How to Make a Dowel Christmas Tree for Displaying Ornaments

This handmade Christmas decoration is the perfect way to let your ornaments shine. No water needed!

This year, choose a nontraditional Christmas tree like this simple dowel Christmas tree. It's made from wood and offers a unique minimalist way to display your treasured ornaments. A dowel tree is one of our favorite ideas for Christmas decorating in small spaces. If you're really tight on space, reduce the lengths by half and make a festive tabletop Christmas tree instead! Most hardware stores will cut wood to size, so this DIY is as easy as drilling a few holes and assembling.

holiday dowel tree with ornaments

How to Make a Dowel Christmas Tree

Supplies Needed

  • 24-inch-diameter wooden round
  • 8-foot-long, 1½-inch-diameter wooden pole
  • Drill and drill bits
  • 1½-inch wood screw
  • Saw
  • 1-inch-diameter dowel, cut into six 18-inch lengths and six 14-inch lengths
  • ¾-inch-diameter dowel, cut into six 12-inch lengths and six 10-inch lengths
  • ½-inch-diameter dowel, cut into four 8-inch lengths, four 6-inch lengths, and four 4-inch lengths
  • Ornaments

Step-by-Step Instructions

While a DIY Christmas tree may seem daunting, it's actually quite easy. So easy, you barely need more than one step! Make your own Christmas tree in under an hour with this simple how-to.

wooden dowel christmas tree

Step 1: Make a Christmas Tree Base

To keep your tree standing, you'll need a rounded tree base. Using a 1½-inch spade bit, drill three-quarters of the way into the center of the wooden round. Insert the 8-foot pole into the hole and secure with a 1½-inch wood screw through the bottom of the round.

Step 2: Add Branches

Mark where you want the branches on the pole. Our tree has 36 pegs spaced approximately 6 inches apart around the length of the pole, with the largest diameter pegs on the bottom and the smallest diameter pegs on the top—just like a real tree. You could mix and match pole sizes to create a more abstract tree. We started 6 inches from the bottom and ended with the top peg 6 inches from the top. Drill peg holes in the pole at a 45-degree angle, using spade bits that are the same diameter as the peg. Insert pegs in the holes, and your tree is built! Try adding a handmade ornament to the tree.

Updated by
Liz Lidgett
Liz Lidgett headshot

Liz Lidgett is an art advisor, writer and gallery owner. As Founder of Liz Lidgett Gallery and Design, she works with people to find the perfect piece of art for their style, space, and budget. Liz has also been a contributor for many brands like Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, and Apartment Therapy. She lives in Des Moines, IA, with her husband, Nick, their children, Rocky and Effie, and their ever-expanding art collection.

Liz Lidgett is the founder and owner of Liz Lidgett gallery and design in Des Moines, IA. Her gallery represents almost 50 artists from around the world and makes a commitment to represent at least 50% women artists.

Liz received a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Art History at the University of Missouri, as well as a Masters of Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California.

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