How to build a decorative plywood Christmas tree
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How to Make a Decorative Plywood Christmas Tree

If you’re looking for an alternative Christmas tree, then look no further than our stunning, statement DIY project.  Easy to put up every year, and best of all, no more clearing up pine needles!

MATERIALS

  • 18mm Plywood sheet x 1 (1220mm x 2440mm, cut into 3 pieces, each 1220mm x 810mm)
  • Paper (A4)
  • Double-sided tape

 

TOOLS

  • Jigsaw with fine or medium blade
  • Drill driver
  • 18mm flat drill bit
  • Drill bit to match your jigsaw blade
  • Sander or sand paper
  • Clamps
  • Pencil
  • Printer (A4)

 

Christmas tree will be 1220mm tall x 1110mm wide when constructed, and made of six plywood ‘tree’ pieces slotted together with two plywood joiners.

STEPS

1. Download the Christmas tree pdf template we have created for you here.  Open the pdf in Adobe Acrobat (free to download from the Adobe website here if you don’t have it).  Once the pdf is open, go to the “File” menu and click “Print” in the dropdown menu.  In the pop up dialogue box, select “Tile All Pages”.

2. Download the second pdf template for the slotting mechanism here.  This pdf is A4 sized, so you can print as normal.  Print this template twice.

3. Apply doubled sided tape to the backs of all the Christmas tree template sheets and lay out on one of the plywood sheets.  Ensure that long straight edge of the template is lined up against the edge of the plywood so you can get two tree shapes (not joined) from each piece of plywood. 

4. Use your drill driver to create holes at each corner of the tree with drill bit that’s big enough to allow your jigsaw blade through. This makes it much easier to cut out the shape in sections.

Tip: Always have some scrap wood underneath your working piece when drilling through it so that the underside doesn’t splinter.

5. Clamp the plywood to your workbench and use your jigsaw to cut along the lines of the template, leaving the cut-outs on the long straight side (We deal with these later).  Do not remove the paper template yet.

6. Sand all the edges of the cut out.

7. Use this cut out as a template for the remaining five tree pieces, using a pencil to draw around it.  Repeat steps 5 & 6.

8. Stack the six tree pieces together with the first piece you cut out on top, then clamp to your workbench.  Use your drill driver with the 18mm flat drill bit to cut the two circular holes shown in the template through all six pieces.  Release the stack, use the jigsaw to cut the remaining lines on the piece with the template still attached. Use this finished shape to transfer the lines to the rest of the tree pieces and repeat the cuts. 

9. To join the six tree pieces together, you need to create two slotting mechanism pieces.  Take the second template that you printed twice, and apply each sheet to plywood pieces using double-sided tape.  The off-cuts from the middle of the main tree pieces is perfect for this.

10. Clamp one of the plywood pieces to your workbench.  Use your drill driver and flat drill bit again to create 18mm holes as per the template.  Then use your jig saw to cut along all the remaining outlines. 

11. Repeat step 10 for the second slotting mechanism piece, then sand both pieces.

Tip: Take your time to accurately cut the slots.  You can use a scrap piece of plywood to check all the slots are a tight fit.

12. Remove & discard the paper templates.

13. Slot the Christmas tree together, with one slotting mechanism piece near the top of the tree, and the other near the base.  Once assembled, the edges of each tree should touch (and not overlap).

Tip: The slots of the tree pieces and the circular slotting mechanisms don’t need to slide all the way into each other.  They are designed to allow for some margin of error.

Enjoy the simplicity of your new tree, or add some sparkle by adding a splash of paint, some glitter or a few Christmas decorations.

Important safety info: Always use appropriate safety equipment for the tools & processes you’re using.

LINK BACKS TO OTHER PROJECTS

For handmade Christmas gift ideas, try our concrete plant pot, picture frame or log coasters how-to guides.