Merry (ALMOST) Christmas! I am so excited to share this tutorial on how to make Christmas trees from old wooden doors. These trees would be a great addition to any front porch, outdoor decoration display, or on a deck or balcony! In addition to this blog post, I have a story highlight on my Instagram feed with videos of the process. Check out all of the videos on my Instagram profile @livingonsaltwater
I saw a random inspiration picture for these trees on Pinterest (I couldn’t find the source, but someone said the picture was from @thefoundcottage).
To make these trees, you’ll need the following items:
- Solid Wooden Doors*
- 1x2s for trim 2×4 for tree trunk
- 2x2s for tree roots
- Paint for trees
- Skill Saw
- Miter Saw
- Sand Paper
- Wood Glue
- Nail Gun
- Tack Cloth
- Kreg Jig Pocket Hole Drill Kit
* (I used 2 different sized doors one was 31 inches wide and one was 26 inches wide. If you don’t have any doors lying around, check out Habitat for Humanity or local construction salvage. Make sure the doors are solid vs. hollow core doors.)
To start this project, we cut the doors into the tree shapes. The first step was to trim the door length. For the first door we cut off the top 2 square panels and for the second door we cut off the bottom 2 large panels. Then we used the 1X2s as a guide for the skill saw to cut the triangle shape. We cut the triangle shape so that we would get one whole triangle and then 2 triangle halves that we could put together to make another tree.
After we cut all the doors into tree shapes, I sanded the doors so I could distress them later and because some of the paint was peeling off.
After sanding the trees and dusting them off with a tack cloth, I painted the trees two different colors. Two of the trees were painted Kale Green by Sherwin Williams and the other two trees were painted Dark Everglade by Behr. I wanted two different shades to show dimension when the trees are all together. I mixed my paint with BBFrösch powder to give the paint extra durability. I knew these trees would be outside and in the elements and I wanted the paint to stand up to the weather and wear and tear. After painting the trees I slightly distressed them on the edges to bring a little more dimension to these pieces. I sealed the trees with a water based poly after distressing them.
The next step is to cut the trim pieces for the trees. I used a 2×4 for the trunk and cut about a 2 foot piece for each trunk. I used the 2x2s and cut 1 foot sections to use as the “roots” of the tree to stand each tree up. You will need 4 – 1 foot sections for each tree. Last, we cut the trim for the sides of the triangle from 1x2s. This part was a little tricky. I used an online calculator to find the angles for each point on the triangle (I should have retained some of that 9th grade geometry). The top angle was about 24 degrees and the bottom 2 angles were about 77 degrees. The miter saw is limited to the angle size it can cut, so we had to make a jig so that the saw could cut a small angle for these triangles. I used this YouTube video tutorial to help determine how to make the jig. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to do this part without the YouTube video and help from Mr. Living on Dry Land.
After all of the trim pieces were cut, I used the Minwax Expresso stain color to stain all of the trim. I like to use an old tshirt when I stain. I get the best results with an old cotton tshirt. I didn’t want these to be too dark, so I immediately wiped the stain off of the wood after application. I sealed the trim pieces with the water based poly.
For 2 of doors I need to paint a door knob, because the tree included the hole for the door knob. I spray painted a self-etching primer and then used gold spray paint for the new color for the door knob.
The last step is to assemble all of your pieces. We attached the 1×2 trim pieces with screws to the outside edges of the triangles. We did a counter sunk screw on the trim with a dark brass colored screw so that it would blend in with the stain. For the doors that were composed of 2 right triangles, we joined the 2 pieces by drilling pocket holes with a Kreg Jig. The tree trunk was attached with long screws onto the back of the tree. Then we used a nail gun to attach the “roots” to each side of the tree trunk. The roots were placed on each side of the tree trunk in the shape of a spiral. The last pieces to attach were the door knobs on the 2 trees that had holes. I use the door knob hardware to put each one in place. If your doors didn’t come with door knobs, you can also find these at Habitat for Humanity for cheap!
I hope this post inspires you to repurpose an old wooden door for your Christmas décor!