How to Build a Wood Christmas Tree Using Shiplap

4 Materials
2 Hours

Today I'm sharing a step by step tutorial on How to Build a Wood Christmas Tree using Shiplap boards. This is an easy project to create a unique farmhouse style tree.

Don't worry if you don't have reclaimed wood, I'll share how to age new wood at the end of this tutorial.


This tree measures 62 inches tall from the bottom block to the top of the center pole. We place our tree inside a vintage iron pot with legs, and therefore it measures slightly taller when assembled.

You will want to determine the container you plan to use prior to beginning. Therefore, the container size will determine the exact amount of materials and lengths needed for your wood tree.

Caution: Choose a container that will be heavy enough to hold the tree steady. It is crucial because the heavy wood can easily tip over a container that is not substantial enough.


The shiplap boards are 5 1/2 inches wide.

Cut boards

  • 3 of each size - 34" long, 31" long, 25" long, 22" long, 16" long, and 13" long
  • 2 of each size - 10" long and 5 1/4" long

Use a 4x4 post and cut 9 - 2 1/2" blocks

Use a 6x6 Post and cut 1 - 4" high block

Cut wood pieces

First, cut all the wooden pieces to the correct size, using a chop saw to create clean edges. If needed, you can lightly sand the edges with a fine grit sandpaper. Cut all boards based on the above dimensions or measurements determined by your container size.

Drill Holes in Center of each piece

Next, drill a 1 1/4 " hole in the center of each cut board and 4x4 post. In addition, drill a shallow hole into the center of the 6x6 post. This hole is just deep enough for the PVC pipe to rest inside. You can drill approx. 1/2" deep.

As a reminder, the hole should be larger than the PVC pipe, because this will allow for any swelling of the wood and for ease of assembly.

Assemble the tree

Now, place the 6x6 post inside the container and level the post so that the tree will be balanced.

Next, place the PVC pipe into the shallow hole and start adding the shiplap boards to the pipe. Be sure to begin with the longest boards as you add them to the pipe.

Add Shiplap Boards

With most containers, the first board will be resting on top of the container rim and will help to steady the pole.

Stagger the board placement

In order to balance the tree, be sure to stagger the placement of each board as you can see here in the photo.

Add Dividing Blocks

Because you want to create space between the different size boards, add one of the 4x4x2 1/2 divider blocks between each size change.

Continue to stack & stagger boards

You will continue in this manner until all the boards are placed on the pole.

Continue to stagger the board placement so that the tree will be balanced and shaped like a Christmas Tree.

Finished Tree

Once all the boards are in place, you will have a small section of pipe above the blocks and shiplap. I add a metal star that slips over the exposed pipe as a tree topper. You can shorten the pipe before assembly if you prefer less pipe exposed.

Optional Step - Age New Wood

In order to age your new shiplap, I recommend staining the wood with a grey oil based stain like Minwax Penetrating Classic Gray.

If you prefer a white washed appearance, add a dry brush of white chalk paint, once the gray stain is dry.

Dry Brush Technique -

Dip your brush into paint and wipe most of the paint off the brush with a paper towel or cloth. Brush over the surface of the board lightly. If more paint is needed, apply more. See this dry brush technique on this vintage tool box.

In addition, you can distress the wood for a more authentic appearance. Here is how we distressed the wood on our DIY kitchen island.

Foraged grapevine and pinecones are nestled on the wooden boards along with red birds and pop corn garland help to create a fun outdoor vintage vibe.

Suggested materials:

  • Shiplap  (reclaimed - free)
  • 4x4 post  (Lowes Home Improvement)
  • 6x6 post  (scrape material)
See all materials

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Nancy
    on Nov 1, 2020

    I LOVE THIS!!! I have a collection of miniature nativities that could be displayed on different "branches". I love your foraged treasures, too. So many ideas...

    Does it fold flat for storage?

    • Leslie
      on Nov 19, 2020

      Hi Rachel, VERY VERY nice!!! Thank you for sharing your creation. I have one request can you share how you anchored your base inside the cast iron pot or does the boards resting on the rim stabilize it. I was also thinking that small cup hooks added to the ends of the boards would allow for ornaments and garlands and maybe lights to be hung from the ends also. Thank you for taking the time to answer :)

  • Kristina
    on Nov 22, 2020


    Thank you for sharing!❤❤

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