the pieces of the template cut out, you’ll want to trace your trees onto your plywood. I first cut my plywood into chunks to make it a little easier to work with. It definitely helps, but make sure to double check your largest tree size- you don’t want to cut them too small!
3. Fire up that band saw and cut those pieces out! Remember, for each size of tree, you’ll need two identical pieces so they can interlock and stand up. I was making a total of 6 total trees so needed 12 total pieces of cut out plywood.
4. Once the pieces are cut out, it’s time to make the interlocking notches (the part that makes them 3D). To do that, you’ll want to find the center points on the bottom of the tree and in the exact middle. Draw your cut lines and make sure you take into account how thick your plywood is so the interlocking pieces will fit. My plywood thickness was 1/4 inch thick, so my notches needed to be a 1/4 inch thick- err on the side of caution, you can also trim more, but can’t put back.
You’ll now have two pieces with cuts half way down their centers – one from the bottom to the exact middle and one from the top to the exact middle. Test these to make sure they interlock well and the slot isn’t too tight.
5. Sand all sides to make smooth and pretty.
6. Paint! This is the part where you can truly make these shine! I decided to leave mine more natural and add a festive edging. To do this, I used painters tape to mark off my edges and acrylic paint to paint on mint green and silver edges. I made sure all surfaces got done and let dry.
7. Once dry, interlock the pieces and arrange!
I chose to add in some pops of neon with bottle brush trees, silver candles and matching wood grain wrapping paper to make a cute tabletop centerpiece display.
Questions? Issues with Instructions? Let me know; I’d be happy to help! sahlandwhite [at] gmail [dot] com.