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Holiday Wood Trees

Holiday Wood Trees main article image
Posted on December 3, 2021 by Jan Hunter

Whether you find the wood in the scrap bin at your local home improvement store or elsewhere, these bits and pieces can add a special touch to your porch or front foyer holiday décor.

Simple triangle cuts of wood offer the basic shape for these trees.  This lovely lacy medallion from Creative Fabrica Crafts can be found here.

For the trees you’ll also need:

  • Wood
  • Walnut Stain (MinWax)
  • White acrylic paint (liquid for the wash and tube paint for the stencil)
  • 1” foam brush
  • Clean lint-free rags (an old t-shirt will work)
  • 2” wide paintbrush for acrylic paint
  • Disposable mixing cup
  • Disposable spoon
  • Water
  • Sandpaper (fine grit – 220 or higher
  • SCAL5 Pro
  • Inkjet printer
  • Ikonart Stencil Kit (blue silk screen material, inkjet film, light)

To finish the décor piece:

  • Crate, pail, wood box (drawer)
  • Styrofoam
  • Foliage options (pine, eucalyptus, and berry picks, brown sphagnum moss)
  • Lights (optional)
  • Hot glue gun

Let’s get started:

Prepare the wood.  Sand if needed and remove any sawdust so your wood surface is clean and smooth.  The bases of our slender trees are just slightly larger than 3 inches wide and are about XX tall.  The wood was cut originally from a 2 by 8 used for another project.

Stain the wood.  Apply a small amount of stain to one of the rags and wiping with the grain, apply the stain.  You can remove any excess with another rag.  Remember to wipe with the grain.  Let dry for several hours at room temperature. If you want a deeper color, you can apply a second coat, but that wasn’t necessary for this project featuring a weathered wood look.

Apply the white paint wash:  In the disposable cup, mix equal amounts of white paint and water (2 tsp of water and 2 tsp of paint were sufficient for the wood used in this project).  Stir until well mixed.  Using the 2” wide brush, apply a light coat of the watered-down paint.  Remove excess with a clean rag.  The wood should look like it’s been washed with paint but not have a solid coat.  Dispose of any excess responsibly.

Let the wood pieces dry for several hours.  We let it sit for 24 hours before the next step.  The wood should look a little weathered.

Lightly sand if needed.  Wipe clean

The lacy pattern used for this project reminds us of Battenburg lace.  It was selected for the stencil.  Again, you’ll find it here.  Open SCAL and select the SVG version of the file.  Make sure that the color is set to black.  Size as needed.  2 of the images were printed on the inkjet film.  One is slightly larger than the other.  Following the steps in this article, create the stencil.  Once the stencil has been post-exposed, you’re ready to use the stencils on the wood.  No extra coats of sealer were needed for this project, but you may want to do a test on another piece of wood to make sure a sealer isn’t needed to keep the paint from bleeding.

Remove the stencil backing. Apply the stencil to the wood as desired.  If needed, you can dampen a paper towel to activate the “tack” on the shiny side of the stencil.  The textured side of the stencil should be face-up on the surface.  Using a foam brush, apply some of the tube paint to the stencil.  You don’t need to press hard to get the paint through the stencil.  Lift the corner of the stencil to check for coverage, replace and apply a little more paint if needed.  Once complete, remove the stencil(s).  Do not let the stencils dry with the paint on them.  Have a tub of warm water available to let the stencils soak until you can rinse them out.  Use plenty of water to rinse and remove as much of the paint as possible.  You may have some staining on the stencil… and that is normal.

Repeat for each tree.

Arrange the trees as desired.  Using Styrofoam blocks you can stagger the heights of the trees a little more.    A couple of additional options for sharing are shown below.

If this inspires you to create something similar or go in a totally different direction, please share your ideas with us!  We love to see what you’re doing.

You’ll find Jan’s author page here with more ideas for holiday décor and you can check out her blog as well.

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