Introduction: Christmas Trees From Pallet Wood | Holiday DIY
Deck the yard with some fun outdoor Christmas Trees! We made these merry and bright decorations from two old pallets we had lying around (along with some 2x4s leftover from other projects). Other than breaking down the pallets, this was SUPER easy.
And now, we’re going to show you how to make pallet Christmas Trees in just a few steps and a couple of days (to allow for drying time)!
- Wood glue
- Super glue
- Outdoor screws (2")
- Spray paint
- Wood stain
- Hack saw
- Miter saw
- Orbital sander
- Speed square
- Drill Driver
- Impact Driver
- Measuring tape
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Watch the Tutorial Video
We love to do tutorial videos, so we put this one together that shows the whole project. We reference a couple of timestamps throughout these instructions on things that are easier shown than told. We hope you enjoy making these awesome pallet trees!
Step 2: Break Down the Pallets
Gather the following tools and materials: pallets crow bar, hammer, magnetic bowl. Before you begin, be SURE to be gentle. Most pallets are pretty fragile, and you’ll want to have as much usable wood as possible.
- Tap the crowbar with the hammer underneath a plank of wood near where the nails are.
- Repeat until the pallet has been completely dismantled.
- Once the board is off, tap the nails out and place in magnetic bowl.
- Repeat this process at every joint on the board you’re working on.
- Gently rock the crowbar back and forth to pry the plank off of the pallet.
Step 3: Cut the Wood to Size
Gather the following materials: Miter saw (you could also use hack saw + miter box), 2”x4”s, Pallet wood
- Decide what shapes you want your trees to be.
Note: Here’s where you get to be a little creative! You can make the trees all the same height, different heights (like we did), and play with the overall shapes.
- Layout the wood on your 2”x4”s so you can be sure you have enough to make the shapes you want.
Note: We made the large green tree out of the front of one pallet, the blue tree out of the front of the other pallet, the red tree out of the scrappy leftovers, and had enough wood to make the bases out of the frame of the pallet.
- Cut wood to size using the saw.
Note: We provided a diagram in the photos of the measurements of each tree. For the specific cuts we did: Green Tree - Matching 45 degree cuts on each end to make the Vs
Blue Tree: 45 degree cuts on each end.
Red Tree: 90 degree cuts on each end
- Cut enough wood for your tree stands as well. For three trees, you'll want 12 pieces that are 16" long.
Step 4: Sand All of the Wood
Gather the following materials: all cut wood pieces, power sander.
- Sand all sides of every board so they will be safe enough to handle.
- Be sure to take care of any particularly rough spots on the boards, but don’t worry about having a fine finish.
Step 5: Paint the Branches
Gather the following materials: Spray paint, cut branches, drop cloth, sealant
- Lay your branches out on the drop cloth in a well-ventilated area.
- Spray paint both sides (leaving time to dry before flipping them over - see specific paint for dry times).
- Remember to seal the paint as well, as you’ll want them to last a long time outside.
Step 6: Stain the Trunks and Pieces for Stands
Gather the following materials: Stain (with poly), spare 2”x4”s, wood for stands from pallets
- Brush the stain on all wood that will not be covered in paint.
Note: Don’t forget to stain the tops and bottoms as well to protect the wood.
- Wipe off any excess stain.
- Let dry according to instructions on the can.
Step 7: Attach the Branches to the Trunks
Gather the following materials: painted branches, stained trunks, drill driver with drill bit, impact driver, outdoor screws (we used 2”), pencil, speed square.
We went in order of easiest to hardest on this part: red tree, then blue tree, then green tree.
- Starting at the top, place your board on the trunk.
- Pre-drill pilot two pilot holes in the board with a drill driver.
- Gently drive screws into your pilot holes.
- Continue down the tree until all branches are attached.
Tips for the Green Tree:
- The red and blue trees are pretty straightforward - just get the boards somewhere near the center. The green tree, however, required a bit more care.
- We used a carpenter’s square to mark the center line where each branch would attach so we would have a guide and could keep the two pieces lined up in the middle.
- We also used some spare 2”x4”s to support the outside edges of each branch as we put them on. You can see this in the video at 5:05 in the YouTube video.
- As the bottom is meant to be even, it's easy to use a spare board to help with the alignment.
Step 8: Make the Tree Stands
Gather the following materials: stained tree stand pieces (12 in total for three stands), drill driver with drill bit, impact driver, outdoor screws (we used 2”), pencil, bar clamps, spare piece of 2”x4”
- Stand the spare piece of 2”x4” on its end.
- Arrange the four pieces of the tree stand around it by aligning the ends of the stand pieces with an edge of the 2”x4”. (See picture and/or video at 6:00).
- Clamp boards in place.
- To keep things simple, we used a butt joint method to attach the four stand pieces together.
- Pre-drill to create two pilot holes in each board.
- Drive screws into the holes you just drilled.
- Repeat for the number of tree stands you need.
Step 9: Put the Trees in the Stands and Enjoy!
Participated in the