Shim Tree

Turn wooden shims into a stylish Christmas or winter decoration. They’re so inexpensive and easy to make in a variety of sizes, you can assemble an entire forest.


Step 1: Wrap the cone with kraft paper and tape the ends together. Do not tape the paper to the cone. Trim off any excess paper.

Step 2: Dab hot glue on the back of a shim at the thin end and press it against the paper with the thick end resting on the base of the cone. Continue adding shims around the bottom of the cone.

Glue bottom shim row to paper-wrapped cone

Good to Know: To vary the height of the trees, measure 4 inches [10.16 cm] or 8 inches [20.32 cm] up from the base of the cone to start your first row. A large tree measures 30 inches [76.2 cm] tall, a medium stands 26 inches [66 cm] tall, and a small tree is 22 inches [55.88 cm] tall.

Step 3: Begin the second row of shims by gluing a shim to the bottom row of shims — not to the paper — with the wide end 4 inches [10.16 cm] from the base of the cone. At the top of this shim, place a rubber band around the cone to act as a guide for the remaining shims in this row.

Glue second shim row to cone paper

Good to Know: Use plenty of glue when attaching the second row of shims to fill any gaps. Overlap the thin end of the shims slightly to compensate for the taper of the cone.

Step 4: Continue adding shims by gluing each row to the one below until you reach the top. Move the rubber band as needed to guide your rows.

Top row of shims on finished tree

Step 5:: Slide the tree off the cone. Carefully tear out as much of the paper as possible to keep it from showing through the gaps between shims. Reinforce any loose areas by gluing them from the inside.


Skill Level: Intermediate

Estimated Cost: $46

Time Estimate: A few hours


  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Painter’s tape
  • Hot glue gun and sticks
  • Kraft paper (or grocery sack)


  • 28-in [71.12 cm] cone
  • 20 packs of pine shims (in bundles of 14) for three trees, #3969

* Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market.

Products and prices may change; check your local Lowe’s store for details

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