DIY Christmas Decorations with Wood Scraps

Our boys have been complaining lately about the lack of Christmas décor on the outside of our home.  It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.  We have not put up lights up to this point, as I don’t want to shell out money to have someone else climb my roof and hang lights for the next month (Ya, I know. Bah, humbug).  This is when I remembered that my dad had created some really great light up wooden Christmas presents you can put out front of your house.  I quickly emailed him to ask for the plans.  

The original plans he used came from Jason Abney, and I will link to his site here.  However, I did not want to buy extra wood for the project. I had some left over wood from some previously dissembled drying racks as well as some 2×2 trim that was being thrown out from my office. Time for a DIY scrap wood challenge, Christmas decoration style.

The leftover wood from the drying racks were great for this and easily cut to size with the miter saw

Tools used:

– Kobalt Miter Saw

– Kobalt Cordless Power Drill

– Bosch Cordless Power Drill (smaller which allowed me to get into the angles of the smaller box easier)

– Kreg Clamp

– 2 inch exterior screws and 1 ¼ inch wood screws

-Spare wood from drying racks and 2×2 wood trim

– Nail in cable clips (simply bought the cheapest ones)

– Christmas lights – mini LED lights (chose Blue, Yellow, and Red – 1 Yellow for the small box, 2 of the red and blue for the medium and big box)

– Heavy Duty Stapler

– Heavy Duty plastic drop cloth (I actually used leftover medium duty drop cloth I had leftover in my garage, but heavy duty would work better if you are buying it new)

– Ribbon and Bow

The structure of the Christmas gift is basically a wooden cube.  The top and bottom frames were constructed out of the wood from the drying racks.  These had some holes already predrilled from the rod inserts, so I used these spots for screw insertion.  I predrilled pilot holes and utilized left over 2 inch exterior screws to hold the frames together (I had the screws already, so why buy more?).  I used my speed square to make sure I had a good 90 degree angle during the process and a Kreg Clamp to hold it together.  

If you don’t have a speed square, get one.

Once the 2 frames were made, I used the 2×2 wood trim for the vertical interior components of the box.  This made the box sturdier.  Pilot holes were drilled and 1 ¼ inch wood screws were used to attach this to the frames.  I created two more boxes of varying sizes.  The larger and medium boxes had a support board inserted on the top frame to help support the boxes while stacking.  

Face frames completed for the larger box
Each box after construction.  Supports on top of the large and medium box for stacking purposes
Making sure the stack looks right

Each box was wrapped with different colored Christmas lights. The lights were wrapped around the boxes and set in place using the cable clips.  I had to make small pilot holes for the nails which made the process smoother as well.

When your kids want to help, let them.  With some adult supervision required…

After the lights were installed the plastic drop cloth was used to wrap the boxes.  I doubled up the wrapping on the outside – the single layer of medium drop cloth was a little too transparent.  Heavy duty drop cloth would work better as a single layer.  The bottoms of the boxes were left open to allow the cord to travel from box to box.  The plastic was set in place using the Stapler.  A small hole was placed in the plastic on top of the large and medium boxes to allow for the cord to travel from box to box.

Like typical holiday wrapping, I over used the wrapping paper (drop cloth) and tape (staples)

The boxes were wrapped with ribbon on the side (secured with the stapler as well), a bow was placed on the top of the small box, and then they were all plugged in.  

I enjoyed this build because all I had to purchase were the Christmas lights and cable clips.  You could easily finish this in a day once you have your supplies. In the future I would probably cross the lights within the box rather than just the outside to add more depth to the coloring. Now we have some decorations for the house, and maybe the boys will give me a break.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they want a blow up Christmas Dinosaur next.  

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