Hi friends! I’m back today with another fun holiday project that I created in partnership with Waverly: Festive Wooden Trees! I first made these trees to decorate my home a couple holiday seasons ago (you might have also spotted them over on my Instagram a few weeks ago), and have always intended to share a tutorial with you here (better late than never, right).
Even though this project involves the use of a craft knife (I know that can be intimidating) it is actually pretty easy to create…just a few straight cuts, glue, and you have a nice bit of modern holiday decor for your home! Let’s get crafty!
- Balsa wood – 1/16 x 4 x 24 in. | Balsa wood can be found in an assortment of sizes in the woodcraft isle of craft stores. I purchased mine at Michael’s.
- Craft glue | I highly recommend Aleen’s Original Tacky Glue (found in craft stores) for this project. I tried several glues, and this one worked the best.
- Craft knife with a sharp blade
- Self-healing mat with ruled lines | Available at fabric and craft stores
TIP: Click on the tutorial images below to see an enlarged view in a new window.
Gather your supplies.
Place your wood down onto your self-healing mat, aligning it with the mat’s ruled lines. Determine the height that you’d like for your tree. I chose 5″ for this one, so I’ll use that measurement in my description. Place your ruler across your board at the 5″ point and hold firmly in place. Use your craft knife to cut along the 5″ line using the ruler as your guide. Use steady firm pressure. You will need to make several cuts before you will pass through the board, so don’t worry if it doesn’t go through with the first cut.
Once your rectangular portion has been cut, align it with the ruled lines on your mat again.
Next we need to find the center of the board. Since the board I purchased is 4″ wide, we will note that the center falls at 2″ in (if your board is a different width you will need to find the center of it by measuring). Place your ruler first at the bottom left corner of your board, and then up to the 2″ center measurement (as noted in red).
Once again use your ruler as your guide to cut along this measurement with firm downward pressure. Use slow steady cuts until you’ve made it through the board. Remove the skinny triangular-shaped piece that you just cut off, and set it to the side.
Now repeat the measuring steps on the right-hand side of your board. First place your ruler at the bottom right-hand corner and make sure the ruler then passes through the 2″ center line. If you are using a clear ruler, you will see that you have a large triangle-shape beneath your ruler (as seen above). That means you’re doing it right! Cut along the edge of the ruler to remove the second skinny triangular-piece.
You should now have three triangular pieces: 2 narrow and 1 wide.
So that they will fit onto your tree more seamlessly, you will want to cut away the tips of the two smaller triangular pieces. I placed the pieces together (forming a larger triangle) and just trimmed off the top using my craft knife and firm downward pressure.
Align your large triangle with the mat’s ruled lines and use a ruler and pencil to mark a light guide line down the center. Flip the triangle over and make the same mark down the center of this side.
You should now have 1 large triangle with markings down the center of both sides, and 2 smaller triangles.
Squeeze a small line of glue along the pencil line on one side of your large triangle.
Take one of your small triangles and embed the long edge of it into the glue line.
It is very important to make sure that the bottom edges are aligned (seen in the photo above) and that the smaller triangle is not overhanging the edge. If this happens you will end up with a wobbly tree. If it is not aligned, just move the boards around until they are in the position you’d like them to be. Use gentle downward pressure on the top edge of the smaller board to make sure that it is properly set into the glue.
At this point you can use your fingertip (or a q-tip) to wipe away any excess glue.
Lay your glued boards to the side to allow the glue to set (it shouldn’t take too long). You can work on creating additional trees while you are waiting, or go make yourself a cup of peppermint hot cocoa! Yum!
Once the first side has set, repeat the gluing process with the second side. Set it aside to dry completely (you can leave it standing upright).
If you want to get extra crafty, you can make a fuller tree! First make the basic tree (explained above) and then add 4 extra pieces. You will do this by cutting a board using the same measurements as used on the original tree. Just be sure to cut the larger triangle in half (so that it forms two triangles), so that you are left with 4 tall triangles to add to your basic tree.
Arrange them in your home and enjoy!
If the plain wood doesn’t suit your holiday decor, there are endless ways that you can customize these trees to your liking. Here are a few ideas:
- Paint them with standard paint or chalkboard paint
- Dust trees with glitter
- Adorn the top of each tree with a pom pom
- Add “ornaments” by gluing on pretty beads or sequins
Have fun and make merry! xo Ez