I may have gone a little too in depth with this instructable, but I figured step by step should mean just that.
Step 1: Materials.
I have included prices (local to WY area anyway) to give you guys an idea of what the overall cost might be.
(I had these on hand from a dead tree that needed cut down.)
1 or 2, 1"x3"x8' furring strips
($1.67 each from local building supply.)
1, 2"x2"x6' furring strip.
($1.22 each from building supply.)
4, 1"x2"x8' furring strips
($.85 each from local building supply. Though I had plenty of these from earlier projects.)
1, 1/4" 4'x4' plywood
(I used Birch, $15.58. It is a little more expensive than some, but I wanted to use a descent hardwood plywood, personal preference. There was a 4' x 8' panel of regular plywood for $6.97. Not as strong as the birch, but for the placement of the panels, strength isn't a super huge issue.)
1 box of 1-5/8" drywall or wood screws
($4.58 from local building supply.)
1 box of 3-1/2" screws
($8.75 a box from local building supply.)
1 box of 1-3/8" drywall screws
($4.58 box from building supply)
(Going to a carpet store you might find some good remnants or out of date samples for free, or at a very minimal price.)
A non toxic general purpose adhesive
($6.75 from building supply), or hook and loop fasteners ($9.99 for a 6' x 1" strand from arts and crafts store.)
Bushy Greenery or fake tree leaves
(usually about $10.00 for one bundle at an arts and crafts store) I used 3 bundles.
Step 2: Main Support. (Trunk)
Determine your "trunk" for the main part of tree. You will need to cut it at the base so it will balance on its own. This will help in stability for the overall project. I was able to use a radial arm saw, but depending on the diameter of the trunk you use, a chainsaw or hand saw may be needed. Once you ascertain your trunk (main support), you can figure out the dimensions of the bottom platform.
Step 3: The Base Platform.
I use the 1"x3" furring strips for the bottom platform. I cut the strips so that the inside dimensions of the frame will be 17"x27". The 2 strips for length are 28.5" long, and the 2 for the width will be 17" long. Attach the strips so they are standing on edge to make your frame. A 90 degree corner jig is helpful here, or use clamps and a framing square to get the corners true. I like to use wood glue on the joints of all my projects, and this is no exception. Pre-drill and countersink the holes for your screws. (When working with furring strips it is always good practice to pre-drill any holes. Furring strips split very easy.) Assemble.
Now for inner support you will cut the 1"x2" strips to fit inside this frame. On this one I cut the length strips 27" long, and the 2 width strips at 13.5" long. Place the frame on a flat surface, and insert the 1"x2" pieces inside, on edge flat against table as well. Assemble these to platform as seen in picture 1.
Place the tree inside the platform frame where you would like it and mark the frame. This isn't very accurate, unless you have a laser eye like myself. ;P These marks are to give you a basis as where to place the 2"x2" strip supports for the trunk within the frame. see pictures 2 & 3. After you have the basic location you can install the trunk supports. Give yourself enough surface area for the trunk to attach with long screws running up though bottom to hold the trunk securely. I am adding another 2"x2" strip support for a second limb. see pic. 4 & 5.
Measure the inside of frame to establish dimensions of the plywood floor. Mark your plywood and cut on a table saw. **Tip. If you do not have access to a table saw, a straight edge, a couple of clamps and circular saw work in a pinch. Clamp the straight edge along the line to be cut. Measure the base of your saw from edge to the blade. This measurement is how far the side of straight edge needs to be from line. Pics 6 & 7.
Attach the plywood inside frame using wood glue and the 1-3/8" drywall screws. Picture 8. Using the adhesive, or hook and loop fasteners if you choose, attach carpet to plywood.
Step 4: Attaching the Limbs to the Base.
Step 5: Upper Platforms.
Step 6: Paint or Stain.
Now you are ready to attach the greenery. Look for a drill bit slightly larger than the stem of your greenery. Use this bit and place random holes about 3/4" into branches. You can then place the stems of your greenery into the holes, adjust to look natural and then hot glue. Make any final adjustments to the leaves.