A homemade scandinavian dowel Christmas tree

I wanted to make Hugo something interactive and low-mess to have as a Christmas tree this year. Maybe we'll get an artificial / real green tree in subsequent years, but for now, this was fun to create and Hugo's been enjoying the added challenge of hanging ornaments (not realizing he's building motorskills, haha!)

I purchased one dowel that was 1-1/4" in diameter for the trunk, at 4ft long, and eight 3/8" in diameter 4ft dowels for the branches. From there, I eyeballed everything! I drilled holes with a 3/8" drill bit, with each hole running diagonal or perpendicular to the previous one, to create a staggered effect. After drilling the holes, I hand-sawed the dowels from a shorter length, to a longer one, making the shortest cut around 7" and the longest, 36". When I say I "eyeballed it," I mean, I was really just going with my gut! There really are no wrong answers here.

After cutting all the thinner dowels to the desired lengths, I used my mallet to tap each one into a hole in the larger dowel. This went smoother than I expected!

I then screwed a hook into the top of the trunk and strung the tree up to the ceiling, so it wouldn't fall over with Hugo's constant poking and prodding. I'm so pleased with the result!

We decorated with wooden animal ornaments that were gifts from World Market in previous years; I made scandinavian 3-D stars out of black paper I had in my stash; and we used battery operated "Merry and Bright" fairy string lights from 5Below (because regular tree lights would have looked too bulky.)

Merry Christmas, Hugo Boy!

Marni Manning - Artist

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