I wanted to make a Christmas string light tree for my yard this year. I looked at many on the web and decided to combine several designs into my own.
I don't know why the pictures are sideways...they were not like that when I uploaded them. Waiting on the help desk to tell me.
Step 1: Things You'll Need to Get Going
Drill/driver with Phillips bit
Pallet & Plywood & wood screws
10' x 1" or whatever length you want black or galvanized steel pipe with threaded ends
1" floor flange and large wood screws
PVC fittings - 1-1/2" cap and a 1" female adapter with screw threads for the pipe
(8) cup hooks or screw hooks
Landscape fabric staples - I had to get 4" but 6" would be better
black paint (optional)
black plastic tablecloth (optional)
Christmas string lights of course. Somewhere between 500-1000 lights.
Step 2: Assemble the Pallet Base and Mount Pipe Flange
I wanted to use a base instead of digging a hole in my yard. I used a pallet and some scrap plywood/siding I found in a dumpster at a construction site. I screwed the two together with wood screws to make it solid.
I attached a floor flange to the plywood and pallet using wood screws making sure to get them in as much of the pallet 2x4's a possible.
Before you screw in the pipe grease the fittings to make them easier to remove later.
Before tightening the pole "permanently" I put together my hook topper out of PVC pipe.
Step 3: Assemble the Hook Topper
The hook topper gives you something to hang the lights from. I used a 1" screw-on Female adapter and then a 1-1/2" cap. The 1-1/2" cap fits perfectly on the adapter. If you build it right you should be able to add a 1" PVC pipe to hold star or other decoration on top later when you remove the cap. See the pics. I plan to build a star later on.
I pre-drilled holes in the screw-in fitting just above the threads and screwed in 8 cup hooks. I bent the hooks out a little to make it easier to attach the wires. If you want to make it less visible, paint it all black.
Step 4: Final Assembly
If you are going to use a plastic table cloth or other cover on the pallet, now is the time to put it on...BEFORE you screw on the pipe.
I screwed on the topper to the pipe (after shooting a little WD-40 on the threads) and then carefully screwed the pipe into the flange. It is plenty solid for just a 10' tree. If you go higher you may need guy wires or even a bigger pipe.
Using a piece of twine or rope, measure out 3 or 3 1/2 feet and spray a circle of paint on the ground as a guide. I started out at the bottom with my plug in set on the ground with a landscape staple. Then using a pole, attach the light string to the topper. Measure over about 16" and secure the wire with a staple. Then go back up and continue the up and down hook and staple procedure. I used about 500 lights on mine with some doubling up on the back.
There are calculators online for figure out the length of wire you need but I just eyeballed it.
Good Luck and Merry Christmas!!!