Merry Christmas everyone! This Christmas holiday I made a bunch of things to give as gifts and add to the home decor. The four things that I will show you how to make in this Instructable are a 2D Christmas tree with lights, Christmas tree decorations, Christmas cookie cutters, and Christmas tree candles. If anything doesn't make sense the pictures should help to show what I am doing.
Step 1: 2D Christmas Tree!
The first holiday decor item I made was the 2D Christmas tree. This was a very easy projects. This could all be done with hand-tools, but since I had some power tools I used them. This is a great decorations to have around the house gently lighting up the room. I anything doesn't make sense the pictures should help.
Step 2: Picking Out the Wood
This first part of this project was picking out the wood. The way I chose the boards was just finding the longest board and using that as the bottom branches of the tree. The piece that I used was 18 inches long. After that I simply picked six other boards.
Step 3: Designing the Tree
To design the tree I used Tinkercad. I designed my tree with six sets of branches. I set the bottom piece to 18 inches just like the bottom piece in real life. Then I put on more pieces to make it look complete. Then all I had to do was check how long the pieces were in Tinkercad and then cut my real pieces the same length. While I was on Tinkercad I also experimented with different colors that I wanted to paint the tree. I then put all the information from Tinkercad onto paper so I could more easily view it. Then with my radial arm saw I could all the boards to length. This could easily be done with any kind of hand saw. Then with my table saw I trimmed the boards lengthwise to make gluing them together more easy. This step could be done with a jointer much more easily than my method. After this was done I sanded all the boards slightly with my orbital sander with 60-grit sandpaper. I sanded them so that the paint would stick better and also to prevent getting slivers and scratches This step could be done without an electric sander quite easily.
Here is the STL file with the tree design:
Step 4: Painting the Pieces
After this I painted all the boards. Some boards I wanted different colors, and others I wanted a lighter shade of green or red. The supplies needed for this step were red and green acrylic paint, mineral spirits, and an old t-shirt for wiping on the paint. Painting the pieces was a very easy task. To paint them I squirted paint onto the board and then wiped on all over the board. Then I dabbed the t-shirt with mineral spirits and wiped the board with the clothe. Wiping on the mineral spirits makes the color lighter when it dries completely. So looking at the design of the tree on my piece of paper I used mineral spirits accordingly. I used mineral spirits on third-from-the-bottom board to make that lighter and also on the top red board.
Step 5: Lighting Situation
To light the Christmas tree I used a box of a hundred lights. The thing was, though, is that I needed some cord so that it could reach an outlet. I wanted 3 feet of cord. So to do that I measured 3 feet of cord and found that it was 8 light bulbs into the Christmas light's cord. This told me that I would only have 92 holes in the Christmas tree for lights.
Step 6: Drilling Holes for the Lights
After all the pieces had dried it was time to drill the holes for the light bulbs. On an excel spread sheet I figured out how many lights I wanted on each board. I then used a permanent marker and put the correct amount of dots onto each board to tell me where to drill. I put 4 dots and the smallest piece, 9 dots on the second smallest, 14 and the third smallest, 17 on the next biggest, 23 and the next biggest one, and 25 and the biggest one. I found that 7/32 inch bit cut the right size hole for the light bulbs. So with the 7/32 bit I drilled out all 92 holes. After that I glued the two top pieces together and the two bottom pieces together. It would have been harder to glue them all together with some pieces being really small and other really big. After that I found that a 3/8 inch bit cut the right size hole for the light bulb socket. Before I drilled the 92 holes, however, I put my drill stop so that the holes would be drill a little more than halfway. Once I did that I drilled out all the 92 hole on the back side. It is very important that the back sides of all the pieces are drilled out, NOT THE FRONT!
Step 7: Clamping the Pieces Together/Putting the Lights On
After all the holes were drilled it was time to glue everything together. A while ago I made these clamps things out of some 2x4s and some hardware. These clamps make it so that I can keep the pieces flat while they're being glued together. To glue them together I put glue on a board and then put in the 2x4 clamps. I did each board one at a time until I had all the boards in the 2x4 clamps. Then I slightly tightened those clamps, but not super tightly! then I put on all the f-style clamps I had. After those were tight I finished tightening the 2x4 clamps. Once this was done I let it sit and dry for an hour.
Step 8: Pleasing to the Eye
After that I put on the lights. Sorry they're aren't any pictures of this process. There's not too much to explain. You just put the lights on in such a way that the extra cord is on the bottom. If one row at a time is done it will be much less complicated to make sure all the 92 lights fit on.
After the lights are on it's time to enjoy! I hoped you liked this project. It was really easy. I hope you try building it yourself!
Step 9: Christmas Tree Decorations!
What better way to decorate then with deer and bear Christmas tree decorations? The decorations are a gift to someone that loves hunting and I think they would make a great present. I did not sand them completely so that they would look more rustic. I think old wood and deer shapes look super cool! If anything doesn't make sense the pictures will help a lot.
Step 10: Decoration Outlines
The first step was finding all the designs I wanted to use. Once I got them on my computer I put them all on a word document. what I found out is that if you zoom up to 117% then this is the same size a regular pixel of paper, but still showing on your computer screen. This way you can make sure every decoration is the desired size before you print it out. I printed out 9 different designs.
If you don't want to take the time to find your own designs here is my file for all the outlines of the decorations I made:
Step 11: Pre-Cutting Step
Once the outlines were printed out I cut them out. They don't have to be perfectly cut out or anything. Then I found three pieces of wood of 3 different shades. Then I glued 3 design and the 3 boards with a glue stick so that I would get and even variation of wood shades.
Step 12: Cutting Out the Decorations
After all the designs were glued on it was time to cut out all the designs. I did this with my bandsaw. I first cut the decorations off of the whole board and then I cut out the individual decorations. Cutting out all 9 of these took a long time! It too me at least 2 hours to cut them out.
Step 13: Sanding and Shaping
After all of them were cut out I took off as much of the paper as possible and then sanded it with 100-grit sandpaper. I laid the sheet down and just rubbed the piece of wood in a circular motion. I did not completely sand it smooth. But I wanted it to be less rough. Then with a set of mini file I smoothed out all the burs and small spots where there was tear out. Just doing this step on all of the decorations will make them look much better.
Step 14: Applying the Finish
After I had sanded everything I began to apply tung oil to the decorations. To do this I put down an old sheet and a newspaper to protect the table. At first, I only used a paper towel to wipe on the tung oil, but soon found it nearly impossible to to get tung oil in between the antlers of the deer. I found a much better way. I used q-tip cotton swabs. These worked much better to apply tung oil in all the cracks and hard to reach places. this made the process of applying tung oil much faster and easier. PLEASE NOTE! While applying tung oil on one of the deer antlers I held it too hard and I broke the antlers. So I had to glue it back together. This was not too hard, but it took time that I could have been using on the next step.
Step 15: Painting the Eye Rings
All Christmas tree decorations need a way to hang them up, right? My decorations were no exception. To hang them up I took tiny eye-rings that I got from a kit of picture hanging hardware that I got from Walmart. The thing was, however, they did not match the wood. So to paint them, I used a dark brown metal looking spray paint. I stuck nine eye-rings into a piece of cardboard so that as much of the eye-rings and thread would be showing. Then I brought them outside and painted them with the spray paint. After this was dry, I sprayed it with clear lacquer. After that dried I sprayed it again. Then they were done!
Step 16: Attaching the Eye-Rings
Attaching the eye-ring were easier on some more than others. To drill the hole for the eye-rings I first made an indentation with the scratch awl so that the drill bit wouldn't wander when I drilled the hole. I used a drill bit that was slightly smaller than the eye-ring threads to drill the hole. There were a couple that I could not screw the eye-ring into because my fingers were too big. To solve this problem I taped the eye-ring to the end of a key, and then used the key handle to screw in the eye-ring. For one of the deer where the eye-ring would not fit in between the antlers I used picture frame hanging wire. I drilled two holes, one hole on the outside antlers. I used pliers to bend the wire so that it would be less noticeable. Be really careful doing this. The antlers of all the deer are very fragile and will break easily under pressure.
Step 17: Enjoying the Beauty
Putting on the eye-rings was the last step. After that all the decorations can be hung on the Christmas tree! I think they look really nice. Enjoy the beauty!
Step 18: 3D Printed Cookie Cutters Christmas Craft!
The third project I did was making Christmas cookie cutters as a gift to my sister. This might be the easiest project of them all. All that needs to be done is obtaining the design, editing and finishing the design on a 3D designing software, and then printing it out. To print it out I sent the file to the library near my house that has a 3D printer and they printed it out for me. I'm making these for my sister because she cut out the designs on paper, and then tried to cut out the cookie shapes by trying to trace the paper with the knife. Later she said it did not work at all and took forever. So I thought, as a surprise, that I would make her cookie cutters for Christmas! Hope you enjoy! If anything doesn't make sense the pictures will help a lot.
Here is the STL file of the finished design in case you want to print out your own!
Step 19: Getting the Design
To get the design of the cookie cutters I sneakily got the pieces of wax paper designs she cut out. Then, I used a pencil to make the edges darker. This was so that the scanner would pickup the design of the cutters. Then using my printer I scanned them onto my computer as a JPEG file or JPG.
Step 20: Transferring a Picture Into Tinkercad
To get the image onto Tinkercad I had to change the file to a SVG file. To do this I used the website Picsvg. The link is https://picsvg.com/ On the website I clicked on the "UPLOAD A PICTURE" button. Then when the files window popped up I clicked on the file that I had scanned and clicked "Open". There are different option for the picture. They are the "invert" settings. After I picked the option I wanted I clicked on the "DOWNLOAD SVG" button.
Once it was downloaded I went to Tinkercad and clicked on the "Import" button and clicked on the SVG file that I had just downloaded. Then before Tinkercad downloaded the file I changed the "center on " settings from "Artboard" to "Art", and the "scale" settings to "10". After that I clicked on the "Import" button and the SVG file was downloaded onto Tinkercad
Step 21: Fixing Errors in the Design
Once it was downloaded onto Tinkercad I had to get rid of some extra pieces that were there when I scanned it. To do this I clicked on the picture of the red cube and the right hand side of the screen and dragged in onto the work surface. Then on the settings for the cube I clicked on the "hole" button to turn the cube into a hole. Then I adjusted the size of the cube so that it was the same height as the other object and also made it smaller. Then I placed the cube over the extra piece so that it was completely covering the extra piece but no other pieces. Then I used the mouse and highlighted all the pieces. Then I clicked on the "Group" button in the upper right hand corner. This merged everything together and got rid of the extra piece.
Step 22: Adjusting the Size of the Cutters
After all the extra pieces were taken out I adjusted the design so that it would be the right size. I made the cutters 1 inch tall, 9.901 inches long, and 5 3/4 inches wide. You can make them whatever length you want, though.
Step 23: Exporting the Design--STL
After all the designing and editing was done I exported the file as an STL file by first clicking on the "Export" button and then clicking on the ".STL" button. Once it was downloaded, I emailed the file to the library and they printed it out for me.
Step 24: The Print
This is the cookie cutters after printing them out. I think they look great and will also work great!
Step 25: Smoothing Out the Burs
The only think that needed work was filing off all the burs that were left from 3D printing. To do this I used the files that I used for the Christmas Tree Decorations and my How To Make Plastic instructable. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Plast.... Using the files I sanded off all the thread-like burs that were sticking out everywhere. I wouldn't want to get pieces of tiny plastic in the cookies after all.
Step 26: Cookie Cutters and Final Thoughts
I think that must cookie cutters are made of metal and therefore stronger. So the one I made will be more liable to breaking. I think, though, that these will handle quite nicely.
Step 27: Christmas Tree Candles!
The fourth and last project that I made to decorate for the holidays were Christmas tree shaped candle holders. These a very easy to make. This is also a very simple project that could be done with minimal tools. The best part is they're super cute! I anything doesn't make sense the pictures should help. Hope you enjoy.
Christmas Tree Candles!
Step 28: Deciding on the Design
I went online and found a picture of a Christmas tree I liked. Then I put that image on a Microsoft Word doc and adjusted the size so that the tree would be about 5 inches tall and 3 3/4 inches wide. I printed four of them out. I had a piece of plywood that was about 1 foot by 1 foot. I cut out the trees and glued them on with a glue stick.
Here is the file with the tree outline I used to the right dimensions:
Step 29: Cutting Out the Trees
to cut out the trees I used my bandsaw, but a jig saw or comping saw would work too--they would just take longer. First I cut all the trees off of the board. Then I cut off the trees so they were on their own separate board. After that I cut out all the individual trees. This was a lot faster than cutting out all the Christmas tree decorations.
Step 30: Cutting a Hole for the Tea Candles
After that I had to cut holes in the trees so that the candles could fit in the center. To do this I first clamped all the trees together and then drilled a small hole in the center of the trees. After that I took them to the drill press and used a 1 1/2 inch hole saw to cut out the holes.
Step 31: Cutting Out the Bottoms of the Candles
After this I cut out the bottoms of the candles. To do this I got the piece of plywood that I cut the trees from and cut out 4 wood circular pieces using a 2 1/4 on the drill press. This was pretty easy and straight forward.
Step 32: Cutting Out the Tops of the Candles
After I cut out the bottoms I cut out the tops. To do this, I used the 2 1/14 inch hole saw and cut about half of the way through the piece of the board. Then I took the 1 1/2 hole saw and cut out a hole using the hole that the 2 1/4 hole saw made as a pilot hole. The picture should help to explain this. Then I used the 2 1/4 hole saw to finish the cut that it started at the beginning of this step. Doing this, I got rings.
Step 33: Sanding Every Piece
After all the pieces were cut out it was time to sand everything. To sand the top and bottom pieces I used my belt sander. The goal is to make them not sharp in any way. To sand the tree pieces I used a sheet of 100-grit sandpaper. To sand this, I rubbed all the tops and bottoms all over the sandpaper in a circular motion.
Step 34: Gluing Everything Together
After sanding, it was time for gluing everything together. To do this, I first put glue on the top piece, and then rubbed it on the bottom piece to move some of the glue onto the bottom piece. After that I put the top piece on the tree piece first, and then I put that onto the bottom piece. Before I clamped everything together I made sure the top and bottom circles. Then, I clamped it all together. I let it stay in the clamps for 30 minutes and then I glued the next candle.
Step 35: Painting the Trees
After all the candles were glued together it was time for painting! To do this, I put all the pieces on an old newspapers and put that on an old board. I first painted the bottom of the trees with green spray-paint. After that had dried I flipped them over and sprayed the tops. After that dried I sprayed the tops with one extra coat.
Step 36: Admiring the Art
After they're done drying, I put the tea candles in them. They look great! Also, the hole on the bottom of them makes it so that if the candles won't come out because they're too tight a stick can just be pushed through and the candle will come out. That's it for the tree shaped candles. I hope you enjoyed it.
Step 37: Final Thoughts
And with that all four holiday decor projects are done. I hoped you enjoyed reading this Instructable. I also hope that you trying building one of them for yourself. All of them are very simple to do, and they all look great!
Here are all the files of my designs: