When Christmas is over, the Christmas tree is generally wasted. In the past I have made ornaments out of the wood, but this last Christmas I decided to make a cross that would stand as a reminder to us until Easter.
This was a relatively quick project. I took the tree outside and used my sawsall to cut off the branches close to the bole. Good thing I did too, because I found a stowaway hidden in the branches that escaped the ornament removal process.
I used a hachet to debark the trunk, and then my hand belt sander to smooth things out.
To make the cross beam, I cut the bole at about 1/3 its length, though for larger trees 1/4 will look better. Then I sanded down the edges.
About 1/3 the way down the longer piece, you need to make a notch to set the cross beam in, which is pretty simple with a hatchet. I then piloted a hole and drilled a screw through from the backside, pre-assembling to make sure everything looked right.
I generally prefer a natural finish, but I’m still in my “deep-red finish” period, and so I stained it with Minwax Gunstock. Finishing with polyurethane is a good idea because the wood will quickly dry out and crack otherwise.
Our cross then returned inside the house and stood on our mantel.
May this Easter be meaningful for you, and inspire deep gratitude.