Buy kit of parts:
The dimensions and instructions in this article are for a small tree approx. 50cm in height and 40cm wide. But you can modify the size of the bamboo and the number of poles to create larger one if required.
- Bamboo poles – Approx. 4 to 5 pieces 2m long and 2-3cm in diameter
- Threaded rod – Approx. 60cm long 6mm diameter
- Nuts x 2 for 6mm threaded rod
- Decorations for the tree (We get our children to make them using origami and colourful paper)
Small hand saw
Felt tip pen or Pencil
Cordless drill/Drill press and 6mm drill bit
Canopy – We will need 19 pieces starting from the longest being 40cm in length reducing 2cm/piece with the shortest piece being 4cm in length. The length of the pieces will be 40cm, 38cm, 36cm, 34cm……… upto 4cm.
Trunk – We will need 1 piece 10cm long
Base – We will need 2 pieces 20cm in length.
Step by step instruction:
1. Measure the required lengths using a tape measure and pen.The length of the internode in bamboo varies so if you want to be more particular you can align the length of the pieces to the length of the node to make sure that every piece has a node at the end on both sides. This will make the pieces look clean and solid. This is how we did it but if you don’t have enough poles or the right type of poles that you can just mark without worrying about the nodes.
2. Once all the pieces are marked cut them using a small hand saw or a hack saw. If your children are older and confident in using a hand saw this is something they can help with as well. (Tip: Use a saw horse or a vise to hold the pieces in place while cutting)
3. Wipe and clean the pieces with a wet cloth to remove any dirt and lichen from the poles. This is a great activity for kids to do
4. Use sand paper to get the edge off the cut sides. Again a good activity for children to help.
5. Arrange the poles on the ground/table in the right order to make sure you have all the required pieces.
6. Mark the centre in the all the pieces for canopy.
7. Drill holes through the centre using a 6mm drill bit. (Tip: Use a drill press if you have to make sure the holes are vertical. If not use a cordless drill, just make sure the drill is perpendicular to the piece)
8. Take the 10cm piece for the trunk and cut the ends at 45degree angle as shown.
9. Carve the edge with a knife to make sure it fits around the pole for the canopy.
10. Take 2 x 20cm pieces for the base and mark the width of the piece in the centre.
11. Make two cuts with a saw in the centre till half depth and remove the piece to create a notch. Do this for both the pieces.
12. Check to see if the two pieces fit snuggly. (Tip: Make sure the gap is tight otherwise the base might not be stable and need some packing)
13. Drill hole in the centre with a 6mm drill bit for one of the piece.
14. Put a nut on one end of the threaded rod and insert it through one of the base piece.
You can now rotate the pieces and arrange them. You can organise them in 3 different ways: i) alternating perpendicular poles, ii) spiral arrangement or iii) completely organic. Or you might have some better ideas!