This year, instead of buying a live Christmas tree that will end up on the back of a council truck by January, make your own.
Use odds and ends from other DIY projects to create an individual, eye-catching festive decoration.
For the branches we used scraps of hardwood decking boards, a pine frame from a large canvas and a few scraps of framing timber. The branches were threaded onto a 600 x 10mm dowel, with pine offcuts used as spacers and the tree base.
Measure and mark the reclaimed timber into different lengths for the branches and spacers, ensuring that each branch has a matching pair.
You can leave the timber in a raw, unfinished state, or apply two coats of oil or beeswax before assembling.
1. Make the branches
Cut the branches and spacers to length with a mitresaw.
Sand all the pieces with 100 grit then 150 grit abrasive paper, smoothing over rough ends and corners.
Find and mark the centre of each branch.
2. Drill the holes
Make pilot holes in the centre of each branch using a 3mm bit, then drill with a 10mm bit, taking care to keep the drill vertical.
Test-fit the branches to the dowel.
Drill a hole in the base and secure the dowel with adhesive.
3. Make the tree
Thread the branches onto the dowel, adding spacers.
Not all the branches need a spacer between them, judge what looks best as you go.
Leave 50mm of dowel extending from the top for a star or angel.