1. Measure and cut the base piece of wood (however tall this piece is will be the size and height of your entire tree, so plan accordingly)
2. Lay the base piece on the ground and arrange the other strips of wood across it at varying (or equal) distances apart. I did everything by eye and didnt worry too much about measuring everything perfectly. I personally, think being imperfect adds to the trees charm.
3. Starting with the pieces at the bottom of the base, start cutting each piece (with the longest on the bottom and gradually getting smaller toward the top). Again, I eye-balled these measurements and didnt care if the edges were a little rough where I cut.
4. Once you have cut and arranged all the pieces as you like, start nailing each piece onto the base with one long nail. I like it to have only one nail, because you can decide (and change your mind) if you want to keep the limbs straight or skew them for a more whimsical, wonky affect. Make sure to leave a little bit of base at the bottom so you have something to stand it up on. I DID MEASURE each limb to find the approx. middle for where to place the nail, but that was the only real measuring I did in this project.
5. you could also stain or paint the tree at this point. i left it unfinished and like the natural wood in our room. perhaps next year, ill add some stenciled words along one side or distress it. i added clear ball ornaments and some additional decor for a beautiful holiday mantle.