Christmas Trees Made from Scrap Wood Moulding

My dad was the quintessential handyman who never paid someone to do things, instead learning how to do it all himself. Car repair, roofing, tree trimming, window replacement, deck building, plumbing, electrical… even building an entire garage nearly single-handedly– my dad did it all.

About 20 years ago, my dad totally gutted and remodeled the entire kitchen in the little 1960s ranch home where they lived for most of my life.

His remodel included custom building and installing all new solid oak cabinets, new window and door trim, new baseboards, and a chair railing. It was truly impressive.

This fall, we finally listed the house for sale after my parents’ passing. The first day on the market, we had multiple showings and multiple offers. The buyer whose offer we selected included a letter stating that he could see the love and craftsmanship my parents had poured into their home. I’m sure that kitchen was a part of what made such an impression.

After we cleared out the last things from the house, there was still quite a stockpile of scrap wood odds & ends that my dad had stored up in the rafters of the garage. I kept looking at them, thinking that it would be a shame for them to get tossed in a dumpster, and finally just decided to have my husband pull them all down and load them in the Jeep to take home. Then, I’d figure out what to do with them.

Scrap Moulding & Trim

Here it is, all lined up in my garage. 😂

Once we got it all down, it became clear that a great deal of it was leftover trim and moulding pieces. Some were leftover from the chair railing that lined the kitchen and hall. Some were baseboard trim, some door casing, and some trim and edging pieces from the actual cabinets themselves.

There were even some fairly decent-sized pieces of solid oak left from building the base cabinets.

An Idea

After we got it back to our house, I spent some time just looking at it, brainstorming what I might be able to do with it. That’s when the idea of making Christmas trees occurred to me.

I liked the idea, because there was enough trim pieces there to make a few trees–enough for me to have a set for myself, plus make a set for each of my kids. As a Christmas decoration, it would be something we could set out year after year, as a way of including memories of my parents, and my childhood home, in our Christmas traditions. 💕🎄

Cutting

My husband got out his miter saw, and adjusted it to cut 45 degree angles. I had a picture in my mind of how the trees should look, so I gave him the measurements for each piece, and he did the sawing.

I mixed and matched different trim pieces of different textures and widths, and just experimented until I got the look I wanted, even using the back side of some pieces, because I liked the varying textures and ridges.

We made six trees altogether, and no two are alike.

Assembly

The tree trunk stand is also made from oak scraps from the top of Dad’s garage.

Even the tiny finish nails that I used to attach the trim pieces to the “trunk” are Dad’s. Plus, I used Dad’s hammer to assemble the whole thing. ❤️

We cut small square bases from Dad’s scrap wood to make the stands.

And then drilled a screw up from the bottom, through the square base and into the “trunk”. We also used a bit of Gorilla glue for extra stability between the base and trunk.

Paint

When all 6 trees were assembled and the glue was dried, it was time to paint them.

The two I’m keeping for myself, I decided to paint white. I dipped just the very tips of the bristles of a chip brush in the paint, and dry brushed it on lightly.

For my kids, I used a mixture of colors, again brushing on lightly with a chip brush.

Sanding

When the paint was completely dry, I moved the trees back outside, and gave the paint a rough sand to distress the trim pieces and highlight some of the ridges in the wood.

Staining the Base

Then, I used this little can of gray stain that I’ve already gotten so much use out of for other projects, and stained the base. I applied, and then wiped it off with a rag, like I did for my floating frame project. This way, more of the wood grain shows through.

Mod Podge

As a finishing touch, I printed out a picture of my parents’ kitchen, and a label indicating that all of the materials to make these trees were leftover from that project.

My hope is that these trees will be around for a very long time, maybe even passed down to future generations. No matter where they end up, whomever has them will know that they aren’t just any old trees from a craft sale or something, but that they are very special trees, made from a tiny bit of a very special house. 🏠

I’d be so grateful if you’d subscribe to my blog using your email, so you don’t miss a post. You can also follow me on social media. 💕🎄

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Resources:

Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Interior Wood Stain, 1/2 pint, Classic Gray

FolkArt Multi Satin Finish Acrylic Craft Paint Set 

Pro Grade – Chip Paint Brushes – 24 Ea 1 Inch Chip Paint Brush

Mod Podge Water Based Sealer

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10 thoughts on “Christmas Trees Made from Scrap Wood Moulding

  1. Niky, I just love your Christmas trees made from your dad’s old moldings.
    Your dad’s do it yourself attitude reminds me of my own father.
    And your story brought tears to my eyes.
    I’ve featured you in this week’s Friday with Friends post!
    Thank you for contributing, and I hope to see you this week.
    Hugs,
    Rachelle

  2. These are really cute! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I especially love what they mean to you and your family as a memory from your parents. What a great idea. Have a wonderful weekend Niky!

  3. This is so cute! I’ve always wanted to know how to make one. I purchased a version of this but it’s glued to a board and framed. And my latest purchase is a 7 foot tall old shiplap tree. It’s quite the wowza and I love it but want a few smaller trees so this came just in time. When I show off the 7 foot version, can I link to your post for a mini version? Great job! Pinned and thanks for linking up at Farmhouse Friday!

    1. Cindy, I can’t wait to see more of your 7 foot shiplap tree. I’m drooling imagining how wonderful that will be! And yes, by all means, please share a link to my trees– I would LOVE to be a part of what is sure to be an amazing post about your “wowza” tree! 🎄 Thank you!

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