How to paint a wooden christmas tree

DIY Rustic Wood Christmas Tree Decor

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Mother nature was all over the place this past weekend.  From rain and freezing temperatures to 70 degrees and severe storms.  It was the perfect time to stay in my workshop and make some more rustic Christmas decor.

This time I made some Christmas Trees to go with my Rustic Gift Boxes.  If you want to see the tutorial for those just head over here.

In my mind, I was going to use 2×4’s for these trees.  But we’re building a pole barn, so I used the 2×6 scraps from that.   I’m kinda glad I did because they turned out being 18″ and 24″ tall.  They are quite stunning as a Christmas Mantle centerpiece.

If you have 2×4’s that will work too.  The cuts will still be the same.

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DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Supplies

  • 2×6 Wood 10 Feet in length
  • Green Paint
  • Dark Paint (Brown, Dark Grey, or Black)
  • Paint Brush
  • Wood Glue
  • Sand Paper 
  • Wood Log approximately 2″ Wide
  • Burlap Ribbon (or other embellishments)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Miter Saw
  • Antiquing Glaze (optional)

DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Tutorial

Cut your wood.

The picture below shows how I cut my board.  All cuts are at a 45° angle.  So I cut one corner off and that becomes the top.  There is a 2 inch overhang on each side of the rows.   The long side of your top piece should measure close to 7 ¾ inches if you are using a 2×6.  So subtract 4 inches from that and you get 4 ¾ inches.  Measure 4¾ down the board and make your next 45° cut.
Keep going down the board alternating your 45° cuts.  Subtract 4 inches from the longest side of your previous cut for the next cut.   If you are using a 2×4 I would probably reduce the overhang to 1½ inches on each side, therefore you would subtract 3 inches on each cut.


The 18″ tree has three rows or tiers and the 24″ tree has four.

While I was at the saw I cut a small log from my wood pile for the base.  I grabbed a scrap 2×6 and picked a log that was close to the same size in diameter as the depth of the board.

Prep and paint.

After everything is cut you want to give the edges and corners a good sanding.   It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth.  When going for the rustic look, the more beat up the better.  But you don’t want splinters either.

Since I was using scrap from our barn build my boards weren’t already weathered.

I went over them quick with my dark grey paint to help the weathering effect.  In fact, I went too quick.  The red circle shows the knot and some divets I missed.  When you are weathering wood you want those to be dark.

I am pouring Elmer’s glue on the dried grey paint in the pic.  As I explained in the tutorial for the Christmas Gift Boxes, the glue will give your top layer of paint a nice crackled look.  Brush the glue all over the wood and wait until it’s almost, but not completely dry.

Then paint on the green as normal. You don’t have to go full coverage on the green, let some of that grey and natural wood show through.   After the green is completely dry you will be able to see the crackling effect.

It was around this time I realized the little dings and the knot was not dark.   The beautiful thing about rustic crafts is there’s always a fix.  I grabbed my antiquing glaze and went over all of the pieces.


Much Better.  After everything is dry, you may want to hit it with the sander again on the edges and corners.

Putting it all together.

I used Gorilla Wood Glue to glue all of the pieces together.  If you have a large clamp you can clamp them all together.  I just stacked them up and let the weight of the wood keep them together.

After the glue is dry, measure the bottom to locate the center.  Apply wood glue to your log and place the tree on top.  Make sure it’s centered or you will lean to one side.   I was thinking I would have to add a wider wood block base to the bottom of the log to keep it stable.  But the log works surprisingly well.

I added burlap bows to the top of my tree.  They are super simple to make, and I can’t explain it any better than the Youtube tutorial I watched by Practically Functional.   For the bigger tree, I made the bow 2″ wider and added 4″ to the tail.

You’re going to love how these turn out.  I already have five friends asking me to make them some.  It’s a good thing they don’t take long to do!

Chris Butler

Chris Butler has helped thousands of crafters learn how to use their Cricut machine without feeling overwhelmed.  She is a best selling author and an up and coming designer.    For fun Chris enjoys designing SVG Files, hanging out with her family (preferably at the lake), traveling,  and volunteering at her church.  She is a wife and mom of two crazy fun kids.

How To Paint A Christmas Tree

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Trees done with a: Bright Brush, Fan Brush, Round Brush

Are you looking to learn how to paint a Christmas Tree for your next acrylic painting project?

There’s quite a few different ways you can paint Christmas trees! Depending on what style tree you want to do, different brushes and stroke techniques will make the tree look different.


FREE Download For This Tutorial!

Gain access to a FREE 8 page PDF printable for this tutorial! View it offline (ad-free), download it & print it. Find out more here!


Round Brush Tree

This blog post tutorial is meant to help you step by step learn how to do the tree using three different simple techniques (one with a fan brush, another with a round brush and a third with a bright brush). 

Fan Brush Tree

I did the three demos on heavy card stock paper. However, you can paint these Christmas trees on just about any surface – canvas, wood, rock, etc. 

Bright Brush Tree


Materials You’ll Need

  • Acrylic Paints (I’m using Liquitex BASICS but you can do these in any brand)
  • Paint Brushes
    • Fan Brush (For fan brush trees)
    • #8 Round (For round brush trees)
    • #12 Bright (For flat brush trees)
  • Colors (Your choice of greens can vary but I like to use a dark green and a light green for color variety)
    • Hookers Green Permanent 
    • Light Olive Green
    • Titanium White
    • Light Blue Permanent (I used this to paint the blue background)
  • Surface (I’m using heavy card stock but you can paint these trees on any surface)
  • Want to download this tutorial?



Video Demo




How To Paint Fan Brush Christmas Trees

Fan brush trees are a lot of fun to create and yield I high success rate because of the nature of the brush. If you haven’t checked out my post How To Paint A Tree With A Fan Brush, I encourage you to do so because I go into more depth about that over there. 

But this is specifically how to paint a green Christmas tree with snow with the fan brush! 

1. Paint The Background

These snow trees look best with a background that’s either dark or has enough contrast so the white snow shows up.

I did a very basic blue sky background with snow on the ground. To do that, paint an ombré sky with light blue permanent at the top (horizontal strokes) fading to titanium white. I did this with a large flat brush. 


I went about 3/4 the way down with this blue and white combo. 


For the hill, I used pure titanium white and painted the rest of the way down the paper but making the “horizon line kind of lumpy”. 


And then I did a little “shading” on the snow ground by blending a little bit of light blue permanent on the very bottom and blending it back up in the white.  


Next you’ll need to make sure your background is dry before doing the tree! Use a hairdryer or just wait for it to dry.


2. Load Your Fan Brush

When I load my brushes, I almost always load them in water first and then I tap them dry a bit. This helps with the paint flow.


Then load your brush in Hookers Green Permanent (dark green). Stroke the paint on your palette a bit so all the bristles don’t get clumped together and there’s a nice even amount of paint on the bristles (especially on the tips). 


When you start your tree, start at the top and make a little vertical mark with the tip corner of the fan brush.


Then hold your fan brush horizontally and gently tap just the tip of it to create horizontal strokes.


Tap gently on the tip with the fan brush working in a left and right zig zag direction. Your tree should be narrow at the top but get thicker, wider as you go down. Think of it as filling in an invisible triangle.  

Try to get the branch edges on the sides of the tree to be thinner so they go to a point. And also remember that you don’t have to cover all the background up. There is still sky showing through open areas of this tree.

The bottom should be the widest part of the tree. I did not do a tree trunk in this demo. 

3. Paint The Snow

You’ll want to make sure your green on your tree is dry, otherwise you’ll get light green snow.


Then generously clean your fan brush in water so no green residue is left on the bristles. Load it in titanium white the same way you loaded the green.


Paint the snow using the exact same technique you used to paint the green tree. Start at the top, go left and right in a zig zag direction and tap very lightly. 


You decide how much snow you want to cover your tree. I like the look of a slightly flocked Christmas Tree so I left a lot of green still showing through but you can add more or less.


How To Paint A Round Brush Tree

This tree reminds me of a whimsical style of Christmas Tree. It looks different from the traditional fan brush or bright brush style. I used a large #8 round brush for this but the technique itself can be done with any size round brush.

1. Set Your Background Up 

I used the same background demonstrated above in the fan brush tree directions. 


2. Start At The Top And Stroke Down

I loaded just the tip of my brush in hookers green permanent. Form a little triangle at the top and stroke each individual stroke downwards. 

As you work your way down, your tree needs to get wider. Think of it like filling in an invisible triangle shape. Again, each individual branch stroke starts from top to bottom (stroking down).

This is a very basic tree! You can leave it like this and then proceed to the snow step. I will show you how to add some interesting color and layers in it next. 


I like to take these round brush style trees a step further and add another green in there. So I loaded my brush (it still had hookers green on it) in light olive green.


Basically, re do all your strokes but start at the bottom and work your way up. When you work from bottom to top, it will make the tree branch strokes look like they are overlapping each other and give the tree some fun dimension.

When loading my brush, I alternated between light olive green and hookers green. This color variation helps with the layering effect.

Continue to do these down strokes up the tree. You don’t have to alternate the colors like a pattern, just load your brush in different variations of the green each time.

3. Paint The Snow

Make sure your tree is dry. Then clean your round brush and load it in titanium white. I recommend starting from the bottom and working your way up. Do the same type of strokes you did to paint this tree. 


Leave some space between each row of snow branches. 

I’m pressing very lightly with this white. You can still see green through it. 

Then I did go back and added a few bolder white strokes in there for some color variation and added layers.  


How To Paint Bright Brush Trees

A bright brush is a flat brush that has shorter bristles for more control. This is a great brush to paint trees with because you can do short little strokes. The technique in this demo is very similar to how I do the fan brush trees. This technique gives you a more traditional looking snowy Christmas Tree. 

1. Start At The Top And Dab Short Little Strokes

Load just the tip of your brush in hookers green permanent. Start at the top and dab little strokes forming the shape of the tree as you work your way down. 


Much like fan brush trees, I worked in a left and right zig zag direction. Pay extra attention to the branches sticking out on the left and right. They should be sort of pointed at the tips. You can make them pointed down or up but keep the direction consistent (my branches are pointing down). 




When you get to the bottom, you can go back in and add a second coat of strokes sparingly throughout the tree. This gives some darker areas on the tree. 


2. Paint The Snow

Let the tree dry, completely clean the bright brush and load the tip in titanium white. Then do the same kinds of strokes. Start at the top, work your way down.


Pay close attention to the branches on the left and right. Those will be extra bright and white so make sure you add extra white in those areas.


There’s plenty of snow in the middle of the tree. Think of it as working in clusters but be sure to leave green still showing. 



That’s It! 

These are three techniques that I use when painting snowy Christmas Trees! Add these to your winter landscape paintings, craft projects, Christmas cards, etc.

If you wanted to decorate the trees, you can simply wait for the snow to dry and then paint ornaments, lights, a garland, etc.  

Hope this tutorial helps with all your Winter Christmas art projects! 

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How to paint wooden blanks yourself

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  • How to properly paint wooden blanks

Toys, figurines, souvenirs, decorative items made of wood are beautiful and original, they gradually attract the eye and fascinate with their unique texture and naturalness.

From ancient times in Russia, toys were made by hand, often from wood - such a wonderful material, malleable, keeping the warmth and care of the hands, and also reflecting the mood of the master. All kinds of nesting dolls, tumblers, cubes, spoons and bowls, wall clocks, housekeepers, serving trays and other wood products are loved and popular among both adults and children all over the world.

Wood products can be used both in natural, unpainted form, and colored, painted. In our assortment you will find many interesting products made of wood, including wooden blanks for self-painting. Indeed, from such blanks, using your creativity and imagination, you can create unique crafts, whether they are children's toys or decor items for decoration for the hearth.

So what is the right way to paint a piece of wood so that, as a result, it is not spoiled, but turned into a skillfully designed beautiful thing?

First, you need to prepare the surface of the item to be painted. To do this, polish it with sandpaper, preferably fine, and remove dust with a lint-free cloth.

Next, prime the surface. Priming the product is necessary not only to reduce paint consumption, but also to protect the material. An unprimed wood will be painted over unevenly, the color of the paint may change beyond recognition, these are the features of a “live” wooden texture. You should not spare time and energy for this important and useful process, it is better to do everything right, thoroughly, then the result will reward your expectations. How to prime a wooden surface? For children's toys, the usual acrylic primer is quite safe. For decorative products, you can use PVA glue. The brush should be driven strictly in the direction of the fibers. At least two coats are required, the first coat being completely dry before applying the second.

Now you can proceed directly to painting/painting. The paint should be applied with a flat brush, take a little paint: lower the brush into the jar no more than a third. The tree is painted along the fibers, smoothly, without pressing the brush too hard. If you have to repaint the product over the old paint, use the same type of paint. As an exception, acrylate can be applied to oil. On the contrary - by no means! If the products have metal parts or inclusions, such as nail heads, for example, they must be treated with a special protective compound. Otherwise, the paint around them will soon darken. To paint objects that can fall into the hands of a child, you can use safe acrylic paint. Wooden products that are planned for outdoor use, such as birdhouses and feeders, must be protected from weather, decay and insects. Oil, alkyd and alkyd-oil paints are suitable for this. To obtain a transparent coating, use safe natural oils or resistant varnishes - oil or water-based polyurethane, depending on the type of use of the item being decorated. The first ones are more wear-resistant, but water-based ones dry faster. Varnishes are also tinted, with the addition of stains. From wooden blanks, you can easily and quickly create a lot of unique, inimitable, interesting, and most importantly, useful products! The list of possibilities is limited only by your desire and creative ideas!

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Fashion idea: DIY wooden Christmas tree

Christmas tree in the house during the New Year holidays is a wonderful tradition that has been followed by more than one generation for a long time. This tree, decorated with shiny toys and sparkling garlands, invariably causes awe and delight in the hearts of children and adults.

Despite the huge popularity of the live Christmas tree, many people still decorate their homes with its artificial counterpart in order to preserve the green spaces of coniferous trees. Therefore, alternative Christmas trees have recently come into fashion, thanks to the inexhaustible imagination of decorators, made from a wide variety of materials. Among them you can find designs made of wire, fabric, feathers, plastic, paper, glass and wood.

We have devoted today's article to an unusual version of a wooden Christmas tree, because we are sure that such a tree can be a very effective solution.

Wooden Christmas Trees

Maybe you recently changed your plank flooring, dismantled a wooden table with wobbly legs, or used boxes in the back room of the house. All this can be reused to create an original New Year's decor.

It is not necessary to have any special skills to put together a cone-shaped flat structure, and you can style the Christmas tree according to your idea of ​​what it should be.

For example:

  • Naive, like in drawn Soviet cartoons, covered with half-worn paint

  • Unfinished boards, placed directly on the floor or leaning against a wall, with a minimum of decorations
  • With a clear geometry and a sparkling garland, in a group of several simple Christmas trees with original homemade decorations

  • Stacking

A Christmas tree, made entirely of wooden elements, is able to resemble a traditional Christmas tree with its silhouette, thanks to its three-dimensional construction. And it’s not at all difficult to create such a thing, because all that is needed is a cruciform base with a high metal pin in the center, on which thin boards or branches of different lengths are strung in turn from bottom to top in descending order.

It is noteworthy that decorating a type-setting wooden Christmas tree is a pleasure. Glass balls and figurines are simply hung at the ends of the boards, decorative figurines can simply be glued to them with double-sided tape, and tablet candles can be placed in pre-formed recesses.

  • Christmas tree layout

As proof of the great possibilities of wooden structures, here is another easy way to create a decorative tree. In this form, trees are most often recreated in reduced copies of parks, squares with models of residential and public buildings at the design stage.

Therefore, it seems interesting to us the idea of ​​embodying the outlines of a New Year's tree following the example of papier-mâché and cardboard objects. It is possible to repeat each of the options below on your own at home.

The Christmas tree consists of two identical pieces of medium thickness plywood, which are connected to each other through central cuts. In one part of the tree in its center, a thin strip (equal to the thickness of a plywood sheet) is cut from the base to the middle of the height of the tree, in the other part - from the top to the middle, with the help of which the structure is securely fixed.

A more detailed master class can be found in our article "Christmas tree with your own hands".

  • A three-dimensional model of a Christmas tree made not entirely from wood, but rather from its derivative material - cardboard. Several fragments of the same size and shape are folded in half lengthwise, and then glued together at the folds, forming a single figured model.

  • Table ornamental Christmas trees

Your imagination is the most useful assistant in the task of translating ideas on the theme of miniature wooden Christmas trees. In the event that it is enough, we suggest referring to our photo selection.

Remnants of plywood, fiberboard, MDF will serve as table decor materials for the New Year holidays and Christmas, and in order to preserve the characteristic texture of wood, we recommend limiting yourself to a small amount of decorations or a thin layer of acrylic paints.

  1. Thin plywood sheet
  2. Mechanical jigsaw (or manual if you find it easy to use)
  3. Wood glue
  4. Roulette
  5. Pencil
  6. Acrylic paint, brush

Step 1:

On a sheet of plywood, draw an isosceles triangle - the basis of the future Christmas tree. To do this, measure with a tape measure a horizontal line 40 cm long at the bottom of the sheet. Then, from its middle (20 cm), draw up a strictly vertical line 60 cm long. From the resulting vertex, draw two segments down to the ends of the horizontal line.

Step 2:

We make blanks for the sides and shelves of the Christmas tree. We measure the lengths of its base and sides, and then visually divide the structure into three equal parts horizontally, thanks to which the Christmas tree will have two shelves in the upper and lower parts. (Don't forget to measure the trunk piece and the sides for it)

Step 3:

Depending on how deep you want your Christmas tree to be, you should draw all the necessary blanks with the indicated lengths and a total width of rectangles of 5-10 cm.

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