Christmas, Craft Projects, DIY GIFT GUIDE, Gift Idea, Holiday, Pallet Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Wood Burning and Wooden Ornaments

My last holiday craft involving pallet wood also involved a new skill — wood burning!! I’d never successfully tried wood burning before, but I figured out what I’d been doing wrong and had a blast playing around with the new technique.

Before I got into the wood burning, I simply was making trees from the pallet wood. The first I made was a gift for my secret santa at work:

PalletTreeOrnament

I cut out the tree using my jigsaw, sanded it down, added a hole for the ribbon and colored the wood using the restor-a-finish product I always rave about. Cute, yes? My coworker loved it. I also gave him a Home Depot gift card — he and I love to chat about our ongoing projects. He’s my Home Depot buddy!

I made a similar tree for my godmother, but to girl it up a bit I painted gold dots all over it to look like ornaments.

Then I moved on to some simple wood burned ornaments. I tried it out on some scrap wood first:

Scrap Burning

After doing some research online, I learned that you can use a soldering iron as a wood burning tool. The only downside is the lack of interchangeable tips. I’d tried this before, but it turns out I didn’t let my iron get hot enough. This time I let it fully warm up — and that did the trick.

Once I’d tested it out on a few pieces of scrap wood, I started to make gifts for people. An “E” for the neighbors, an “S” for my mother-in-law and an “M” and “E” for Max and Eli, my friend’s sons.

Wood Burned LEtters

Let me back track for a sec — all of these are from scrap wood, which I liked a lot because pretty much none of my pallet went to waste. I sanded everything down before burning it.

OK, back to the burning… once I got designs I liked, I added holes for ribbon or wire. Some I stained, some I left natural.

MEandMax

My buddy Maz really liked his little “M.” OK, he obviously couldn’t care less about it… I just wanted to share our selfie šŸ™‚

The letters I did were fairly easy (Minus the “S”) because they were all straight lines. Since my soldering iron was a longer flat tip, that was the only shape I could do. Lots of dashes, exes and straight lines.

I got the idea to use those shapes to make wood-burned Christmas tree ornaments. These were my favorite.

Small Tree

Large Tree

If you smell them, they smell like campfire! LOVE.

I gave my sister and her BF the larger ornament with the star. The other I selfishly kept for us. I added a lumberjack-esque ribbon to it, too.

Tree_Ribbon_Final

How adorable is that? It it cost me $0! The wood was scrap, the wire I add and the ribbon came off of a gift šŸ™‚

Tree_Ribbon_On Tree

I love to make Christmas gifts and I think these were some of my favorites that I made this year.

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Christmas, Gift Idea, Graphic Design, Holiday

Muppets Animal Print

We grew up listening to John Denver & the Muppets Christmas CD, so it is by far my favorite holiday music. If you are a follower of my blog, you know that I love to do graphic design. This Christmas I made my sister a print with Animal and a quote from one of our favorite songs, Little Saint Nick.

If you listen to the song you hear Animal screaming during the refrain, “RUN, RUN, REINDEER!”

With that in mind, here is the print I designed and framed for Em for Christmas.

Runrunreindeer

I designed the Santa Animal in Illustrator, then brought it into InDesign and added the striped background and text.

Emily loved it and I totally want to print one for myself for next year! Super freakin’ cute.

Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Wooden Tree Decoration

One of my favorite gifts that I made this year IĀ of course failed to take a nice picture of. Just my luck.

I made my godfather a decoration of trees and a graphic design print with lyrics from his favorite song, In the Bleak Midwinter.

BleakMidwinter

The print is simple and has the first verse of the song. I wanted to create a decoration to sit beside it, so I used pallet wood to create a tree scene.

Tree cutouts

First, I cut out pallet pieces using a jigsaw. I didn’t care for the lines to be perfect, so you’ll see that the trees aren’t all straight or the same size. Imperfection is the name of the game.

Once my trees were cut out, I sanded them down and laid them out in a way I thought looked pleasing.

Stained trees

I pulled a piece of scrap wood from my stash and cut it down to size. I wanted just enough behind the trees to help the whole decoration stand on its own.

Lined up trees

Next, I stained the trees. I used a darker brown stain and a light green stain, choosing to leave the tree in the middle untouched.

Once the stain dried, I screwed the piece of scrap wood into the trees so they would be permanently affixed together.

Last, I used a small piece of scrap wood to create a star — I wasn’t able to cut a star out of wood, but instead stained an itty bitty piece of wood yellow and used a wood burning tool to add a star. I added this to the center tree only.

Ta da!

Final trees

Like I said — not a good picture. It really doesn’t do this decoration justice. My godfather loved his framed graphic art and the accompanying tree decoration. I almost didn’t want to give the trees away!