Learn how to make these easy colorful 3-D DIY wooden Christmas Trees using plywood. They are perfect for outdoor yard decor, centerpieces, or even the mantle and can be made using scrap plywood!
Recently, I have been working with a lot of plywood and that has led to me accumulating lots of scrap plywood. I have been trying to find ways to use them up.
I decided it was time to turn them into pretty Christmas decor just in time for the holidays.
It took me about 30 minutes to cut out and make each tree and then a couple of hours painting it.
The best part is – these DIY Christmas trees are totally customizable
- Make them large and use them as yard decorations
- Make them smaller to use on the mantle
- Make them even smaller and use as centerpieces.
I made a few with scrap wood but I wanted to make a larger one as well so I decided to purchase a sheet of plywood.
What type of plywood to use?
If you are making these for outdoor use, be sure to use pressure-treated plywood so it can withstand the elements.
If you are making it was indoors, use paint or stain-grade plywood.
*** This project is sponsored by Rust-Oleum. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible to bring you new projects.***
How to decorate the wooden Christmas trees
The possibilities of decorating the Christmas trees are endless!
A few options include –
- Led light bulbs
- Colorful spray paint – I am especially in love with the shimmer line from Rust-Oleum Imagine.
- Glitter paint – because Christmas is all about glitter crafts :)!
- Glow in dark paint – because why not?!
- Metallic Paint pens – freehand your favorite patterns.
- Add ornaments – you can easily add cup hooks and add ornaments if you like
Let’s get into exactly how to make them!
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- Plywood – type of plywood will depend on where you plan to use the Christmas trees.
- Large paper for the template
- Rust-Oleum Imagine spray paint. I used –
- Shimmer Sapphire
- Shimmer Emerald
- Chrome Red
- Glitter red
- Gold mirror
- Rust-Oleum Chrome paint pen
- Rust-Oleum Gold Chrome paint pen
- Rust-Oleum Glow in the dark green
- Rust-Oleum Glitter Iridescent clear glitter paint
You can check out all the possibilities with Rust-Oleum Imagine here.
- Clean cut jigsaw blade – top and bottom cut jigsaw blades have the best results
Take a look at the full video tutorial. As always, the complete step-by-step written instructions are below.
Step 1 – Prepare plywood
To make the trees, you need two pieces of similar-sized plywood.
This can be scrap plywood pieces.
I wanted to make a couple of larger trees, so I purchased a sheet of plywood. I cut the sheet to make four pieces of 2’x4′.
Step 2 – Draw the Christmas tree
It is VERY important the tree be symmetric around the center. To accomplish this, it is easiest to –
- fold a paper in half
- draw half the tree on one side
- cut out the tree
- use the paper cutout as a template to draw the tree onto the plywood.
At this point, I would like to reiterate that it is extremely important to have the tree symmetric. I decided to work on the shape of the tree after drawing on the plywood and ended up messing up the shape.
This led to problems later when cutting slots to attach the pieces.
Step 3 – Cut out the Christmas tree
- Align and clamp two sheets of plywood together.
- Using a jigsaw, cut out the Christmas tree shape.
Important – as you are cutting, you have to make sure that the two sheets of plywood are always clamped together so the two tree cutouts are identical.
Step 4 – Cut the slots
This is probably the most complicated part of this project.
In order to make sure that the two Christmas tree cut-outs fit well together, it is important to calculate a few things – the center line and the height of the slot.
Here is how it is calculated –
- Measure the width of the bottom of the tree.
- Divide that by 2. This is the midpoint of the tree. You can draw a center line if you like.
- measure the thickness of the plywood.
- Divide that by 2 and mark that width on both sides of the center line.
- Measure height of the tree.
- Divide that by 2. This is the height of the slot.
Once the slot on the bottom is marked, you can transfer the centerline measurement to the other piece.
For the slot at the top of the Christmas tree –
- extend the center line to the top.
- measure and mark half the width of the plywood on both sides of the ceterline.
- mark half the height of tree.
This is the top slot.
Once the slots are measured and marked, cut them out with a jigsaw.
The two pieces of the Christmas tree should easily slide onto each other.
Remember I had mentioned how it is important to keep the design symmetric? When I decided to modify the design, it because skewed and the centerline did not meet the center of the peak.
When I was more careful about it, I got the perfect pieces.
Step 5 – PAINT!
Since these are raw wood, apply a couple of coats of primer.
Once the primer is dried, you can add your unique fun touch using colors from Rust-Oleum Image.
For the red glitter paint, I used a base coat of red spray paint. Once that dried, I added a few coats of red glitter spray paint.
The shimmer sapphire, emerald, and chrome red give a beautiful shine to the Christmas trees.
I used glitter paint to add a little bit of character to one of the trees.
I was very curious to try the glow-in-dark spray paint. I added it to the edges of the Christmas trees.
I added a little bit of pattern with the chrome paint pens.
I wanted to do a little bit of glitter pour and tried that on the tree with shimmer sapphire.
Here they are all done.
I tried really hard to get pictures of the trees after dark to capture the glow-in-dark paint but unfortunately, this blurry picture is all I got. It looks really cool in real life and I highly recommend trying it!
Here are the beautiful Christmas trees.