One of my favorite things to do is dream up projects that make good use of lumber from my wood scrap pile. I make a lot of bigger furniture pieces that require many different sized cuts of wood, which means that I often end up with lots of small pieces in all different lengths. I absolutely hate seeing those pieces go to waste because a tree had to die to make them and it usually costs me money to buy them.
Today I am sharing the full tutorial for the cutest little rustic-modern wooden Christmas tree, and it’s made entirely out of scrap wood from my shop! But never fear, if you don’t have any scrap wood, you can easily make one of these by picking up some new lumber at your local hardware or lumber supply store.
- 1 x 2 lumber, I used pine
- Miter saw
- Wood glue, nail gun, or screws and drill—any will work
- 150 or higher grit sandpaper
- Measuring tape
- Safety googles
“Branch” pieces (cut at a 45-degree angle on each side)
- (1) 12″ 1×2
- (1) 10″ 1×2
- (1) 8″ 1×2
- (1) 6″ 1×2
- (1) 4″ 1×2
- (1) 2″ 1×2
Stand pieces (cut at no angle):
- (1) 12″ 1×2
- (1) 45 1×2
1. Measure and cut your lumber.
I wanted my tree to be small enough to sit on a table top or shelf, so I measured and marked the longest “branch” piece (the very bottom of the tree shape) to be approximately 12 inches long at the longest point of the angle. Then I subtracted approximately 2 inches for each additional branch (reference cut list above). I used a miter saw to cut each branch at a 45-degree angle on each side. This gives the pieces a tapered look like a Christmas tree.
For the stand, I measured, marked, and cut one 12-inch and one 6-inch piece.
If you’d like to make a bigger tree, just increase your measurements and plan to use more lumber. This design can be easily scaled to be any size; you’ll just have to adjust how big each piece is.
2. Sand all pieces.
Polish any rough edges using 150-grit sandpaper or higher. Since this is supposed to be a modern and rustic tree, I’d suggest leaving it unfinished wood. However, if you want to stain or paint your pieces, it will be easiest to do it before you assemble them.
Here are my pieces laid out to visualize how much space I wanted between each branch. I didn’t measure this; I just eyeballed a small space.
3. Construct the tree.
Now it’s time to put everything together. You can use wood glue, a nail gun, screws and a drill, or any combination of the three. I used a combination of screws and glue. I screwed in through the back of the backbone piece and into each of the branch pieces to attach them. Then I attached the backbone piece to the base using glue.
And that’s it! An adorable way to create a fun holiday-themed piece out of wood scraps.