Free plans make these tabletop Christmas trees easy to cut out and assemble. Then decorate them with your choice of finishes.
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If you want to make both the 18-inch and 11-3/4-inch trees, print copies of pattern to use on the four 1/4 x 6 poplar boards. If you want only an 11-3/4-inch tree, trim the two copies of the pattern to fit the 1/4 x 4 boards.
For both an 18-inch and an 11-3/4-inch tree, cut four 18-inch-long pieces from two 1/4 x 6 x 48 boards. For one 11-3/4-inch tree, cut four 12-inch-long pieces from the 1/4 x 4 x 48 board.
If you plan to use a natural wood or stain finish, select boards with similar color and grain pattern.
Download and print two copies of the tree patterns. Cut around the dashed line and tape the pattern halves together. Gather the boards in pairs and use spray adhesive to temporarily fasten a pattern to one of the boards in each pair with the straight pattern edges flush with the edges of the boards.
Cut 2-inch-long pieces of carpet tape. As much as possible, position the tape on the underside of each board that has a pattern so it won’t overlap the pattern lines. Then remove the tape backing and stack the board with the pattern on top of another board. Press them together until the tape sticks.
Place a pair of boards on a piece of scrap wood and drill 1/2-inch holes where shown on the patterns. Then clamp a drilled pair of boards so it hangs over the work surface and use a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade to cut along the lines until they intersect with the holes. Reposition the boards as needed for support without accidentally cutting the work surface. Repeat for the other pair.
Separate the boards and remove the tape. Sand the cut edges smooth and wipe off any sawdust. Repeat as needed for the other tree or trees.
Carpet tape adhesive has quite a grip. If any adhesive remains on the wood, remove it with either denatured alcohol or mineral spirits.
Lay two matching tree cutouts from one of the pairs on a flat surface protected with foil or plastic sheets. Apply a thin bead of glue to one long edge, press it against the long edge of another piece, and use pieces of painter’s tape to draw the edges together. Then flip the pieces over and tape the opposite side. Place a light weight on the tree to keep it from warping as the glue dries.
Remove the tape from the previous step and sand off any dried glue that squeezed out. Glue the remaining two pieces, center them on the glue joint of the tree, and tape them in place at several locations. After the glue dries, sand or scrape off any that squeezed out.
Sand as needed to even the top ends of the pieces and level off the bottom so it stands straight on a level surface. Wipe off the surfaces and spray the finished tree with satin polyurethane or the paint color of your choice in several light coats. Repeat for the second tree.