Personalize Your Holiday Gifts With Handmade Wood Bow
A few scraps of your favorite wood and a sharp hand plane are all you need to personalize gifts with wood ribbons and bows. We used pine, walnut and cherry for contrasting tones. For flat, ribbon-style shavings, moisten the board edge with a damp rag before planing. For curly bows, plane the board when dry. Vary the width of the shavings by angling the plane along the board edge in a bevel cut.
Christmas Tree Basics
Check the height of the tree before you bring it into the house. Cut an inch or so off the bottom of the trunk so the tree will stay fresher longer. Check the trunk diameter by test-fitting the stand. If the tree’s too big, you’ll need to either get a bigger stand or start whittling. Use a lopper to trim any bottom branches that don’t clear the sides of the stand.
Christmas Tree Setup
When you bring your tree home, carry it into the house and set it up in the stand before removing the netting. It’ll slip right through doors, hallways and stairwells without making a mess. You’ll find it easier to get at the tree stand screws and easier to tell if the tree is straight.
Use a Power Drill to Tighten Tree Stand Bolts
Tightening Christmas tree stand nuts by hand takes forever. Here’s an alternative: Cut off the little Ls at the end of the tree stand bolts with a hacksaw. Chuck the ends of the bolts into a drill to tighten them into the trunk. Another Christmas tip: A tree stand that gets overfilled with water stains the floor. To prevent, place a plastic water heater tank catch basin under your stand.
Tree Watering That Saves Your Back and Knees
To make tree watering easier, hang a funnel from a tree branch with a loop of clothes hanger. Then slip a plastic tube over the end of the funnel and run the tube along the trunk and into the water reservoir. To prevent overfilling, have one of the kids watch the water level or put a finger in the reservoir and tell you when it’s full.