When I was growing up, my parents had a plaid Christmas tree skirt that was made from a fairly thin cotton material. It was a very pretty tree skirt, but it never stayed in place—it moved around and away from the tree any time you’d put an ornament on the tree or a present beneath it. It never looked neat, which drove the perfectionist in me crazy—which is why I now own a tree skirt made from thick wool felt.
I like the idea of something clean and nice that doesn’t need constant readjusting, which is what led me to this design. I wasn’t familiar with the concept of a Christmas tree collar until halfway through my design, when I stumbled on one online. A Christmas tree collar goes around a Christmas tree stand so that it covers it up but is still open on the top so you can water your tree. I noticed most of the holiday tree collars are essentially big metal buckets with the bottom cut out—every time I saw one, a scenario popped into my head: two people lugging a Christmas tree through the door, guiding the stump into the Christmas tree stand, getting it all set up and angled just right, and then saying: “Oh, shoot, I forgot the collar.” Preventing that moment of panic is why mine has hinges—you can put it on and take it off any time without a moment of panic!
You can pair this with a DIY Christmas tree skirt, but I quite like how clean and simple this DIY tree collar is on its own.
Step 1: Cut Christmas Tree Collar Pieces
For this project, I’m using one-by-four white wood. I chose it because I love the color, but you can use cedar, Douglas fir, hemlock, poplar—whatever you like.
We’re making our cuts with a circular saw. First, clamp down your wood to your workstation. For these cuts, we’re using a jig similar to what we did for the pie box. Instead of having a board next to the board you’re cutting as a guide, use a board on top of the board you’re cutting.
Set up your station so that the circular saw cuts off the very edge of the one-by-four and turns it from a straight edge to a 10° slant. Cut both sides of the boards so you have opposing 10° angles. Then, cut your boards into (18) 10” pieces.
If you don’t have a circular saw, you can rig a miter saw to make these cuts.
Step 2: Pre-Drill Holes With Kreg Jig
We’re using a Kreg jig so all the screws are on the inside of the collar—I want a clean look for the outside of the collar, which is the beauty of the Kreg jig.
Because all the pieces are angled, we’re using the Kreg jig slightly differently than we normally would for one-by material. Set your Kreg jig tool to 3/4" depth and your Kreg jig drill bit to 5/8" depth. Pre-drill one hole into either end of one side of the 10” pieces. Leave two of them un-drilled.
Note: An impact driver requires a lot less elbow grease than using a regular drill, but the collar on the drill bit has a hard time staying in place because of the movement. The best way to work around this is to replace the collar with a piece of tape so you know when to stop drilling. It makes things much easier!
Step 4: Assemble Christmas Tree Collar
Start by attaching one of the pre-drilled pieces to one of the non-pre-drilled pieces with 1 1/4" Kreg jig screws and a long square driver bit. Then, work your way backward, attaching another pre-drilled piece to the first pre-drilled piece until you have a half-circle made from nine pieces. Repeat this process. When finished, you should have two half-circles made from nine pieces each.
This is a step that benefits from an extra pair of hands—it can be tricky to hold up and get the right angle between two pieces and it’s nice to have someone around to help.
Step 5: Sand Christmas Tree Collar
Sand each assembled side with an electric sander and 150-grit sandpaper. I held off until this step because I wanted the pieces to be uniform and flow into one another—sanding here helps create that look. If you don't have a sander, you can sand by hand.
Step 6: Add Hinges to Christmas Tree Collar
Trim your hinge to the length of one-by-fours with a hacksaw, then sand down any sharp edges. Fit the hinge to one end of both half-circles and attach with screws.
Step 7: Add Hook and Eye to Christmas Tree Stand
On the ends of the half-circles without the hinges, attach a hook and eye on the bottom and the top of the inside of the stand. Pre-drill two eye holes with a 3/32” bit on the top and bottom of one half-circle. Place the hooks in the eyes and mark for pre-drilling the hook holes in place on the other half-circle. Make sure the hook and eye is pulled tight enough so there isn’t a visible gap. If one side of the collar is taller than the other, you can adjust the hook and eye to pull one side up or down as needed.
Step 9: Add Finish
This is where you can have a bit of fun with it! I loved the look of the raw white wood, so I added a finish to keep it pristine and safe from tree sap (and a life in storage). Whatever you decide to do, I recommend ending with a finish for these reasons.
You could also stain yours, paint it a high-gloss red for a bit of shine, or add details with acrylic paint.
I love this project for its clean finish. I’m always so delighted when I use a Kreg jig because the craft is inherently elevated. The professional look of a project done with a Kreg jig makes me re-obsess over it every time. I hope this tree collar brings you lots of joy for many Christmas seasons to come!