Make a reusable Christmas tree from wooden pallets
Upcycle a pallet to create a wooden tree centrepiece for displaying Christmas trinkets, decorations and favourite mugs
Before the boxes of decorations come down from the loft, transform an old pallet into a tree-shaped showpiece to house your treasured baubles and ornaments.
We’ve reused hooks to hold a trio of mugs, then stained with a dark varnish to enhance the woodgrain. You could paint yours white or copper for a modern take.
Once finished, pop on a prominent shelf or hang securely and start decorating!
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How to make a wooden Christmas tree
What you need to make a wooden Christmas tree
- Hammer or crowbar
- Work bench and clamps
- Measuring tape
- Wooden pallet, 120 x 80cm, cut to these lengths in this order: 82.5cm (bottom shelf); 29.7cm x 2 (side supports); 60.5cm (middle shelf); 29.7cm x 2 (side supports); 38.3cm (top shelf); 31.7cm x 2 (top sides); 65cm (back panel)
- Set square
- 120-grit sandpaper
- Gorilla wood glue
- 25mm panel pins
- Ronseal Natural Oak Stain wood varnish
- Drill and drill bits
- Cup hooks
Use a hammer or crowbar to carefully dismantle the pallet. Remove all of the nails by hammering their pointed end. Using a measuring tape, pencil and saw, cut the pallet into the lengths listed in the shopping list.
Take the first piece of wood you cut and place it on one side with the edge facing up. Place a 45° set square on the bottom corner of each side and mark the triangle with a pencil. Use a saw to cut off the triangle from each end, creating an angled edge. The horizontal shelf pieces and the top two sides will need to be cut in opposite directions, while the four other side pieces need to be cut in the same direction (see image 3 for guidance). Repeat on all the lengths of wood, but not the back support.
Arrange the lengths as shown in the picture to make sure all the edges align. Using sandpaper, sand down all the wood lengths until smooth all over, taking particular care on the cut edges.
Glue the wood lengths into the Christmas tree shape using Gorilla wood glue. Leave to dry for up to 24 hours. To make the joins more secure, hammer panel pins into each of the corners to hold the lengths in place while the glue dries. Once the glue has set, sand any imperfections on the joints.
Lay the assembled tree onto the remaining piece of pallet wood you cut earlier, which will be the back panel for the hooks. Use a pencil to mark the shape you need, following the inside edges of the tree shape, then cut your panel out with a saw. Sand down the panel until smooth all over, then glue into place so the panel sits flush with the other edges. Leave to dry completely.
Once the back panel is dry and set in place, use a paintbrush to apply wood stain all over the tree. Leave the coat to fully dry, then apply another coat if you’d like a darker shade.
Mark up on the panel where you’d like the hooks to be placed. Carefully screw them into the wood, making sure they go in straight. If this is proving difficult, drill a pilot hole slightly smaller than the hook’s diameter. Apply a tiny amount of wood glue to the hook’s thread and screw in until tight.
Project and steps photos Luke Green Main photo Dave Caudery Styling Tricia Ball
Evergreen mugs, £3.50 each; Enchanted mug, £3.50, both Matalan