I totally am in love with Christmas.
I’m known to decorate in November, I have two full-size Christmas trees, and I have decorations everywhere – kitchen, bathrooms, kids rooms, you name it. 🙂
This year, we’ve been making a bunch of our own Christmas decor, and I don’t know why we haven’t tried this sooner!
Last week, we made a wooden star door hanger.
And, this week I’m so excited to share with you this tabletop buffalo check Christmas tree.
Wondering why of all of these Christmas projects?
Because we are collaborating with dozens of other bloggers in the Deck the Home Holiday Blog Hop, bringing you FIVE WEEKS of amazing holiday projects.
After you check out the buffalo check (see what I did there?!), scroll down to see all of the other projects in the Deck the Home hop this week!
The theme is wooden projects.
How to Make a Tabletop Christmas Tree
The tabletop Christmas tree is made out of plywood, and I painted on the buffalo check print. Pretty cool, right?! Below are the easy instructions so you can make your own wooden Christmas tree.
How to Make the Wooden Tree
To start, I sketched out an outline of a tree on some paper. Once I was happy with the design, I cut it out with some scissors and traced the cutout on some plywood.
Then I used my scroll saw and carefully cut out two trees from the plywood. (Seriously, if you love DIY, put a scroll saw on your Christmas list 🙂 )
Notice the center lines I made on the cutouts with my pencil. The shaded areas were marked for me to cut out so that the two trees could intersect with each other.
Here are the trees with the intersection slots cut out.
You can use our free template to do the same 🙂
How to Make the Wooden Star Topper
Next, I made the star topper using the same intersection method as the tree. I cut out two stars and cut a notch in the middle to allow them to join.
How to Make the Base of the Tree
For the base of the tree, I just layered three circular plywood cutouts, which were to be glued together.
The largest cutout (the lowest one) had a smaller circle cut out in the middle (making a ring shape). This extra cutout was to hide some batteries for an LED light string.
I did take some extra time to cut out a tree trunk (looks like an upside-down stool), but opted not to use it in the finished tree.
Now that all three elements were completed (base, tree and star), it was time for everything to be painted.
Here is the unfinished constructed wooden tabletop Christmas tree.
How to Paint Buffalo Check on Wood
To paint the wooden tabletop Christmas tree, I decided on a green buffalo check pattern. I absolutely LOVE plaid and I also love a challenge. The best part of this was you basically only needed two things – paint and painter’s tape.
Check out the video below to see how I painted the buffalo check pattern.
Painting the Buffalo Check Pattern
First, I highly highly recommend that you do at LEAST one practice piece before you start your real piece. Second, you’ll need 4 different paint colors. You’ll use your main color (green), you’ll use black, and then you’ll mix in-between shades.
Mixing your Paint
So first, you’ll want to mix your paint. I used four small cups and put green paint in one and black in another. Those two paint colors would be used as is.
You’ll take the remaining two cups and put your base color (green) in. Then you’ll add a little bit of black to each. Basically you want two shades in-between your base color and black. So, I went from green to dark green to very dark green to black.
You definitely want to make sure that you test the shades on your surface to make sure they look different enough.
First Coat for Painting Buffalo Check
Next, you paint your entire piece your base color. So, I painted my tree green. I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying process because well, I didn’t have all day 🙂
Second Coat for Painting Buffalo Check
After your base coat is dry, you will take your painter’s tape and start making vertical stripes with it. There’s an easy way to do this, and that’s by using a piece of painter’s tape as your spacer.
So, you’ll take a strip of tape and place it on the edge of the tree going left-t0-right. You’ll push this piece down.
Then, you’ll put another piece of tape right next to this one. Don’t press this down – this is your spacer.
You’ll take a third piece of tape and place that down. Push that one down.
Next, remove the second piece – the spacer – and place that on the other side of the third piece, without pushing it down.
You’ll take a fourth piece and push that one down.
Remove the spacer piece before to use on the other side. Continue this way – using the spacer piece as your guide until you reach the end.
Once you have your tape in place, take your second color (dark green) and paint the areas not covered by tape.
When painting, use a brush and DAB on the paint. Do not use brush strokes because the brush hairs will get under the tape. So, just lightly dab on the paint until you have full coverage.
You can remove the tape – and let it dry without the tape.
Third Coat for Painting Buffalo Check
This time you are going to do horizontal stripes.
Start at the top of the Christmas tree and lay down one piece of tape. This time the first piece will be your spacer.
So after you lay down the second piece of tape (pushing this one down), remove the first one. Continue to use the first piece as your spacer.
Once the tape is down, use your third color (very dark green) and dab the paint on. This will feel kind of weird – because it seems like you are painting over all your hard work. However, keep going and you will get the results you want.
Do NOT remove the tape this time. Let it dry with the tape on. The last coat of paint will go on over this tape.
Fourth Coat for Painting Buffalo Check
Yay – last coat!
This is part is a little tricky. You are going to put down vertical stripes again – but you have to line them up perfectly with how you laid down the first round of tape.
That’s why we used the spacer piece.
So if you’re perfectly laying the spacer piece down both times, you’ll have no problem.
However, I recommend using a very bright light. If you aren’t working under a very bright light, have someone hold their phone up with the flashlight on – so you can see the lines through your paint. This way, you will see if you are laying the tape down right.
So, just as we did before, lay down the first piece of vertical tape. Push that one down.
Put the spacer down as the second piece.
Lay down your third piece of tape. Push that one down and remove the spacer before.
As you are working, try to make sure you are accurately laying the pieces down, just as you did before.
Last, peel off all of the tape (you don’t have to wait for it to be dry) and you’ll be amazed with the beautiful buffalo check pattern!
Painting the Star & Stand
You’ll also want to give your star and stand a coat of paint. I used regular acrylic colors and then some glittery gold metallic paint on top.
Here’s the completed star:
Gluing all the pieces together
Once all the pieces have been painted, I applied some wood glue and assembled everything together. Here is the final result!
I love to tell you how much I spend on each of these crafts! This is another ZERO dollar project.
Scrap plywood, painters tape from the garage, and acrylic paint from the craft room! I haven’t taken a trip to the hardware or craft store at all during the Deck the Home Blog Hop. 🙂
So if you have these materials too, what are ya waiting for?! Make your own buffalo check 3D FREE tree 🙂
And if you have a string of lights laying around like we do (from a robot scarecrow we made last year), you can even light your tree up.