Introduction: DIY Mini Wood Crate Tabletop Christmas Tree

About: We're Mother Daughter Projects, sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

Using only what I had on hand, I used 12 mini wood crates and a few other supplies to make a tabletop alternative Christmas tree.


Links to the products we used as well as the original post can be found here.

3/8 Wood dowel

(12) mini crates

2” thick straight dry/aged branch

Rust-Oleum Imagine Spray Paint, Shimmer Emerald

Behr Chalk Spray Paint, Tin White

DecoArt Galaxy Glitter, Clear Ice Comet

Excel Blades Metal Mitre Box Set with Heavy Duty K5 Handle and Razor Pull Saw Blade, Small Mitre Box and Saw with 2 Cutting Angles for Wood and Soft Metal

Hot glue gun

Bernzomatic Torch

Surebonder Light Tacker


Step 1: Watch the Video!

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Step 2: Prep the Branch Pieces

The branch I used was about 2 inches in diameter. I used a miter saw to cut (six) 5-inch pieces. The branch had been outside for a while so cleaned it up by scraping off any loose material.

To Shou Sugi Ban finish the pieces, I set them on top of a terracotta pot, away from anything flammable, and used a Bernzomatic torch. After torching I scraped away any white ash.

Once dry the pieces got a little sparkle with a coating of DecoArt Galaxy Gitter. This paint goes on cloudy but dries clear so all you see is the glitter.

Step 3: Prep the Crates, Paint, Add Staple

Both mini and full-size crates are really rough. To get a fine finish you'd need to do a lot of sanding. The finish was going to be more rustic so I only did a little sanding. The crates I used needed the most sanding inside of the side openings.

The wood dowels also were sanded, but mainly to remove the sticker residue.

To hang an ornament in each crate cubby, I added a light tacker staple. These staples have a raised area that is perfect for a single ornament hook.

The hooks I used are upcycled springs from the mattress support of a baby crib. They were spray-painted with the same green metallic paint used on the tree overlay.

Step 4: Assemble the Crates

All the crates were assembled with hot glue. Each row was hot glued and then the rows hot glued to the previous row, pyramid style. The bottom two crates are actually laid lengthwise.

Step 5: Make the Tree Overlay

The overlay is made with 3/8 inch wood dowels. All cuts are made with the mini saw and miter box (see list of materials used.)

The pieces were clamped into place, hot glued, and trimmed with the mini saw. Once the tree pieces were secured together, it was sprayed with Rust-Oleum Imagine in Shimmer Emerald.

The last step was to hot glue it to the front of the crate tree.

Step 6: Decorate

While the tree was laying down, I added three sets of battery-powered light. I put them through the opening closest to the back of the crates, evenly distributing the lights in the individual cubbies. The top two levels share one set of lights.

Add the hooks and ornaments, turn on the lights and enjoy.

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