A-Frame Ladder Alternative Christmas Tree

15 Materials
2 Hours

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Around this time of year, it's become a tradition to come up with an alternative Christmas tree idea. This year is no exception!

The inspiration for this year's tree is from a visit to Epcot at Walt Disney World. Steph took the boat ride in the Land Pavilion and saw their version of a ladder tree, which became the model for ours. Take a look at how it came together!

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One of the nice things about his build is that it uses readily available materials. We used (one) 12' 1"x10" board for the shelves and (6) 1"x2" wood strips for the legs and cross bars. We also purchased a pair of hinges. You can find a detailed list of everything we used in our blog post.

Our first step was the cut the 10" wide board to length to make three shelves. Tip: we had the board cut in half at The Home Depot so that it would fit into our car. The finished lengths of the shelves are 4', 3 1/2', and 2 1/2'. We used a circular saw to cut the boards, but they could also be cut with a miter saw or hand saw. Use what you have or ask to have all the boards cut to size where you purchase them.

Before we cut the legs to length, we put everything on the floor to determine the placement between shelves. Note: We actually made this a foot taller, but decided it was too tall. We cut off the extra foot and eliminated the extra shelf. You can customize this design for your own display needs or ceiling height.

To hold the shelves in place, we used two cross bars, each 13" glued and nailed across the two legs. The shelves will slide between that 1" opening although 1 1/2" would probably be better.

Once we finished one leg, we laid the other one on top and just eyeballed the placement of the crossbars. This went really quickly and was fairly precise.

The shelves were sanded and stained. They could also be painted.

The legs were painted with a chalked paint and hinges were added to the top. The hinges will allow the display ladder to be folded for storage.

Here it is finished and ready to be styled!

The shelves are a great place to showcase my Christmas village.

All finished!

In case you're wondering, this is the inspiration "tree" Steph saw on the Walt Disney World boat ride.

Don't forget to check out the video to see how it all came together!

If you like this, be sure to see our 'Mini' version here!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Patricia DellAnno Patricia DellAnno on Nov 21, 2020

    This is great. Especially for a village display. Love that you work with your daughter too. Makes great memories. It can be used for all kinds of displays liked you showed.

  • GeorgiaBulldogsFan GeorgiaBulldogsFan on Jan 02, 2021

    Love this idea! I’m also impressed with you and your Mom being so at ease using the nail gun and table saw. My husband doesn’t let me use his table saw at all. So kudos to you and your Mom on you tool skills as well as building skills!