We opted to put up a stacked book tree this year for Christmas and decided to share all about how to make a Christmas tree out of books!
I had planned to share a different topic on the podcast/blog this week. But, after sharing about our book tree on IG over the weekend, I knew it needed its own place on the podcast and blog, too.
This is one of those podcast episodes where you can tune in to the show and hear the backstory behind the book tree, plus what we usually do for Christmas and why it activates allergy issues in our family and more.
OR, if you just want the nitty gritty details on how the book tree was built and how to make a book tree then just scroll down below and read the blog post!
Tune in to the Christmas Book Tree Podcast Episode
If you missed the last two weeks on the podcast, make sure to tune in. I was able to chat with both Shelby Goodman and Chelsea Bieber about Christmas traditions and minimal decor during the holidays. I loved both short interviews so much!
Ok, let’s build a stacked book Christmas tree!
How do you make a Christmas tree out of books?
It’s pretty simple, honestly! You need to gather a BUNCH of books. For our 6.5′ tree, we used around 630 books. I lost track but I’d say between 630-650.
Sort your books into piles by thickness and overall size.
Start building your base with your “coffee table sized” books first. You can get an estimate on size if you count our first few layers below. Each new layer will bridge the existing layer of books. Meaning, that you will cover each seam with a new book.
The most important part of making your book tree is keeping each layer and each book level. The books need to be level themselves so they are sturdy but then each layer needs to be close to level so that the form of the book tree is correct.
The stacked book Christmas tree should slightly taper in on each layer but you don’t want the taper to be a lot at all. If you taper the books too much, too fast, then your book tree will become unsteady and want to sink in on itself.
The photo for the book tree below shows the books and how slowly they taper in.
To finish off the tree, we swirled a few books to create a bit of a topper. This part was a bit of trial and error. You could easily add your own Christmas tree topper to the top of the tree. I did add a big star to ours, but then decided that I liked it plain instead.
I added some battery-operated fairy lights at the end, which I like because they have a very tiny copper wire. The copper wire is super easy to hide which makes it nice.
I will say that I’ve seen this idea before at our library in town but it wasn’t until I saw it by Jessica on IG last year that I thought to recreate it at my own home.
So, what do you think? Would you ever haul books from multiple rooms to a main room to make a tree out of books? Some might think it’s crazy, but we are definitely enjoying it. That’s the key of holiday decor right there, making sure that it fits YOU. Whether you go all out for seasonal decor or just do a little bit, just be true to your style and what you love.
- Books (500-700 for a large tree)
- Christmas Lights or Fairy Lights
1. Sort your books into piles by thickness and overall size.
2. Start building the base of your tree with your larger sized books.
3. Making sure to keep each book and each layer level, add books to bridge existing books that have been laid.
4. Taper in each layer just a smidge. If you taper in too fast, then your tree will lean in and not be steady.
5. Swirl a few books a the top to finish off the tree or add a tree topper.
6. Add fairy lights or traditional Christmas lights.
* Get an idea of the size of our base by looking at the photos and counting the books. Our tree ended up being 6.5'.