It’s almost Christmas and I had a funny feeling some of you would get the urge to fashion a last-minute Christmas tree out of sticks.
Thing is, crazy lady in the video (me) talked a little fast and may have used some fuzzy math so follow these written instructions for best results. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out the video, you absolutely should. If only to learn my real height and subscribe to my channel. 🙂
Wooden Dowel Christmas Tree
drill press (bits: 1/2 and 5/16ths)
hand drill (bit: 1 1/4 inch)
mitre box or v-blocks
painter’s tape (optional)
1 7ft 1 1/4 inch dowel
21(ish) 1/2 inch dowels (cut to make 33 “branches”)
5 (ish) 5/16 inch dowels (cut to make 2-3 inch pegs)
1 pre-cut 20-inch circle of plywood, at least 2 inches thick
No screws, nails or glue!
What to do:
Be safe. Tie your hair back, wear protective eyewear, don’t wear loose clothing, don’t be distracted, hangry etc…
Mark up a 7ft 1 1/4 inch dowel. I made an X about every 8 inches on one side, then staggered X’s on three more sides (as if the round dowel were square with 4 sides) Try to give enough space in between your holes so you don’t drill right into another hole and compromise the strength of the wood. I ended up with a total of 33 X’s.
Tilt your drill press 25 degrees, attach the 1/2 inch drill bit, secure your 1 1/4 inch dowel with a mitre box or v-block, set your depth gauge (I sent mine to an inch) and start drilling.
Practice first! Use a piece of scrap wood for your first holes.
Drill all the way through the pre-cut plywood circle with the 1 1/4 inch hole bit. That’s your base. Your pole should fit snuggly.
Now you’ve got your trunk riddled with holes. Your 1/2 inch dowels are going to go into that. When I was figuring out the lengths for these branches I placed painters tape where I wanted the branches to end to kind of give me an idea of the shape I wanted. I started with full length branches (36 inches) at the bottom and they get smaller becoming 6 inches at the top.
Cut your 1/2 inch dowels to your desired length.
Reset your drill press to the flat position, change your bit to 5/16ths and make holes straight through.
I made three holes in the lower branches, 2 holes in the middle ones and none in the top three.
Cut your 5/16 inch dowels up into 2-3 inch pegs and insert them into the 1/2 inch dowels. When I cut these I discarded the ends of the dowels due to the impossible-to-remove price stickers, which wasted about 6 inches each dowel but hello, my sanity was saved.
Lay out all your 1/2 inch branches and number them starting with your lowest hole so you can remember where they go each year.
That’s it! Hope you have fun making this. I’d love to see your versions. Let me know. Tag me. I bet this would look great in a bright neon color or gold too.