In this post, I’m sharing how to build a wooden chest that doubles as a DIY Wooden Christmas Tree Skirt Box!
I love a good multipurpose project and this one is great for SO MANY THINGS!
Keep your Christmas decorations stored away inside throughout the year in this beautiful hope chest.
I actually shared this same project previously as a hope chest here!
Then, when the season begins, bring them out, stick the tree inside, and hang the décor on the branches!
And in the off season, you can use it as a coffee table, an entryway bench, at the foot of a bed, etc.
I’m sharing how to build one for yourself below 🙂
Some Notes About Building the Wooden Christmas Tree Skirt Box:
This project was built using basic constructions lumber–2x4s, 1x4s, and 1x6s.
I tried to keep the measurements to where standard board widths should fit together on the sides and top without having to trim a bunch of pieces on a table saw.
However, due to potential variations in wood sizing (wood shrinks/expands with humidity and changes seasonally), I do recommend having a table saw handy as you may need to trim some edges slightly for a good fit.
I used ¾″ plywood for the bottom because I had it available already in my workshop, but you could use 1x material instead if you’d rather.
You only need ¼ sheet of ply, though, and that’s likely usually cheaper than using 1xs…but either works fine.
Square Board Edges:
Speaking of table saws, I used mine to square off the rounded edges of my 2x4s before building. You could also use a jointer for this instead. This is TOTALLY OPTIONAL and not required.
However, squaring off the rounded edges will create cleaner joints and just makes the project look a little nicer.
If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, check out this post about how and why to square board edges.
Keep in mind that by squaring the edges, you are narrowing the board width. The plus side to this is that if you cut them all, you can be sure your widths are consistent–each board will be exactly the same width which makes things easier to work with.
However, the down side is that you may have to modify your measurements slightly to compensate for the difference.
The plans below show using full 3 ½″ wide 2×4 boards, but if you cut yours to (for example) 3 ¼″ wide, the only difference is that the end project will be about 1″ shorter in height.
The overall project dimensions for this Christmas Tree Skirt Box d are 21 ½″ tall, 38″ wide, 18 ½″ deep.
*Note that the Christmas tree skirt box without the lid closed is 18″ tall. You don’t HAVE to add the lid for the tree stand box, but when the season is over, the lid makes it nice to be able to use it for storage.
How to Build a Wooden Christmas Tree Skirt Box
Check out this tutorial video to see how this project came together, then grab the building plans below.
You can check out the printable plans available on Kreg Tool here. And the building tutorial is shown below as well.
Check out the full version of the build video on YouTube here.
Step 1: Assemble Frame Sides
The Christmas tree skirt box will need two of these side panels. You can see in the diagram below that the top and bottom boards are 2x4s, but the vertical pieces are 2″ wide.
This isn’t a common precut size, so these will need to be ripped this width on a table saw. BUT, if you don’t have a table saw or don’t want to rip these, you can use full width 2x4s as well.
The reason I ripped them to 2″ is because in a future step, I’ll be butting a 2×4 onto the outside of this frame. That will add 1 ½″ thickness on the corner.
So, once complete, the front and the sides of each corner will both be the same width vs one being wider.
This is purely for aesthetics , so feel free to cut or not cut as desired.
I drilled 1 ½″ pocket holes into the ends of all four pieces for each frame. (The holes in the top/bottom boards won’t be used until the next step, but it’s easier to go ahead and drill them now.)
I assembled two side frames using 1 ½″ pocket holes and 2 ½″ pocket hole screws through the ends of the vertical pieces.
Check out this guide for how to use pocket holes in woodworking projects!
Step 2: Complete Tree Skirt Box Frame
I built two frames like shown in the diagram below for the front and the back of the wooden Christmas tree skirt box.
These frames are made from 2×4 boards and are assembled using 1 ½″ pocket holes and 2 ½″ pocket hole screws through the vertical pieces like shown.
Then, to complete the whole frame, I used 2 ½″ pocket hole screws through the holes drilled in step 1 in the top and bottom boards to assemble the front, back and side panels all together.
Step 3: Install Wooden Tree Skirt Box Bottom
I cut to fit a piece of ¾″ plywood to insert into the bottom of this frame. You will only need a piece about 15 ½″ x 35″.
However, if you prefer not to use plywood, you can use 1x boards here and install them using pocket holes and screws through the ends.
Once I made sure my plywood would indeed fit into the bottom of this frame, I drilled pocket holes around the edges and tapped it into place so that it was about ¾″ up from the bottom edge.
Then, I installed it using 1 ¼″ pocket hole screws.
Step 4: Add Slats on Sides
The sides slats of this project are 1×4 boards, but you could also use other widths instead if you preferred.
I cut several to line each side with–starting with the longer sides first. I dry fit them in place–10 should fit just perfect.
But if the fit is a little too snug, you may have to trim a blade width or two off the end pieces.
Once I made sure they’d fit, I used some wood glue and 1 ¼″ wood screws to secure them to the frame.
After the long sides were installed, I repeated for the short sides, except these should have slats per side.
Step 5: Build Optional Lid Frame
Since this is a wooden Christmas tree stand, the lid is actually optional. If you want to use it for a hope chest or bench during the off season, then obviously, add the top.
However, for the actual Christmas tree stand, it’s unnecessary and actually…kind of in the way. So feel free to skip it if you’d like.
If you’d like to build the lid, first, I started with the frame. I built the frame from 2x4s and simply cut four pieces so that the overall size of the frame was the same as the main box.
I used 1 ½″ pocket holes and 2 ½″ pocket hole screws to assemble it.
The top slats on the lid will rest down into this frame, so I lined the inside of the frame with 1x3s so that they were ¾″ down from the top. The slats can rest on these.
I just used some wood glue and 1 ¼″ screws to attach them.
Then, I cut to fit two 1x2s to run between them using ¾″ pocket holes and 1 ¼″ pocket hole screws.
I evenly spaced these and attached flush to the TOP of the 1x3s (so they were also ¾″ down from the top of the 2×4 frame).
NOTE: Put pocket holes facing the top so they’ll be hidden later by the slats.
Step 6: Install Lid Slats
Cut three 1×6 boards to fit into the lid frame. You’ll be able to fit two whole 1x6s, but you’ll need to rip the third one’s width to fit.
Dry fit and cut the pieces to fit first. Once you ensure the fit, remove them, and add some wood glue on the 1x3s and 1x2s from Step 5 and set them back in place.
If you don’t mid seeing some nail holes, you can shoot a few brad nails through these pieces into the frame OR clamp them to hold them tight until the glue dries.
I flipped the lid over and also added a few 1 ¼″ wood screws through the 1x2s as well.
Step 7: Attach Lid to Christmas Tree Skirt Box
Now that the chest and the lid are assembled, the final step is putting them together!
Before adding the lid, I went ahead and stained the pieces separately to make things easier. I stained them Minwax Early American.
Then, I used some non-mortise hinges to attach the lid. I simply screwed the hinges to the top edge of the back of the chest, then screwed the other half of the hinge to the bottom of the lid.
Additionally, I added some soft close mechanisms since the lid is rather heavy.
However, adding these makes the lid not open fully, so they’ll need to be removed/adjusted when using as a Christmas tree stand. Then, you can put them back when the season is over if you’d like.
Step 8: Finish Tree Skirt Box
To finish up, I added a latch to the lid and some latches on the sides and gave it a few coats of Minwax Helmsman clear poly to seal it.
And then, it was ready for all the seasons!
You can fully open the lid to place the tree inside, OR remove the lid altogether while in use as a tree stand.
This is one of my favorite hope chest designs, but it also works so great for a wooden Christmas tree skirt box.
Check out the printable building plans on Kreg Tool’s website here. And check it out as a hope chest build here as well.
I hope you enjoyed this project and for more seasonal project ideas, check out these favorites:
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Until next time, friends, happy building!
- Assemble frame sides using 2 ½" pocket hole screws.
- Complete the tree skirt box frame using 1 ½" pocket holes and 2 ½" pocket hole screws.
- Install wooden tree skirt box bottom ¾" from the bottom edge and secure using 1 ¼ pocket hole screws.
- Add slats on the side using 1x4 boards secure them into place using wood glue and 1 ¼" wood screws.
- Build optional lid frame using 2x4s
- Install lid slats using wood glue and 1 ¼" wood screws.
- Stain your box.
- Attach the lid to the Christmas tree skirt box using non-mortise hinges and add soft close mechanisms since the lid is heavy.
- Ffinish the tree skirt box by giving it a few coats of clear poly.