Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, with the lights, the tree, inflatables, and peppermint everything makes it magical. As a dad, seeing the kids get excited about Christmas every year is just as great. One thing we’ve neglected over the years is decorating a lot of the inside of the house because at least one of our kids was small enough to pull things down.
This year is no different because we have our last little man who is learning to crawl and sit himself up now. Thus, decorating is still like guarding the plans for the Death Star. One thing we usually put up are those Christmas Villages. My wife has boxes and boxes of those little Christmas Villages in the garage/storage and every year we only put up about 1/4 of all of them. Well, not anymore.
I was scouring Pinterest for some ideas on how to arrange all those Christmas villages and came up with a great idea, a corner Christmas Tree village stand. However, someone had the plans for it, but wanted $10 for it. It annoyed me to have to pay $10, when I can look at the design and know exactly how to do it. So I did.
(A full materials list is included at the bottom)
I used 1/2 inch MDF full sheet, which is 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. I went to Lowe’s and had them cut the length at 6 feet. I didn’t want it any larger than that. I also had them cut the remaining 6 foot piece in half, so around 24-25 inch right down the middle. I also used by Ryobi Jig saw, clamps, pencil and a piece of ribbon tied to a string, miter box station.
So if you are following along I’ve got (2) pieces of 1/2 inch MDF, one at 24 inches wide and 6 feet long, and another piece at 25 inches wide and 6 feet. The last piece of MDF is 24 inches long by 48 inches wide (this piece will be used for the shelves). Above is the 25 Inch wide piece of MDF.
Next I took a Chalk line and went from corner to opposite side corner in order to made two triangles, which will end up being my carcass for the Christmas Tree.
Once I got them cut in half, I took my Ridgid Belt sander and cleaned up the edges to make everything uniform. Now at the cutting step, I could have used my Skil saw, but the baby was sleeping above me in his room and it would have woke him up, so I elected to go this route, and the Skil Saw would have made the edge a lot cleaner looking and I wouldn’t have to use the belt sander. So there are some options for you here.
Making the Corners
I used a bunch of my Quikie Clamps, speed square and Bessie Clamps to hold the tree sides in place. At this step I also used a 1 1/2 forstner bit to drill holes for the power cords on the villages before I screwed everything together. You can do this later, but I elected to do it before hand.
Next I had to figure out where I wanted each of the four shelves. Measuring from the bottom of the tree (the flat side) I measured up two inches for clearance and made a mark and drew a line across from one edge to the next. For the shelves to be mounted safely, I used 3/4 inch by 1 3/4 inch pine board for the braces and measured from the inside to the outside and took off about 1/4 of an inch on the end so the shelves would sit just inside.
Making the Arcs
The next part is a bit tricky with just one person, so I made sure I used every clamp I could to hold it tight together as I made the shelves.
Using the 24 inch by 4 foot piece of MDF, I made the shelves. I first put the board inside the frame at each rung and measured the corners so I could make the shelves. Again it was tricky to hold the board up with one hand and measure correctly. Thinking more smart, I went to my miter box and cut the board in a 24 inch by 24 inch square to be able to hold it a bit easier. Getting it aligned correctly I used my speed square and a clamp to hold the piece of MDF so it wouldn’t move.
I made a mark at the inside of each corner of the piece as it was inside the carcass. In the picture below you can see how I clamped everything together to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere. You can also see the rounded shelves. Here’s how I did that.
The right picture is a nail that I place on the corner with a piece of ribbon attached to it. The other end I attached to a pencil to be able to make my arc for the shelves. In the video below, that my oldest son took, you can see how I made the arcs for the shelves.
After I did the bottom shelf, I did the next one and so forth. the space between each shelve is around 18 inches. You can have them a smaller distance if you choose to. If you did 12 inch you might be able to squeeze in another rung, depending on how you do it.
After getting all the rungs cut, I measured the braces and went up the tree, starting at the bottom. This is where its a bit hard for me to tell you what your measurements are going to be, because everyones may be different. But for me it I measured from the inside to the outside and it was 24 inches on the bottom rung. I took off about an inch because I wanted the braces to be hidden a bit. So each run you can take off an inch or more if necessary for what you make.
At each rung, I predrilled holes from the back to allow the braces to attach to the carcass. I also predrilled holes from the underside of the braces to allow the shelves to be screwed flush with braces. It took me a day of planning and getting materials and once I had the corners of the tree cut it took another day to get it put together. Life as such as an at home dad.
Painting the Tree
We elected to do a white base for the tree because it would help give it some ambiance when fully decorated. Owen, my four year old painted 3/4 of the tree and I fixed 1/4 of it after he finished.
As a stay at home dad with three kids running around, it sometimes take two to three times as long to get projects done. But I’d say the tree turned out great. Want to make one? here are the materials I used