Dead Tree, 37 Gifts




Introduction: Dead Tree, 37 Gifts

Our backyard pear tree that gave us pretty flowers in the spring and beautiful fall leaves didn't survive the California drought. Getting rid of all the branches, logs and twigs became a fun craft project instead of a dreaded trip to the trash. The hard work was chopping down the tree, but we were left with plenty of wood that we could turn into many Christmas decoration gifts. From this one tree we made 10 snowmen, 12 reindeer, 30 candle sticks, 14 candle stick bases and 5 wreaths.

Step 1: Supplies

A chopped down tree

Wood glue

Chain saw


Band saw or chop saw


yarn or material

Wood doweling

Any decorations: leaves, flowers, pine branches, ribbon or fake snow

Step 2: Snowman

Three log slices make up the body of the snowman.

Use a saw to create a flat surface where the two log slices match up. Between each slice drill a hole to glue in a piece of doweling. The glued doweling will hold the slices together.

The hat is made from a smaller log slice and a section of a branch. Make a flat spot on the head for the brim of the hat to sit on. Once again you can use the dowel to hold the hat on. Make the hole in the brim of the hat just a little bit bigger so it can slide down the dowel. Glue the top part of the hat to the dowel.

The nose is made from a piece of doweling sanded down and painted orange to look like a carrot. Use wood glue to secure the nose on the face.

Small branch slices painted black make up the buttons.

Now make your snowman come alive by painting on a face, adding a scarf and a ribbon hat band. Small branches fit into drilled holes make great arms.

Step 3: Reindeer

Larger branches make up the body and the head of the reindeer. Five smaller branches make up the neck and legs. The smallest branches make antlers.

To make pointy ears slice a medium branch at an angle.

To assemble the deer find a drill bit the same size as the branches you are using. This may require the use of different drill bits. Figure out where you want you legs and neck and drill holes into the body.

Slide the legs and neck into the hole you drill into the body and glue in place. Drill a hole in the head and glue to the top of the neck.

Drill two more holes it the head for the ears and glue the into place.

The tail was made from a cut out section from a log slice. Use a small piece of doweling to hold it in place.

The antlers are glued into holes drilled into the top of the head. Small branch slices painted black and glued into place make up the eyes.

A small red Christmas ornament makes a great nose. This reindeer has a bell for decorations but a scarf or ribbon can also be used.

Step 4: Candlestick and Base

Find branches that are 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches across. Go crazy and cut different lengths of branches. The more unique the branches the more interesting the candle stick.

Once you have the length you desire find a drill bit to match the width of the tea lights you plan to use. Battery operated would probably be the safest.

Drill a hole into the top of the branch. Fit your tea light into the hole.

A log slice make a great base for your candles to sit on.

Step 5: Wreath

You will need about 24 log slices to make this wreath. These log slices are about 2 1/2 inches across. Figure out how big you want to make your wreath and cut a plywood ring to glue the log slices onto.

Two rows of log slices makes a nice wreath. Little branch slices can be glue on to add some variety. Two little snowmen decorate this wreath but there are many different way you can decorate.

The little snowmen are made just like the bigger snowmen.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

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Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I agree with doo da great job recycling but really I voted because there just so darn cute.

    doo da do
    doo da do

    3 years ago

    Gotta love the recycle part, and they look nice. Good job

    Cats Dragon
    Cats Dragon

    3 years ago

    Very nice ideas. I like all of the options also. Voted.


    3 years ago

    Very very cute! What a great idea! I made a Christmas Tree from a branch and that was fun. I can do this too! Thank you for sharing. Voted! Good luck!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you for the vote. I hope you have fun making these too.