Intro: 3-D Tree Cutout
I saw this originally on Craft Wars. My
soon to be sister-in-law sister-in-law wanted me to make it for her wedding as a wishing tree. It is similar to a Christmas craft that is made using two cut out paper trees. A sloter is cut in both, one from the bottom to the center and the other from the top to the center. The two are placed one in the other, creating a single piece.
Step 1: Materials
Two 15/32in x 2ft x 4ft Sand Pine Plywood $20.00 (cheap, light, and durable)
Any Design you wish to do. Mine is pictured below.
-Circular Saw (could do without it though)
- Marker, pencil, or any utensil that is good for tracing on wood
- Sand Paper
- paint and painting accessories (optional)
- Dremel for sanding (also optional, I just wanted to try using it because I hadn't on a project yet)
**Yes, I realized after the fact that screws were unneeded, please ignore them.
Step 2: Up-sizing From a Drawing on Paper
I use a grid system whenever I am cutting out a design from wood. To do this, you must first choose a scale.
I chose a 1:3 ratio. My drawing on the paper had a grid of 1in x 1in and the grid on my plywood was 3in x 3in.
This grid allowed me to draw the tree onto the plywood pretty accurately.
Step 3: Cutting It Out
Quite simply: cut out the design.
I used the Jigsaw for this because of the tight corners and turns. To get into the tightest areas it is best to come at the point from a different angle.
Step 4: Cut It Out...Again
The easiest way to cut out the other design is to trace the already cut out piece.
Step 5: Cut the Slots
A slot needs to be cut from the top to the center of one of the pieces, and another slot must be cut from the bottom to the center from the other piece. The two slots allow for the pieces to sit inside one another. It is important to make sure that the slot will be wide enough for the two pieces to fit together.
Step 6: Fitting Together
Slide the piece with the bottom to center slot onto the other piece, making sure it is aligned with the second slot. If cut properly the bottoms of both pieces should be flush with one another. If not, sand down the point of contact in each slot. Sand it a little at a time so that you don't over sand it and run into the same problem with which you started.
Step 7: Finalization
Now, it is best to sand down the surfaces so there are no rough patches. Also, this allows for a better surface with which you can paint* or stain.
*I realized that painting the slot area of each piece caused it to thicken and subsequently shorten the gap of the slot. Some sanding after painting the slots help, the slot surface cannot be seen anyway when it is together.
Step 8: Conclusion
I'd love to see any renditions of this project from you! Show me your designs! I'm sure there are better craftsmen than me on here!