Cut out these easy wood trees to create a forest for a kid's bedroom or playroom.
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Print out the template for the size of tree(s) you would like and for the leaves. Tape the template pages together and roughly shade the back with pencil. Adjust as needed to fit your space. Then lay the template on the pine board, making sure the tree pattern fits inside the edges of the board. Trace over the pattern to transfer the shape to the board.
Don't worry if there are knots in the wood -- the finished trees will look more realistic. Or, try a different grade of wood, such as white board, for even more knots. When cutting out your trees, don't worry about following the pattern exactly -- there is no right or wrong tree. Just have fun with this easy project.
Clamp your board to a work surface. The side you will be cutting first needs to hang over the edge, so you don't damage your work surface. Starting at the base, use a jigsaw to cut along the traced lines. Take your time, but don't worry if you don't follow the lines exactly. There are no right or wrong trees. When cutting the limbs, begin cutting from the outside in one direction down a limb; stop where it meets another limb or the trunk. Then, begin cutting again at another location to meet your first cut. To learn more about using a jigsaw, watch this video.
Sand all facing surfaces, starting with 80-grit sandpaper (don't worry about the back of the tree). Sand the edges to eliminate sharp edges and corners. You may have to use your hands and a folded piece of sandpaper to get into some of the nook and crannies. Repeat the process with the 120-grit sandpaper. You won't need to sand so aggressively during this step; you are primarily just softening the wood.
Pick the height you would like the peg to be and mark it close to the center of the tree. Place the board on a surface that can be drilled into, such as scrap wood, and drill a hole through the tree using a 1/2-inch drill bit. Put a dab of glue around the end of the peg and inside the hole, and then insert the peg. Wipe away any excess glue immediately so that it doesn't show up during the staining process. Let dry.
To finish the tree trunk, apply wood conditioner according to manufacturer's instructions. This will prevent the stain from looking blotchy. When the conditioner dries, apply stain with a foam brush. Follow manufacturer's instructions to wipe away excess stain and dry the piece. In a well-ventilated area, spray the tree with polyurethane following the manufacturer's instructions.
To make the leaf stamps, trace the leaf template onto scraps of wood. Clamp the wood to a work surface and cut out with a jigsaw using the same steps as above. Smooth the edges with sandpaper. Glue and clamp another piece of scrap wood to the back of the leaf to make a handle for the stamp.
To create the forest, first freehand draw the forest canopy with a pencil. Again, don't worry about perfection; just have fun. Hold the tree trunk(s) up on the wall to see how high your forest shape should be.
You may want to position each tree trunk over a stud, so that you won't need drywall anchors to screw into the wall when you attach the trunks.
Paint the sky area (we used Sea Kiss) with a paint roller and paintbrush. Let dry. (We used Kiwi Splash to paint the forest.) Let dry. You may need two coats of each color.
Once the background is painted, stamp on the leaves. Coat the leaf blocks with paint and stamp them to the wall surface. (We used Gecko for the dark leaves and Twist of Lime for the light leaves.) Brush paint onto the leaf stamp and press to the wall. You many find that you occasionally need to wipe off the stamps, depending on how many leaves you do. Try applying a light scattering of leaves and then check the look. Add more where you think they're needed. When stamping, the leaves will often have an uneven "stamped" look. We liked this look, but you can go over them a second time for a darker finish.
To attach the tree trunks to the wall, hold them in place and pre-drill two holes for screws roughly 11 inches from the top and bottom; countersink the holes. If you position your trees over a stud, simply drive the screws and attach the trunks. If you aren't hitting a stud, first gently mark the trunk's position, remove it, and place wall anchors into the wall. Reposition your trunk and drive the screws.