Design Holidays & Celebrations

12 Simple Woodworking Projects for Christmas

You've trimmed the tree, graced your door with an evergreen wreath, and decked the halls with boughs of holly—it's hard not to feel a little woodsy this time of year. So why not embrace the urge to get a little crafty with nature's finest project material? After all, handmade decor and gifts make the season extra special. Strap on your tool belt and head to the lumberyard to pick up supplies for these 12 holiday woodworking projects. There are some to give and some to keep—and all are as simple as can be.

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Advent Calendar

Create an extra special advent calendar that will will decorate and cheer your whole house year after year. This one from Sugar and Charm uses little galvanized tins hung on nails to hold trinkets and treats to surprise and delight.

Peppermint-Striped Candlesticks

Transform a 4”x4” fence post into peppermint candlesticks by simply cutting the post to the desired sizes and striping them with a candy-cane paint treatment, as seen on Simply Kierste. Once the candlesticks are dry, drill a hole in the top to accommodate a tea light. These are the perfect accent, indoors or out, to get you in the holiday mood.

Related: 10 Easy DIY Candles for a Festive Season

DIY Birch Vase

Bring a bit of the natural outdoors into your holiday decor by creating a vase from a birch log. Cut the log to the height you want, and then drill a wide hole in the center with a tri-fluted drill bit. Sand the top and use as-is, like Julie Blanner did, or drop a glass vase inside to accommodate fresh arrangements that require water.

No-Melt Snowman

Greet your guests with a happy group of snowmen made from a 4”x4” fence post. Just paint them, and then accessorize with socks for hats and flannel for scarves, like this snowman family by A Mommy’s Life With a Touch of Yellow. They’ll look great for the entire winter season on an entryway table, a mantel, or a front stoop, even after the snow melts.

Wood Slice Ornament

Nothing could be easier to accomplish than these rustic, personalized wood slice tree ornaments. After slicing a log into discs, screw in an eye hook, and thread with some jute twine for a hanger. Decorate with paint or metallic markers, or try the clever ink-jet-printer transfer technique that Upcycled Treasures used for the ornaments shown here. One log will make gifts for your entire extended family.

Card Holder

Display all those beautiful Christmas cards on a wooden tree. Cut small boards into graduated lengths, paint them in seasonal colors, and nail them to a center post to create a skeleton of a tree, as seen on Little Lucy Lu. Hot-glue mini clothespins to the branches for a fun way to keep your cherished friends and family in view all season long.

Related: Merry Mailing—10 Delightful DIY Holiday Cards

Wood Wreath

A wreath of wood slices will look handsome on a front door at any time of year. But add some burlap and holiday greenery, and you’ll have an excellent natural alternative to an evergreen Christmas wreath. Screw the first layer of rounds to a wood wreath form, glue the second layer on top, and accessorize accordingly. See this one from Finding Home for inspiration.


With a little wood glue and imagination, painted 2”x2” wood pieces are topped with wooden balls and then dressed with fabric and a twig shepherd’s hook. A smaller wood block, peg, and fabric make the manger in this craft from The 36th Avenue. Place inside a paper-lined crate graced with a craft paper star, and the true meaning of Christmas will quickly come to life.

Stocking Hangers

For a truly personalized holiday mantel, these handmade stocking hangers from Shanty 2 Chic double as photo holders. They require little more than a 2”x6” board, some Mod Podge, a bottle of stain, and some simple hardware. Santa will immediately know whose stocking is whose.

Tabletop Trees

Setting the table for a holiday dinner? Consider decorating around your own version of this adorable tree that Yellow Bliss Road made from just shims, stain, paint, and staples. First, glue and staple the treetop pieces to a stained base, skinny-side-in. Then, paint and perch this little tree on any tabletop for instant Christmas cheer.

Boot Rack

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, prep your home with this practical and pleasing boot rack. Blogger Stephanie Lynn constructed this fixture from stock lumber and 2-inch dowels to keep the slush and mud outside the house, where they belong. Glue down the dowels, or leave them dry-fitted so you can disassemble and store the rack easily during the summer months.

Related: 11 Smart Ways to Organize Your Winter Footwear

Wooden Snowflake

An oversize wooden snowflake like this would look great hanging on a front porch, or as a feature on an interior wall. The plans at My Altered State require just straightforward cuts and construction techniques, so even a woodworking novice can accomplish this project. Display several snowflakes in a grouping for a wooden winter wonderland.