Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A 2X4 Christmas Tree

This is a fun and fairly inexpensive and quick Christmas Craft. It's great to do for a craft night, friends get together, or church function. The best part is everyone can individualize theirs to their style. You can change up the paint colors, whether you add paper or not, whether you antique yours or not, etc. You can also whip up a batch of these as neighbor Christmas gifts! I made these last year but didn't get around to posting about it until January... so I scheduled it to post this year so you would have the time to make them.
Mirror Makeover Three  
First off you will need a 6 foot 2X4. You will need to cut the following pieces:
1-4 inch piece for the trunk
1-12 inch piece
1-11 inch piece
1-10 inch piece
1-9 inch piece
1-8 inch piece
1-7 inch piece
1-6 inch piece
1-5 inch piece
Then take all the pieces but the 4 inch trunk piece and cut the sides at angles going in at 40 degrees.
Here are the pieces you will have cut. Just pretend they aren't painted yet, okay? Thanks.
2X4 Christmas Tree One  
2X4 Christmas Tree Two  
You will also need one star. I found some at Michael's and Joanne's both. They were slightly different so shop around until you find the one you like! You will also need one 18 inch dowel. I used 3/8 inch because that's what I had on hand, however next time I would go larger and do 1/2 inch.
Now mark the center of each piece you have cut. To do this I used a sharpie and just made a dot. The mark on the 4 inch trunk piece will go on the thinner side and not the wide side like the rest of them. On your star the dot will go in between the two points that you want facing down when the tree is complete.
2X4 Christmas Tree Three
2X4 Christmas Tree Four
 Now take a drill that is slightly larger than your dowel size and completely drill through all the pointed pieces. Then take the trunk piece and drill down about an inch. Then take your star and carefully drill down about 1/4 inch, further if you can manage without breaking it.
 2X4 Christmas Tree Five
  2X4 Christmas Tree Six
 Now round up the rest of your supplies which will be scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, hot glue, sand paper, paint, and foam brushes.
Take your trunk piece and your dowel and paint it any size of brown you desire. If you want your tree antiqued, once the paint is dry, give it a light sand.
2X4 Christmas Tree Seven
Then take all the pointed pieces and paint them any shade of green you desire. If you want them antiqued, once they are dry, give them a light sand as well. Let's pretend these are all painted and sanded, okay? Thanks. Once they are all painted and dry stack them up on top of each other going from largest to smallest.
2X4 Christmas Tree Eight
Grab your star and paint it any shade of yellow. If you want it distressed, go ahead and give it a light sand once it's dry. Sorry, I don't have a photo of this step.
Take your 4 inch trunk piece and hot glue the end of the dowel inside the hole you previously drilled.
2X4 Christmas Tree Ten
Then slide all the pointed tree pieces onto the dowel. Take your star and place it on the top of your dowel. If you need to cut your dowel down a little bit go ahead and trim it down, I just snipped mine down with scissors to the point where my star points sat and the top tree piece. Hot glue the star onto the top of the dowel.
2X4 Christmas Tree Nine
Now for the fun part. Grab your scrapbook paper and scissors or a paper cutter. Cut the paper to match the layers in the tree. Start with the bottom one first.
2X4 Christmas Tree Eleven  
Take your foam brush and your Mod Podge and adhere the paper to the coordinating piece on the tree. (During this project you can entertain your kids by having them make graham cracker gingerbread houses on the same table you are sitting at. Keeps them busy and you are spending time with them as well while getting a project done! Bonus!)
2X4 Christmas Tree Twelve
 Then add a layer of Mod Podge over the paper to protect it. Continue doing this on up the tree.
2X4 Christmas Tree Thirteen
For those of you who haven't worked with Mod Podge or have had trouble with it in the past, let me show you step by step the easiest and best way I think there is to do it. I'm going to show you on this piece right here.
2X4 Christmas Tree Fourteen
Grab your foam brush and dip it into your Mod Podge. You don't need a lot, that is the main mistake people make when using Mod Podge. When your paper bubbles it's because you have used too much not because you need to use more. The key is getting air to suction it to the surface using the Mod Podge. The best way to achieve that is to use a foam brush and dab, don't brush, your Mod Podge onto your surface. Leaving it uneven and bubbly. You want to completely cover the surface you will be adhering your paper to. (Yes, I'm wearing a penguin bandaid. I cut myself...I'm cool like that.)
2X4 Christmas Tree Fifteen
Then take your paper and place it on top of the Mod Podge. Press the paper down and smooth it from the middle to the edges. If your paper bubbles or the edges don't stick, chances are you've either used too much Mod Podge or you put it on smoothly so it didn't suction cup down with the air bubbles. Carefully lift your paper off, fix the Mod Podge, and do it again.
2X4 Christmas Tree Sixteen
Once the paper has been placed down and is smooth brush a light quick coat of Mod Podge over the top. Again, you do not want this to be a thick layer or the paper will ripple. Just a quick thin coat. (I put the first paper on and then go to the second one. After the second paper is on I go back to the first one and apply this coat to give the paper a little drying time. It isn't necessary, that's just how I do it, so the top coat I've applied here is on the paper below the one we just put on.)
2X4 Christmas Tree Seventeen
Repeat this with all of the pointed pieces. If you would like, add paper to the center of the star as well. Let the tree dry completely and you are done! If you don't want to add paper at all you can just leave your tree green as well.
Now display your awesomeness proudly! And stare at it every time you walk into the room. Because there is a dowel in the middle you can slowly turn your pieces to give it a wompy look like mine, or leave it straight up and down as well.
2X4 Christmas Tree Eighteen  
2X4 Christmas Tree Nineteen
2X4 Christmas Tree Twenty  
2X4 Christmas Tree Twenty One
Yep, it really is just THAT awesome! You'll catch yourself staring at it every time you walk into the room you've placed it in.

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