Make an Alternative Christmas Tree That Displays Cards

Lacking the space for a true Christmas tree? Showcase holiday cards and wrapped presents with this easy-to-make alternative version made from plywood.

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Festive Alternative

Try something new this year with a space-saving, alternative Christmas tree that can even display cards from friends and family. You'll need: 4x8-foot sheet of luan; latex paint or water-based stain; staining pad (if using stain); drill; 1/2-inch paddle bit; colored craft string; upholstery tacks or push pins; 6-foot strand of 12-gauge wire; tennis ball; picture nail; hammer; battery-operated LED twinkle lights; duct tape in metallic finish; scissors; chalk.

Create a Triangle

There are two different ways to have the Christmas tree card display cut to size. For a small fee, most home improvement stores will cut 4x8-foot sheets for you, charging for each individual cut. Homeowners with moderate DIY skills can cut the luan to size themselves by using a straight edge and chalk to mark a triangle, then cutting it with a jigsaw. A good size properly scaled for most rooms is 5x3 feet.

Drill Hole for Hanging

Use chalk to mark a small hole approximately 3 inches from the top center of the triangular luan. Attach 1/4-inch paddle bit to drill, then add a hole through the luan.

Update With Paint or Stain

Personalize the Christmas "tree" by adding stain or paint to the luan. For a washed look, add two parts water to one part paint, applying it with a rag or staining pad, and going with the grain.

Add Tacks

String attached to the front of the luan will be used to hold holiday cards in place. Attach brass tacks or metallic push pins 4 inches apart approximately 1/2-inch in from the perimeter. Secure the tacks or pins in place using a hammer.

Attach String

Starting at the very top, wrap string around each tack or pin, criss-cross style, until you reach the very bottom. Use scissors to cut away any excess.

Assemble Tree Topper

Unfurl the 12-gauge wire and use it to wrap a tennis ball. Once the entire surface of the tennis ball is covered, use fingers to create an opening and push the tennis ball through.

Add LED Lighting

Fasten two strands of battery-operated LED twinkle lights around the perimeter of the back side of the tree display, keeping them held in place with silver duct tape.

Add Cards + Display

Add a nail to the wall and hang tree display by aligning the drilled hole with the nail. Then, add cards to the tree display by opening and hanging the folds on the string.