How to Build a Wood Christmas Tree Using Shiplap
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
With most containers, the first board will be resting on top of the container rim and will help to steady the pole.
In order to balance the tree, be sure to stagger the placement of each board as you can see here in the photo.
Because you want to create space between the different size boards, add one of the 4x4x2 1/2 divider blocks between each size change.
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.
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.
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.