What is it about pallet wood?
It’s utilitarian and rough and nail-holed and simple and totally on the bottom rung of the wood hierarchy….
…..along with paint sticks and wood shims.
But there’s just something about it.
Something about the texture and character and dings and dents.
And all that character.
And when it’s planed and sanded and cut and shaped and created…that rough, nail holed, over-looked and under appreciated piece of wood….
…becomes a thing of beauty.
(total aside: you know I filed this away for a story).
Maybe that’s what makes me smile every time I see a pallet wood project.
I love an underdog….
….and I was rooting for it all along.
Pallet Wood Christmas Tree
pallet boards or reclaimed lumber
nails (or you can use a nail gun)
Step 1: Disassemble the pallet
Remove the pallet boards from the pallet and rip each board down the middle.
Each board will then measure approximately 2 1/2″ wide.
(total aside number 1: you don’t have to use pallet wood for this project. You could use paint sticks or yard sticks or even random sticks from your yard.)
Step 2: Cut out a piece of plywood 18″ x 18″
Lay the pieces of pallet wood end to end and stagger them like bricks.
Glue the pieces of pallet wood down.
Then nail each piece in place.
Step 3: Trace a basic outline of a Christmas tree
We went old school. Triangles and straight lines and all that.
Draw a series of triangles and straight lines to create a tree that is 16″ tall and 12” wide on a sheet of paper. You could also draw a smaller tree and take it to a copy shop and have the shape enlarged.
Then trace the tree on top of your plywood which now has rows of pallet wood glued and nailed on to it.
Then cut out your tree that you’ve traced with a jig saw.
You will cut through the plywood and the pallet wood together at the same time.
This is what the back of the tree looks like with the plywood side facing up.
Step 4: Frame the cut-out of the tree
Frame out the tree shape with pallet wood.
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Just measure and cut pieces that fit around the edges.
Sometimes they won’t line up exactly perfectly.
Character is perfect for a pallet wood tree.
Because of the points of the tree….you will need to cut some of the pallet boards at an angle to form the edges (as shown).
Then nail the boards in place.
Sand the tree thoroughly to make sure you knock down all the rough edges.
Then finish it with wax or polyurethane.
You could make a smaller version and a larger version.
My brother actually made one that was almost 5 feet tall for Whole Foods.
The possibilities are endless.
Here’s to the underdogs….
…..and the little tree that could. 🙂