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Alphabet Block Christmas Tree – How to Make a Recycled Wood Block Xmas Tree

Imagine how cute this Christmas tree would be in a nursery or child’s playroom? The alphabet block Christmas tree uses child’s toys, wooden blocks and some small holiday craft supplies.

December 8 is celebrated each year as National Christmas Tree Day. We’ll be celebrating the day today with a unique and very special Christmas tree that you will treasure for years.

One of my favorite types of DIY projects are those that recycle old items into something new and decorative for the home. They are also some of my reader’s favorite posts.

ABC block Christmas tree on a red base with miniatures and trees.

Check out these ideas for more DIY recycled Christmas crafts:

Remember the old wooden alphabet blocks that we used to love to build with as a child?  I see them all the time in thrift shops and consignment shops.

Let’s put them to a recycled use by making them into a wood block Christmas tree. It will bring the magic of Christmas into any child’s room.

Recycled alphabet blocks are the perfect choice to make a charming table-top Christmas tree for a playroom or nursery. It would be the perfect tree to take to your child’s school party to use as a centerpiece.

Don't toss out those old wooden alphabet blocks. Recycle them to make a unique Christmas tree for a playroom or child's bedroom. Find out how to make this special Christmas decoration at Always the Holidays. 🎄🎅🎄 Click To Tweet

Note: Hot glue guns, and heated glue can burn. Please use extreme caution when using a hot glue gun. Learn to use your tool properly before you start any project.

Supplies for the wood block Xmas tree

The project is very easy to do.  All you need to make it are a few items you may actually have on hand.  The Dollar Store or thrift shops are also a great place gather the supplies.Paint, toys, blocks, ribbon and greenery for thealphabet blocks Christmas tree.

  • A large piece of wood the size you want your display to be.
  • Some Christmas ribbon
  • Green fabric and white fur edging (I cut up a Dollar Store Christmas stocking that had both in the design.)
  • Child’s alphabet blocks – mine were 1 inch in size
  • Small artificial Christmas trees in various sizes
  • Small Christmas miniatures (old ornaments work great)
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Small figure for a tree topper
  • Red acrylic craft paint

You’ll also need a paint brush and a hot glue gun and some glue sticks.

This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link.


Making the alphabet block Christmas tree

The ABC block tree will be more stable if you use a piece of wood as the base. My base was made from old reclaimed wood. It is 15 1/2 inches square and 2 inches tall.

I painted the entire base with red acrylic craft paint and allowed it to dry.Wood base painted with red acrylic paint and bottle of paint and foam brush.

Once the paint is dry, wrap the sides of the base with some Christmas ribbon the depth of your base. Hot glue the ribbon in place along the edges and at the back in a seam to give it a finished look.

My ribbon was made from burlap with a holly design on it.

Having a base also gives an area to arrange a small Christmas scene around the tree which adds to the magic of the design.

Your child will soon be dreaming of sugar plums as they gaze upon the tree at bedtime!

The beauty of this alphabet block tree is that the blocks will stack easily into a Christmas shape and you can determine how large the tree will be by the number of alphabet blocks that you have on hand.

I used almost 100 blocks that were 1 inch in size.

Pile of alphabet wooden blocks

Building the layers of the ABC block Christmas tree

Start by measuring around your first circle of alphabet blocks on the bottom row to the outside of your base. This make sure that the tree will be centered when done.

My alphabet block tree was centered with a 3 1/2 inch space on all four sides.Ruler, alphabet blocks on Christmas base.

Once you have your measurements correct, hot glue the first row of blocks into place on the wooden base. 

Arrange a second layer of blocks in a circle on top the first row of blocks. Stagger the blocks so that each new block straddles two blocks from the row below it.

When I added the second row of blocks, I also used some temporary extra blocks inside the perimeter of the circles so that the blocks had something to sit on before I hot glued them in place.

This allowed me an area to position them back a bit, leaving room for some small toys and made the gluing process easier. Second row with extra blocks inside the circle.

Glue the blocks into place with a hot glue gun by applying a dab of hot glue to the bottom of each block.

Having the back inside edges of the blocks touching each other makes them all sit evenly and gives nice spaces for miniatures to sit.

If you like, you can include messages in the tree, such as Merry Christmas, Noel, or even your child’s name!

Personalizing the tree would make the Christmas tree a cherished heirloom for years to come.alphabet blocks with names Gary and Carol with Christmas toys.

Glue the second row of blocks in place, in the same way that you glued the bottom row. Add more blocks inside again for stabilizing the next row of blocks.

Keep adding layers in this way until you get to the space for the top three rows. Remove the stabilizing inside blocks now.

Alphabet blocks in a circle and a glue gun on a red Christmas base.

I hot glued an extra block inside the very top layer of the tree. This gave me a flat surface for the final block to sit on.

Alphabet blocks in the shape of a tree.

The very last block sits on the extra block. Using a block with the first letter of your last name is a nice touch. (see more ways to personalize this ABC block tree below.)
Finished alphabet block tree on a red base.

A note on the size of the alphabet block Christmas tree.

I had 100 blocks to use, so I started with a large circle of blocks and this gave me nine rows of blocks. If you have less blocks, make your first circle smaller and your tree will also be smaller and have less rows.

The tree can be made with just a few blocks if you use lots of glue and don’t mind spaces between the blocks. 

Adding miniature Christmas figures in the space between the blocks will allow you to space them more widely if you don’t have many blocks.

Decorating the wooden block Christmas tree

Now comes the fun part – decorating the tree!

You can, of course, purchase the items to use in the display, but there are also lots of ways to keep it inexpensive. Check out the Dollar Store for mini ornaments and snowy trees.

I used a set of Christmas miniature figures for my tree. They were just the right size.alphabet block tree with glue gun and mini ornaments on a red base.

You can also use old Christmas ornaments that no longer grace your family tree, or even your child’s plastic toy figures would look great.

Arrange your miniature display items in place here and there in the display and hot glue them to the wooden blocks in the spaces.

Small faux fir trees are also used to add more texture and a Christmas look. The small trees get glued into the spaces on the blocks and the larger ones decorate the base at the bottom of the tree.

Faux fir trees, and a glue gun next to an alphabet tree on a wooden base.

A note on the loose toys for the wood block Christmas tree.

Safety first! –  Unless you use quite large alphabet blocks, the areas left outside the blocks for toys require that the toys be small sized.

For this reason, it is recommended that you glue the toys in place securely, particularly if you have children younger than three, who have a tendency to put small items in their mouths.

Leaving these small toys loose would produce a choking hazard for them.

The tree looks best when the bottom base layer is loaded with Christmas figures and trees.

This makes it look almost like presents under the tree. (and gives your child lots of things to dream about as they wait for Santa to come!)

Personalizing the ABC block Christmas tree.

There are lots of ways to personalize this Christmas tree. Here are some ideas that I incorporated. Words and names spelled out in a block Christmas tree.

  • I spelled out the names Richard, Carol and Jess for our family members.
  • I used the S for the top block to go along with our last name.
  • Other words I used in the tree are Xmas, love, joy, XOXO.
  • For the large figures around the tree, I used a motorcycle Santa (for my husband), a snowman in the garden (me), a mailbox (to mail Christmas cards to England where Richard was born.)
  • A sleigh with a fresh cut Christmas tree and wreath in it (for a family tradition with my daughter each year.)
  • Lots of snowflakes (to remind me of a white Christmas in Maine.)
  • Lots of trees, since we have several trees in our home each Christmas.

What will you do to make your alphabet block Christmas tree more suited to your family? Tell us about your ideas in the comments below!

Pin this alphabet block Christmas tree for later.

Would you like a reminder of this Alphabet block Christmas tree project?  Just pin this image to one of your Christmas boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Wooden ABC blocks in the shape of a tree with words reading "Alphabet block Christmas tree."Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in December of 2013. I have updated the post to add all new photos, a photo tutorial, a printable craft card and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 1 'Christmas Tree

Easy DIY Alphabet Block Christmas Tree

ABC block Christmas tree

This cute alphabet block Christmas tree will bring the magic of Christmas to any child's room.

Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $50

Materials

  • A large piece of wood the size you want your display to be.
  • Red acrylic craft paint
  • Christmas ribbon
  • Green fabric and white fur edging
  • Child's ABC blocks - mine were 1 inch in size ( I used about 100 of them for my tree.)
  • Small artificial Christmas trees in various sizes
  • Small Christmas miniature  pieces (old ornaments also work great)
  • Small tree topper

Tools

  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paint brush

Instructions

  1. Paint the wood base with red acrylic craft paint and let it dry.
  2. Glue Christmas ribbon on the edges of the wood base and hot glue it where it meets in the back.
  3. Measure with a ruler to make sure your first row of blocks is evenly spaced from all edges of the base.
  4. Arrange the first row of alphabet blocks in a circle and hot glue them firmly into place. I made my first circle with an inside diameter of 8 inches.
  5. Add blocks inside the outer layer, as well, so the blocks have something to sit on as you are assembling the layers of the Christmas tree. (These will be removed later.)
  6. Continue adding blocks in slightly smaller circles with each row, resting on the stabilizing blocks.
  7. To personalize: incorporate blocks that spell out family members or Christmas words such as love, joy, noel, Xmas, etc.
  8. Continue adding blocks until you get to the top three rows.
  9. Remove the stabilizing blocks and finish gluing the top rows.
  10. End with one block showing the first letter of your last name.
  11. Glue the artificial trees to the base of the arrangement.
  12. Arrange the Christmas themed miniatures around the base and also in the spaces of the blocks in a pleasing arrangement. Glue these securely in place.
  13. Hot glue some larger figures and larger faux trees around the base of the block tree.
  14. Cut some green fabric in a half circle shape and hot glue the white fur to the edge of it. Glue in place to act as a Christmas tree skirt.
  15. Hot glue the topper to the top block and display with pride.

Notes

Safety first! - Unless you use quite large alphabet blocks, the areas left outside the blocks for toys require that the toys be very small sized. For this reason, it is recommended to glue the toys in place. Leaving these small toys loose would produce a choking hazard for them.

Inspiration for this project is from a vintage issue of Crafts 'n Things.DIY alphabet block Christmas tree

(Image credit: Craft 'n Things Magazine.)

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Suzanne L. Barclay

Monday 14th of September 2020

I am having trouble with the tree I'm making I'm not happy with the gaps on the blocks as the tree goes up in size.

Carol

Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Hi Suzanne. It's been a long time since I made this project but I seem to remember some gaps. Perhaps adding some faux greenery on the inside of the blocks would help.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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