northstory + co.

DIY – Wooden Dowel Christmas Tree

To be totally honest, I didn’t know if this wooden dowel Christmas tree would even work out. I had this idea in my head of how to do it, but like with many crafts, until I tried making it, there was a 50/50 chance this would have been a disaster.

How to make a Wooden Dowel Christmas Tree

At first it didn’t seem to be going well. Luckily an old paper towel roll saved the day.

The cost of making this tree ran me under $5 *but* this is because I already had a glue gun, plain craft glue, and twine.

The only additional things I bought to make this tree was:

  • 2 packages of wooden dowels ($2). This was a 10 piece package of 12″ x 1/4″ (30.5 cm x 0.6 cm).
  • 1 package of decorative styrofoam balls ($1)
  • 1 sheet of bristol board paper ($1)

I needed something to ensure the dowels didn’t slide out of place from their “round base’ portion of the tree.

So I got out an old round cake baking pan and this helped to ensure they didn’t implode.

If you don’t have a cake pan, you can use the top of a big round coffee can, a cooking pot, basically anything round that has ridges.

I started off thinking I could just hold the dowels with my hand, and use my glue gun to glue the tops of the dowels together to start to form the tree shape.

That was not happening. They were slipping and falling and my fingers were getting burnt from the glue gun.

So I took the inside of a finished paper towel roll, cut off a 1/4 of it in height, then cut out some ridges so that the dowels could lean on it. This worked much better.

Your tree will shrink a bit in diameter at the base as you do this.

Added some more dowels all around.

Got some twine. Glued one end to the bottom, wrapped around and then glued the tip at the top.

Time to decorate! I got my daughter to help me.

We just put some plain craft glue on a plate, dipped each ball into it and stuck it on the twine. They attach very easily. If you want to make the full sized garland, you can find the tutorial here.

I then needed a star for the top. I went to the amazing paper stars tutorial from Kate of Kate’s Creative Spaceย and made a star topper out of a piece of red bristol board, and stuck it on top.

And you’ve got yourself a very pretty little wooden Christmas tree!

I’m thinking if you made a couple of these, they’d make some pretty good centerpieces for a dinner party. Especially if you use different size and height dowels. ย 

You’d just have to glue 2 of the paper stars back to back, to avoid one side of the “non-finished” star part to be seen. Or do a 3 dimensional star topper.

Says the one that has never hosted a dinner party. I’m the one they ask to bring the dinner rolls and wine. This is why I practice making pretty crafts so if I should have a dinner party in the future, it will distract from the extra crispy chicken that will surely come out of my oven, Griswold style.

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  • Reply
    the home tome
    November 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Pure genius! I like it with a little more height! Oh yeah, you definitely need to make a few more and get out those dinner party invites… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012 at 9:09 am

      The day I ever host a dinner party I will do a blog entry like I did with the first time I ever used my sewing machine. We don’t even have a dining room so it would literally wind up being a table like that of the Happy Endings Thanksgiving tv episode with all the mismatched chairs. The food. Thank God Swish Chalet is near us (it’s a restaurant chain in Canada that I am not sure if they have in the U.S but it’s sooooooo good).

      • Reply
        December 5, 2016 at 11:07 am

        Swish Chalet LOL! Due to an unfortunate typo of using the right ring finger instead of the left, it is Swill around here!

  • Reply
    Pillows A-La-Mode
    November 20, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I love it! I always have a stash of these sticks since one comes in every bag of pillow stuffing I buy. Now I know what to do with them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Do they really?? I just bought some pillows – mind you they’re already sewn and stuffed with lining so I suppose there goes that fantastic discovery an extra art craft treat.

      • Reply
        Pillows A-La-Mode
        November 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        ๐Ÿ™‚ They put them in to help us push the stuffing into the corners. One of these days you’ll be sewing pillows, so I hope your stuffing comes with cute little sticks, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
    November 20, 2012 at 9:33 am

    You know what? I have imaginary dinner parties ALL the time. They are such casually elegant affairs where I am relaxed and on top of things. Where I have not spent three days cleaning like a crazy person and cursing myself for thinking this would be fun. Where I am actually happy to see my guests instead of wishing they would all hurry up and leave so that I can relax!

    Your tree is adorable. And the options for decorating it are endless!
    Hope you have a fantastic Thanksgivingโ€ฆ

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      As I hand you some virtual wine. Washing the dishes alone after and during. Yes I wrote during. I cannot relax if I see a messy kitchen and believe me you can see my kitchen b.c our dining table is in it. Relaxing dinner parties is like the oxy moron of the season!
      Have a great Thanksgiving!! We had ours last month. I know the Canadians do things a bit differently. It’s the East coast accents and fresh air that gets to our heads. We’re even tagging along on your Black Friday shopping sales and still doing Boxing Day post Christmas.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

    simple and lovely. happy holidays!!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you! You too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

    That is so cute! I love your ingenuity with the paper towel roll. That is the sign of a smart chick .. hum hum… I mean a crafting engineer!

    The best part for me is that your daughter was able to get in on the action. I imagine your kids have so much fun with all of your fabulous projects. It’s something they’ll talk about when they’re adults, no doubt.

    OH MY GOSH… just the word dinner party makes me want to cringe and then call a catering company. It seems like every time I try to do a kick-ass, over the top, fancy shmancy get together by the time it’s all over I think I should have just ordered a pizza and thrown out some paper plates. (everyone would have been just as happy)

    I hope this is just the beginning of your Christmas posts. Great start!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      My kids steal all the craft projects and keep them in their rooms. It’s a little nutty. That being said as cute and easy as the garland is to make (b/c I made a whole bunch to hang elsewhere) it is time consuming and what better distraction, er I mean craft for them!

      It’s b/c it’s the law of dinner parties where you will make the most kick ass turkey or meal 364 days of the year, except the one you need to when it counts. The oven will break. The meat won’t thaw. The pot will overboil. Pizza I can live on, I’m sold! I’ll bring the wine!

      Beginning???!!! Oh no Stacey not that pressure. I’m kidding. I have a list. It’s an illness.

  • Reply
    tradition is
    November 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    incredibleeeee….it’s called talent!!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 3:33 am

    This came out really cool! I can’t get over that you weren’t sure how this idea that you had in your head was going to come together and it’s like viola… amazing! Super cute! I hope I can try it with my crafty helper.

    • Reply
      November 22, 2012 at 9:15 am

      That happens a lot. Usually when I bake I just pray when I mix ingredients that somehow they’ll form something.

      • Reply
        November 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm

        I’m so envious of that talent in the kitchen. I have friends that do an amazing job with that, but it’s definitely not my thing. I guess we can’t be awesome at everything… unless of course, you’re Martha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    November 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I love this idea! I have everything to re-created, I think I should do it! thanks for sharing this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    November 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    VERY cute!! great idea

  • Reply
    Sue Schlabach 129twigandvine
    December 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I think we’ll be playing with dowels and styrofoam next weekend!

    • Reply
      December 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Wood dowels will be the end of me. I am already thinking ok what can I do next with these b/c I picked up a $13 mitre saw and now all I want to do is build stuff.

  • Reply
    kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS
    December 10, 2013 at 9:07 am


  • Reply
    June 21, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I love this! It’s so cute. Where did you find the styrofoam balls? I’ve been scouring the internet for anything similar and I can’t find anything that isn’t way too big.

    • Reply
      June 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      I picked them up at our local Dollarama. They have them in the craft aisles. I’m pretty sure Dollar Tree has something similar. When in doubt you can totally use Pom Poms. HTH!

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