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DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Modern Wooden Christmas Tree

by Grace Bonney

DIY Wooden Tree by Hello Yellow House on Design*Sponge
Today’s first DIY project comes from Tinca and Evgen of the blog Hello Yellow House. Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, these talented architects have spent the last year restoring a home and documenting their projects online. As the holiday season got closer, they decided they wanted to make decorations that suited their modern style, while avoiding plastic as much as possible. So instead, they came up with this beautiful, minimalist wooden tree that uses a steel bar to let the tree branches turn and move. I loved the project so much I asked Tinca and Evgen if we could share it here and thankfully, they were game! I know so many people don’t have the time or interest in bringing real trees home, so if you’re looking for something a bit more modern, without the sticky sap residue, this project is for you. xo, grace

*This project involves metal and welding, so please be sure you’re comfortable or familiar with welding tools before attempting.

gif-christmas-tree1

Reprinted with permission from Hello Yellow House:

What You’ll Need:

-20×20 cm (7.8 inches x 7.8 inches) square piece of steel
-1m long (3.2 feet) steel rod
-Drill with wood and steel bits
-Welding tools
-Metal ring with screw (to hold branches in place)
-Wooden planks or scraps for branches (see below for cut sizes)
-Black paint (optional)
-Wood oil (optional)

Steps (for the base):

1. Using a steel bit, drill a hole in the center of your square piece of steel.
2. Weld the rod and square piece of steel together.
3. Attach the metal ring and screw into place at your desired height. For the example above it was attached 20cm from the base (7.8 inches).
4. Optional: Paint the entire stand black.

tree-1
tree-3
tree-4
tree-7

Steps (for the branches):

1. You will need to make 31 pieces of wood to replicate the project above. However, you can easily scale down the entire project and fewer pieces if you’d like to make a smaller tree.

2. Your pieces should be an even 1 inch square all the way around. Then you’ll need 31 pieces that are each 2 cm longer than the previous piece. Your shortest piece (the top of the tree) will be a 1-inch cube and the longest piece (the bottom of the tree) will be 64.6 cm long.

3. Once you have your cuts made, drill a hole in the center of each piece. For the smallest piece, don’t drill all the way through. That way the top of the tree acts like a cap for the entire piece.

4. Once the pieces are cut and drilled, you can (optional) stain them with oil. This project used IKEA’s Behandla oil.

5. Once the pieces have dried, add them to the rod, starting with the longest. Once they’re all on, take it for a spin!

tree-13
tree-12
tree-20

For more details, see Hello Yellow House’s post here!

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Comments

  • You could probably do a no-weld version of this by using a threaded steel rod and two nuts, kind of like how a faucet attaches to a sink. You would thread one nut onto the rod under the base and another on top, then snug them up to hold the rod securely. A metal base would probably still be necessary to balance the weight of the branches, though, and you would of course need to use some plastic feet underneath so that the base still sits nicely. But, the threaded option would also allow you to take the tree apart for storage if you didn’t want to display it year-round.

  • A dear friend who is a builder and architectural reconstructionist made me a version of this several years ago as a Christmas present. His uses a wooden dowel and base, but the design is basically the same. We have loved and enjoyed this beautiful, sculptural, imaginative tree for years.

  • I love this tree! I want to make one and decorate it with “whatever”
    seems available. That way, it’s not just for Christmas but can honor a
    season,person,pet,etc.
    I would love to know what wood you used? Yours is so beautiful!
    I’m also trying to figure out where to get a metal base and rod. I really like the juxtaposition between the metal and wood.
    I also figured, since I don’t know how to weld, the rod could be inserted into a thicker base. The rod could then be inserted and fastened with a screw and nut.
    The larger base could really add presence to the tree and also,
    could balance the height and weight of the tree.
    The possibilities are endless! Carol
    PS: I sure wish I would have found your sight after my work was done. Oh well, finishing the work I have in front of me is so far in the future that,at least,this will give me something enjoyable to think about in the mean time.

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