The plan is to use this as our advent calendar in years to come. I have printed out little notes for each day, with a fun activity written on the inside. As the days pass, the notes will be replaced by baubles one by one until xmas eve, when the tree is complete. I can see this becoming a cherished xmas tradition in our little household!
If you want to make your own, you'll need the materials listed in the top image. I wanted to make my tree 1.5 metres tall, so I cut the thickest dowel to this length. I cut the top at a 45 degree angle, to make it look a bit more elegant. I then cut the thinnest dowel into pieces measuring 70, 60, 50, 40 and 30 cm respectively (two of each length) to make "branches". Next, I measured out and marked the placement of the branches on the tree trunk. I started 10-15 cm from the top and spaced them about 10 cm apart. I placed them at right angles to each other, but the original tree that I saw had a more random placement. Do what you think looks nice!
Then comes the fun part. Errrr... Make that the f***ing difficult part. Drilling holes in the thickest dowel, to accommodate the branches. I'm pretty handy, so I figured this was going to be really straight forward. Not so. Seriously, my attempt resulted in the most outrageous swearing fit ever heard south of the Arctic Circle. I clamped the darn thing in place, I attempted to pre-drill a small hole... but no. I just could not do it. In the end, I was rescued by a friend who works at a school and has access to a woodworking workshop complete with all sorts of wonderful tools. I handed her the rock hard piece of
So... let's assume that A) you've managed to drill the holes yourself, or B) you've persuaded someone else to do it for you. Either way, you now have 10 holes in your mighty rod – into which you will now place the pre-cut lengths of thinner dowel. Starting with the shortest pieces at the top and working your way down.
Next you need to make the base. I cut two pieces of my plank to about 40 cm length, and two smaller pieces about 6 cm long. I used the hole saw to cut a 35 mm hole in the middle of one of the longer pieces. I then placed this on top of the other piece at a 90 degree angle, and screwed them together. The shorter bits were attached to the ends of the top piece, so that the whole thing would be stable.
Finally, I slotted the base of the tree trunk into the hole in the base (having applied a generous amount of wood glue first), and used a long screw (from the bottom up through the base and into the dowel) to fix it firmly. I sanded the tree and gave it two coats of white paint, but you could leave it unpainted if you like the natural look.