How To Make a DIY Pallet Christmas Tree - Backyard Boss
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How To Make a DIY Pallet Christmas Tree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you’re a holiday lover, the holiday season is a magical time full of brightly colored lights, festive Christmas carols, and joyful decorations. If you’re looking for a fun way to add some extra holiday cheer to your outdoor décor this season while sticking to a tight budget, we have an adorable project for you to consider.

In this guide, we’re going to break down how to make a pallet Christmas tree step by step. These rustic wooden trees are easy to make, requiring nothing more than a free pallet and basic tools. The best part? It can easily be customized to match any style or size of space.

Grab a cup of eggnog and get ready to tap into your creative side as you make your own rustic pallet tree.

You Will Need

  • A wooden pallet
  • Nails to attach the base
  • Crowbar
  • Hammer
  • Jigsaw
  • Pencil
  • Large ruler
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Assortment of ornaments and lights
  • Safety Gear

The best part about this DIY decoration is that the only cost associated with making them is the cost of the nails for the base of your tree. Wooden pallets can be found in many places for free including on the side of the road, by the dumpster at your local mall, or in front of warehouses and manufacturing facilities.

Step One: Break Down One Side of Your Pallet

pile of pallets sitting next to a warehouse
Image Credit: majorosl on Canva

To make your tree, you will need to remove all the pallet boards on one side. This can be done using your crowbar and hammer, carefully prying each of the boards free from the inner support beams, or by cutting the nails that hold them in place. If you did choose to cut the nails, carefully remove any nail heads or nail fragments from the pallet that you will be using.

After you have revealed all three support beams, lay the pallet with the pallet boards down, support beams facing up. To remove the outer support beams, carefully cut along the inside of each beam. This will leave you with the base of your Christmas tree – a single center support beam and the horizontal boards from one side of the pallet.

Step Two: Cut Your Tree Shape

a man wearing a hard hat cutting wood with a jigsaw
Image Credit: Elnur on Canva

Turn your pallet over so that the support beam is underneath. Remove the bottom board from your pallet to reveal your tree trunk. To plan out your tree shape, start by making a mark at the very top center of the support beam. With your large ruler or some other straight edge, draw a straight line from the top mark to each of the two bottom corners.

Carefully cut along the two lines using power tools such as a jigsaw (as recommended above) or circular saw. You will be left with a series of boards in a large triangular shape to represent the branches of your tree and the support beam at the bottom, where you removed the board, as the tree’s trunk.

Step Three: Build Your Tree Base (Optional)

person applying wood glue to wood
Image Credit: AlexeyBorodin on Canva

Whether or not you need to do this step will depend on how you choose to display your pallet trees. The base will allow your tree to be placed anywhere in your yard as a freestanding decoration. However, some holiday lovers prefer to place their pallet wood tree on the porch for the holiday season, leaning up against the wall of the house. If this is how you plan on decorating, you can skip this step and move on to step four.

The base for your pallet Christmas tree is very simple to assemble. Take two of the boards that you removed from the original pallet and assemble them into a cross. Cut a smaller square to attach to the bottom of each side of the top board so that all four corners of your cross rest securely on the ground. This can be done either using nails or strong wood glue. If you are using wood glue, give your new stand time to dry. Secure the trunk of your tree to the top of your base and your tree is ready to be decorated.

Step Four: Paint or Stain Your Pallet Wood Christmas Tree

pallet wood being painted blue with a paintbrush
Image Credit: frederikloewer on Canva

Before pulling out all your festive decorations, it’s time to paint or stain your pallet wood Christmas tree. Take a moment to consider the final look that you are hoping to achieve. If you prefer a more natural look, there are many beautiful stain options. Try painting your tree with an antiquing effect to give it some rustic charm. For those that have a specific color palette or theme to their holiday décor, you can easily paint your tree to compliment the rest of your outdoor decorations.

Check to see if your pallet has been stamped with any markings. If you plan on using white paint or another lighter color and these stamped letters are present, you may need to consider priming your tree first.

There are many different types of paint that you can use to achieve different effects and results, including painting your tree with a paintbrush and acrylic paint or, the faster solution, using spray paint to quickly coat your tree in a bright color. Take precautions, as necessary based on the type of paint you use, to protect yourself from dangerous paint fumes.

Step Five: Time to Decorate

metal star ornaments hanging on a white pallet tree
Image Credit: Cristina Cojocaru on Canva

Finally, it’s time to get creative and express your personality by decorating your pallet Christmas tree. Drape a string of lights in and around the branches to give your tree a rustic glow. If you are concerned about keeping your lights in place, you can always use a staple gun to attach lights to the boards. Make sure to leave the power cord in a place where you can easily access it.

If you feel as though your tree is still missing ‘a little something’, try hanging a few simple ornaments from its branches. Alternatively, you can create small wood ornaments that can be attached directly to the front of your tree with wood glue. Another fun option to dress up your tree is to add ribbon, tinsel, or garland. When you’re happy with the end result, display your tree for all your visitors to see!

Decorate This Holiday Season with Custom DIY Pallet Christmas Trees

Celebrate this holiday season with a beautiful tree made from pallet wood and decorated to match your other outdoor decorations. This fun DIY project can add a pop of color to a whimsical porch display or a rustic accent to a more traditional decorating theme. The options are limited only by your imagination. Your newest addition is sure to bring a little joy and holiday cheer to your friends and family every time that they come to visit.

Are you going to add a DIY pallet Christmas tree to your holiday décor this season? If so, we would love to hear about your plans and tree ideas in the comments!