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Project

PVC-Pipe Tree

Introduction

Eclectic Mix

Every little thing you love -- from teensy toys to mismatched collections of vintage holiday items -- has a home on this tree. Start by choosing a palette (we picked bright, happy colors), then fill pipes accordingly: We spray-painted plastic toy animals, spelled out joy and merry with letter magnets, and interspersed tiny wrapped presents, Advent calendar-style. Play around with the placement until you like the overall look (avoid grouping similar objects).

Small-Space Friendly

No room for a fulsome tree in a smaller den or living room? No problem. This tree is less than six inches deep and can hang on or lean against a wall.

About the Tree

Everything you need to make this tree is readily available at your local home center: plywood, PVC pipe, a saw, and epoxy. This wood is four by six feet, but you can adjust the size.

Sources

PVC pipe, 1" to 4.5" diameter, from $2 for 2 ft., homedepot.com
Loctite five-minute instant-mix epoxy, $5 for .47 oz., homedepot.com
Thread-wrapped temari-ball ornaments, abchome.com

Materials

  • White paint and paintbrush (optional)
  • Birch plywood, 4 by 6 feet
  • Miter box saw or pipe cutter
  • PVC pipes, in 1- to 4.5-inch widths
  • Sandpaper
  • White matte spray paint (optional)
  • Painter’s tape
  • 3 tubes five-minute epoxy
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Mirror-hanging hardware, rated for about 50 pounds (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Optional: Lightly dilute white paint with water. Brush onto plywood; let dry.

  2. Step 2

    pvc-tree-130-mld110651.jpg

    With miter saw, cut PVC pipes to various lengths (2 to 3 1/2 inches). Sand one end of each. To make trunk, cut a 1-foot-long piece of 3-inch-diameter pipe in half lengthwise; sand both long cut edges.

  3. Step 3

    Optional: Spray-paint all cut pieces of pipe.

  4. Step 4

    With tape, create a 3-by-5-foot isosceles triangle on plywood. Place pipe pieces within perimeter, playing around with positioning to get a layout you like.

  5. Step 5

    Mix a quarter-size batch of epoxy. Remove a piece of pipe from layout; use Popsicle stick to spread epoxy on unsanded end. Replace pipe, pressing down. Continue process, mixing more epoxy as needed. Use epoxy to attach trunk. Remove tape. Epoxy will dry quickly but should be left to cure overnight.

  6. Step 6

    Lean board against a wall, or hang with mirror-hanging hardware.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December 2013