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How to Build a Wood Christmas Tree Using Shiplap

The first Christmas here at the ponds, my husband built a wood Christmas Tree using reclaimed shiplap. We placed it on our screened porch and It has been a perfect addition to our Farmhouse style. I DECIDED TO SHARE ALL THE DETAILS, because I get so many questions about the tree.

Today I’m sharing a step by step tutorial on How to Build a Wood Christmas Tree using Shiplap boards. This is an easy project to create a unique farmhouse style tree.

Don’t worry if you don’t have reclaimed wood, because I’m sharing how you can age new wood at the end of this tutorial.

Materials Needed to Build a Wood Christmas Tree

This tree measures 62 inches tall from the bottom block to the top of the center pole. We place our tree inside a vintage iron pot with legs, and therefore it measures slightly taller when assembled.

You will want to determine the container you plan to use prior to beginning this project. The container size will determine the exact amount of materials and lengths needed for your wood tree.

Caution: Choose a container that will be heavy enough to hold the tree steady. It is crucial because the heavy wood can easily tip over a container that is not substantial enough.

Boards in different sizes for a shiplap Christmas Tree
Shiplap for Wood Christmas Tree

The shiplap boards used on this tree are 5 1/2 inches wide.

Cut boards

  • 3 of each size – 34″ long, 31″ long, 25″ long, 22″ long, 16″ long, and 13″ long
  • 2 of each size – 10″ long and 5 1/4″ long

You will need a 4×4 post to cut – 9 – 2 1/2″ blocks

Use a 6×6 Post and cut 1 – 4″ high block

One 3/4″ PVC Pipe approx. 55 1/2 inches tall (note: a narrow piece of wood was inserted into the PVC Pipe to prevent bending. If you have a hardwood 3/4″ round dowel rod, you can substitute for the PVC pipe.

Cut wood pieces

First, cut all the wooden pieces to the correct size, using a miter saw to create clean edges. If needed, you can lightly sand the edges with a fine grit sandpaper. Cut all boards based on the above dimensions or measurements determined by your container size.

Use a miter saw to cut the different wood lengths for a shiplap Christmas Tree.

Drill Holes

Next, drill a 1 1/4 ” hole in the center of each cut board and 4×4 post using a cordless drill or drill press . In addition, drill a shallow hole into the center of the 6×6 post. This hole is just deep enough for the PVC pipe to rest inside. You can drill approx. 1/2″ deep.

As a reminder, the hole should be larger than the PVC pipe, because this will allow for any swelling of the wood and for ease of assembly.

Drill a center hole for the Shiplap Christmas Tree

Assemble the Tree

Now, place the 6×6 post inside the container and level the post so that the tree will be balanced.

Next, place the PVC pipe into the shallow hole of the post and start adding the shiplap boards to the pipe. Be sure to begin with the longest boards as you add them to the pipe.

Adding a center post to hold the shiplap christmas tree together.  Wood Christmas Tree

With most containers, the first board will be resting on top of the container rim and will help to steady the pole.

Set up for a wood christmas tree

Stagger the Shiplap Boards Placement

In order to balance the tree, be sure to stagger the placement of each board as you can see here in the photo.

How to set up a Shiplap Christmas Tree made from Wood

Add dividing blocks

Because you want to create space between the different size boards, add one of the 4x4x2 1/2 divider blocks between each size change.

How to make a wood Christmas Tree. Shiplap Christmas Tree

You will continue in this manner until all the boards are placed on the pole.

How to make a wood Christmas using shiplap

Continue to stagger the board placement so that the tree will be balanced and be shaped similar to a Christmas Tree.

How to make a Shiplap Christmas Tree using wood.

Once all the boards are in place, you will have a small section of pipe above the blocks and shiplap. I add a metal star that slips over the exposed pipe as a tree topper however, you can shorten the pipe before assembly if you prefer less pipe exposed.

Shiplap Christmas Tree made of wood
How to age new Shiplap (optional)

First, in order to age your new shiplap, I recommend staining the wood with a grey oil based stain such as, Minwax Penetrating Classic Gray. Allow the gray stain to penetrate and dry.

Next, add a white washed appearance by using a dry brush of white chalk paint.

Dry Brush Technique

To achieve a dry brush technique, dip your brush into paint and wipe off most of the paint with a paper towel or cloth. Then lightly brush the paint over the surface of the board, until you have the desired coverage. You can see how this dry brush technique looks when used on a vintage tool box.

In addition, you can distress the wood for a more authentic appearance. Here is how we distressed the wood on our DIY kitchen island.

The Finished Shiplap Christmas Tree

There are some many items you can use to decorate your new wood Christmas tree. This is a close up view of the wood tree last Christmas. If you’d like to see more from last Christmas, check out this post, where I shared several photos from Christmas Past.

Shiplap Christmas Tree made of wood

Foraged grapevine and pinecones are nestled on the wooden boards along with red birds and pop corn garland help to create a fun outdoor vintage vibe.

Shiplap Wood Christmas Tree

Each year the Shiplap Christmas Tree is placed on the screened porch and is a prefect addition once the sun goes down.

Although I originally used the tree for Christmas, I have discovered that it’s great year round filled with seasonal decor.

Here is the shiplap tree dressed for Easter. To see the tour click here.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

Pin to Remember
So today I'm sharing a step by step tutorial on How to Build a Wood Christmas Tree using Shiplap boards.  This is an easy project to create a unique farmhouse style tree.   Learn how to age your shiplap to have the appearance of reclaimed wood.


Wednesday 27th of October 2021

This is SO much fun and it lends itself to a lot of different decoration ideas and uses. Perhaps use the “branches” onto which to place hors d oeuvres and small bowls with nuts, etc?

Thanks for the inspiration.

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

Benesse, I've never thought of that. Thanks for the input.


Sunday 24th of October 2021

I loved this so much when I saw it earlier this fall that hubby and I built one. It is on my screen porch decorated for Halloween with little witches and pumpkins. I put orange lights on it. I plan to change the decorations for the different seasons. Thanks so much for the idea. It’s my favorite decoration. Peace

Monday 25th of October 2021

Cindi, I'm so glad you liked this project. I bet your halloween version is amazing.

Cindy Rust

Sunday 4th of April 2021

I'm crazy about this shiplap tree!! We have a stack of fence pickets that would be perfect for this project! If I build it, I'll be sure to tag you and link back! This idea is such a good one!! Thanks for sharing! Pinned!

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

Cindy, I can't wait to see what you do. Thanks so much.


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Great idea .I am building one for my grandaughter whose moving into new house in two weeks. All the best to you and the family. Tom

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Tom. I'm so glad. Thanks for sharing with me. Rachel

Debra Oliver

Friday 6th of November 2020

this is such a fun idea, and I love how you've decorated it. It's perfect for a screened porch!

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Debra, Thanks so much for stopping by. Rachel