Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Tree Stand

I like fresh Christmas trees. The smell of the tree is one of the things I look forward to at Christmas time.

The tree stand is the most unappreciated yet one of the most important part of your Christmas tree. A bad stand can make a good tree become a disaster, and a good stand can take a lot of the headache out of putting up a tree.

Years ago, when I lived in Utah, The big craze was water stands with a spike up the middle.

The tree lots had a grid with spikes on it that they displayed trees on, The drilled a hole up the trunk of the trees, and put the trees on the spikes, then they just lifted them off the spike and loaded it in your vehicle.

You took your tree home, and if you had the tree stand with the spike, you just set your tree down on it, filled it full of water, and it was ready to go.

When I moved East, nobody used that system, and I found myself using those stands with the thumbscrews that you have to try to level.

Patience is not one of my more dominant personality traits, and it didn't take long for me to start saying lots of uncomplimentary words each time I put up a Christmas tree.

So, I enlisted some help, and set out to build a Christmas Tree Stand that would help me keep my sanity and help to maintain peace and goodwill in our home at Christmas time.

I rescued a piece of pipe from a scrap pile that used to be the top rail of a chain link fence.

I cut two pieces, 32" long. I found the center of each piece and using a reciprocal saw I cut a rounded notch in each piece, so they would fit together.

I asked my brother in law, who is much handier than I am with such things to do my welding for me.

We drilled a hole up the center and stuck A 1/2" carriage bolt 6" long up through the hole and welded that in place.

I bought a cheap metal bucket, drilled a hole in the center of the bottom, and put it down over the bolt. We put a tack weld on each of the four contact spots to hold it in place, then I used JB Weld, (one of the magic wonder tools no toolbox should be without) to seal the hole around the bolt.

A can of spray paint finished the project.

Now, each time we get a tree, I just have to drill a 1/2" diameter hole 5" deep up the trunk of the tree, then stick the tree on the spike, fill the bucket full of water and it's ready to start decorating.

But wait, there's more....

We discovered a few years back, that there are several advantages to buying a slightly shorter tree and then elevating it.

Shorter trees cost a little less generally. Smaller trees fit in a corner of a small room a little better, and by elevating a tree you can put presents UNDER the tree, rather than in front of it, without having to cut branches off the tree.

All of this led to us buying trees between seven and eight feet tall, even though we have a nine foot ceiling. Then we would set our tree on a low table.

So the next step of this project was part utilitarian, part convenient, and part because I wanted to play in the garage with the tools.

I built a box 2' x 2' x 1', out of OSB board. A hinged lid and a magnetic latch made it just right.

Since it was esentially built around my tree stand, it holds the stand just perfectly, to keep it from being banged around while it is in storage, and when I take it out it serves as a pedestal to elevate the tree a foot off the ground.

I am giving serious consideration to installing a fourplex electical outlet on the side of the box. If I do, I will do it with an inline switch, and about a 6'cord. That way we can plug all our lights into the side of the box, turn them on and off with the flip of a switch, and only have one cord running to the wall.

But that's a project for the off season, when it's nice and warm.

For now, I'll just be happy with what I have:

This week, I'll be joining:


Do It Yourself Day

And any other blog parties that I discover throughout the week. Many of my favorites are taking the week off for Christmas, but if I see that they are up, I will join them too!



  1. Wow - this was a super idea - and even though you had to enlist some help, great that help was readily available! Nice Job!!! You're amazing!

  2. I too find a raised tree gives it a 'grand' appearance ... and better space to put gifts. Thanks for the nice comment on my "Thrifty-Garden home about my son Nathan" and his simple ways. Simple is less expensive and much easier to deal with ;). Want to see how I raised my fake Christmas tree? Check it out here

    Our tree in the living room is a small fake one we've had for fifteen years or more. This year I wrapped two sturdy milk crates to look like presents .. then topped them off with my round card table (legs in the unfolded position) ... wrapped the table in green paper ... put the tree in the center of table .. added a tree skirt, my lighted Dicken's village, some angel hair, and our little train set. My grandson was starry eyed when he saw this setup ... it's all about trains for him this year at age two.