DIY Christmas Tree
This year we decided to change it up with our Christmas tree. Though the plastic tree we do have is 10+ years old, and is a hand-me-down from my mum, we make any effort to repurpose anything, to save purchasing new or throwing away.
Our love for nature is what called me to do this. The kids and I were outdoors walking along Lake Hawea and we were collecting rocks (something the kids love to do) and the whole lakefront was completely full of beautiful driftwood.
So we have opted for a Sustainable Christmas tree! Next I went on to Pinterest for inspiration. Choosing to make an eco-friendly natural driftwood tree, was teamwork all round from the family, and it was inexpensive, affordable, and easy to make.
Our driftwood DIY Christmas Tree alternative
What you need & Measurements:
Wood, sticks, or drift wood – you can use any sticks, it doesn’t have to be driftwood. We used 12-15 sticks in the end product – a few broke during the process so if you use driftwood or random sticks, maybe have some spare ones. Then laying them all out worked from the longest to the smallest (really depends on how large you want your tree.)
A metal rod (we used a reinforcing rod, our neighbours are building so went and asked the builders if they had any laying around), you can also sometimes find bits people are giving away free on facebook marketplace, or at your local wastebusters. Should be a quite stable one, so it doesn’t bend over from the weight of the wood, ours was 5mm in diameter and 100cm long). A drill and a drill bit for wood that has the same diameter as the rod (or smaller)
A base – either make your own with plywood and a saw or buy round wooden plates from a hardware store. We made ours from a block of fire wood lying around since winter, you can be as resourceful as you want. But make sure it has a flat base and is stable as you don't want your tree to topple over.
In the end our Christmas tree was the height of the length of the rod. And the actual Christmas tree, so just the part where the sticks are attached, is about 1 metre high.
Step 1 – Sort & Measure
First, we sorted our sticks by length and measured the middle and made a mark with a pen so we would know where the middle was. It doesn’t have to be exact. The kids sorted them by length so and we had the longest sticks at the bottom and the shortest ones on the top to create a typical Christmas tree shape.
Step 2 – Drill
Husband then just drilled holes into the marked spot so he could later push the metal rod through it. We tried to do this very carefully since some sticks were quite thin and some even broke when he drilled through them. But luckily we had loads of spare ones.
Step 3 – Sorting it on the rod
In the next step we literally just pushed the sticks through the whole onto the rod. That wasn’t always easy and he had to kind of knock them on by knocking the rod on to the floor and push onto the stick (and again a few sticks broke during this process), but at least they were secured tight and nicely onto the rod.
Step 4 attach rod to base
We used a piece of firewood, however you can make your own base by cutting circles out of plywood and then drilled a whole in the middle (same width as the holes in the sticks). It would probably also be good to use some glue but it wasn’t really necessary for us.
Star for the top - Our children created the Star of David with smaller sticks and glued the cute little star on the top. The last step is to just decorate the tree. Our children had made paper Christmas decorations at school and then we simply decorated them with fairy lights and foliage and pinecones.
There are many great ideas on Pinterest! For handmade eco-friendly Christmas decorations, get resourceful rethink, reuse and repurpose what you have in and around your home, and bring outdoors in, to decorate.