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Sandpaper Squares Christmas Tree

Stack squares of sandpaper on a spindle for an easy-to-make tabletop tree decoration.

Tabletop tree made from sandpaper squares

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Drill and 1/4-in bit
  • Utility knife
  • Metal straightedge or ruler
  • Hole punch
  • Fast-set epoxy


  • 6-in cork plant saucer, #133169
  • 1/4 x 48 poplar dowel, #19377
  • 60-grit sandpaper, 9-in x 11-in sheets, pack of 15, #83798
  • Wood smokestack, #423539
  • Moving box, #118595

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

From the package of sandpaper, mark off squares on the backs of the sheets in the following quantities and sizes: 12 at 6 inches, 12 at 5-1/2 inches, 10 at 5 inches, 10 at 4-1/2 inches, 9 at 4 inches, 8 at 3-1/2 inches, 7 at 3 inches, 6 at 2-1/2 inches, 5 at 2 inches, and 4 at 1-1/2 inches.

Good to Know

Combine sizes on a single sheet to get the most from each piece of sandpaper. For example, combining the 5-1/2-inch and the 3-1/2-inch squares on a single sheet uses nearly all of the sandpaper.

Step 2

Squares of sandpaper
Change utility knife blades as needed to ensure clean, crisp edges on the sandpaper.

Place the sandpaper on a safe cutting surface and use a utility knife and straightedge to cut the squares in each size. From the moving box, cut strips 1-1/4 inches wide. Then cut 1-1/4-inch squares from each strip. Make 90 cardboard squares to have a few extras on hand.

Step 3

Drill a 1/4-inch hole through the cork saucer at the center. Cut a 12-inch section from the dowel and glue it in the hole using epoxy.

Step 4

Make holes in the centers of the sandpaper squares
When the pencil becomes too blunted from contact with the sandpaper, simply resharpen it.

On one sandpaper square of each size, draw an X at the center. Use a sharp pencil to make a small hole at the mark. Use this piece as a template to mark the centers of the remaining squares of each size. Now push the pencil through the centers of the sandpaper squares. Use a hole punch to make holes in the centers of the small cardboard squares.

Step 5

Organize the sandpaper squares by size. Starting with the 6-inch squares, place them on the dowel while alternating their orientation and placing cardboard squares between pieces. Continue adding sandpaper squares in descending sizes and cardboard spacers until you reach the top of the spindle, occasionally pressing the stack down toward the cork base.

Step 6

At the top of the dowel, place a small amount of epoxy. Center the wood smokestack on the tip of the dowel and hold it in place by hand until the adhesive sets.