This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in October 2013.
The wooden trees used in my Christmas mantel design for the Blogger Challenge with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and HGTV Holiday House are my most favorite of the handmade details, made entirely of cut poplar and birch boards. Here, you’ll find the how-to steps for these simple trees.
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Using a ruler and a handsaw, I planed and cut the length of each board to achieve a staggered effect with different widths of boards, forming the shape of a tree.
The cut boards were then sanded and hot glued to a dowel cut to length (mine were designed to be 8–12″ in height, but feel free to go higher or lower depending on your available mantle space).
I glued the boards one by one at slightly different angles for a subtle branchy effect, a super easy-to-do touch that added dimension.
For more color, I might have painted or stained the branches or attached colorful ornaments, but to maintain consistency in my theme, I kept the wood natural and the accents simple, adding strands of gold ribbon — more of a thin rope, really — around the tree as a modern, eye-catching detail. To allow my materials to go further, I didn’t wrap it all the way around the tree, but I cut long strands and glued the ends to the backside of the boards. This helped me position them where I wanted, and more importantly, I was able to secure the details in place.