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:


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.


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

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.


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 🙂

Tree_Ribbon_On Tree

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

Craft Projects, Life

Authentic Wooden Sign

Yesterday was my coworker Dan’s last day in the office — he and his wife are moving to Greece for a couple of years. Dan has a fantastic sense of humor and is a midwestern boy. One of the long-running jokes in our office is that Dan wants to move to West Virginia to start a bear emporium… it’s better that you not ask haha. Anyway, he calls it “Uncle Dan’s Bear Emporium.” SOOOOO, the rest of the team devised a plan to make Dan a sign for his fictional business for him to take overseas with him. While I doubt anyone will want to replicate this project exactly (who else wants a fictional bear emporium after all?), I’m sharing it because 1. it’s awesome, and 2. it turned out to be a pretty authentic looking wooden sign.

Here’s the image I created in InDesign for us to use on our sign:

Awesome, right? We all thought so. But it gets better. So much better!

I picked up a wooden slab at Hobby Lobby for the back of our sign.

It was the perfect size and shape for our sign, and the smooth surface made making the sign a breeze. Once I had my piece of wood and the document printed, I trimmed the edges of the sign so it would fit in the center of the piece of wood.

I headed down to my craft room to start making the sign look like aged wood. To do that I took a lighter and burned the wood. Be very careful if you try this. After all, you are playing with fire.


Once the piece of wood was sufficiently burned, I turned the flame to the piece of paper.

I was very careful to not set my house on fire or burn a hole through Dan’s face, only letting the flame burn for a second or two before blowing it out. I did this around the entire edge of the photo. The effect of the burnt edges was a really nice touch.


With my photo and piece of wood equally burnt, I set to work Mod Podging the piece of paper to the piece of wood.


Two coats of Mod Podge later, I left Dan’s sign to dry. Once it was dry, I set it on fire a bit more (can you say “pyro?”). Then I attached picture hangers to the back of the sign using a shallow screw.

I then tied rope to each hanger.

With that, the sign was complete and AMAZING.

Pretty sweet going away gift, huh?

We all signed the back before sending our coworker off to Greece in style. I wonder what they’ll think of the sign in customs?

Farewell, Dan. We’ll miss you!