DIY Marquee Christmas Tree

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  • 1 standard wooden pallet per Christmas tree (note: you may also build your own tree design with a length of 2×4” and several 1×6” or 1×8” pieces of rough lumber)
  • E12 light string with E12 bulbs
  • Wood screws (1″-2 ¼”) (optional)
  • Paint and paint brushes (optional)
  • Sandpaper (60-80 grit)

This marquee-lighted Christmas tree is the perfect mix of festive and rustic. It uses the slats of a wooden pallet to evoke the branches of a pine tree, with large bright lights shining through. Follow the steps below to make your own “tree” at home.

Step 1. Draw an outline of the planned shape of your tree. Make sure to place the pallet so the center support plank is vertical and the entire bottom slat is the widest part of your tree. This way, the tree will be able to stand on its own.

Step 2. Use the circular saw to carefully cut along your design’s outline.

Step 3. Use the pry bar to remove the slats of wood on the back side of the tree. If desired, these pieces can be utilized to fill in the gaps of your tree—attach the removed slats to the back of your tree on either side of the center support plank with wood screws.

Step 4. Using your measuring tape, mark the places on the tree you would like to arrange light bulbs. Keep in mind the number of lights you have available on your string. Also, remember you won’t be able to place lights in the center of the tree because of the center plank…and that’s okay! (tip: we used a 20-light string and chose the “tree within a tree” pattern as seen here).

Step 5. Once you’re satisfied with the planned placement of your light bulbs, drill holes where the light bulbs will be placed.

Step 6. Sand down the entire piece. You may also wish to paint the tree at this point.

Step 7. Position your light string along the back of the tree with sockets placed in each hole, then screw in light bulbs from the front.

Step 8. Once all your bulbs have been attached, plug in and admire your DIY Christmas Tree!


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