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 🙂

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 🙂

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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Furniture

Refinished buffet/sideboard

Meet my buffet. Or sideboard. Whatever you want to call it.

I picked this baby up in a thrift store a few months ago on a Thirft Store Thursday excursion.

It needed some love, and while it took my awhile to give it the love it needed, I am happy to share that this beauty is beautiful again!

Buffet Before

The piece was in rough shape. It was missing the entire back, the hardware was dated (and in some cases, missing!), the casters were uneven and broken. But the bones were great. It is an all-wood piece, so I knew with the right care it could be transformed.

I worked on this piece over several months, so I was really bad at taking pictures. Here’s what I did to refinish this bad boy:

  1. New hardware: I ordered new black hardware for the front of the buffet. This included three drawer pulls for the faux drawer fronts and three hanging handles from the shuttered doors. Since this piece is older, the existing hardware was oddly sized, so I had to re-drill the holes to attach the new stuff. I went with black to pick up the black hinges on the front of the doors. It looks like this hardware has always been on this piece, which is nice.
  2. New casters: I didn’t want to replace the casters on this piece because the old ones were super cool and old. I actually am saving them, just in case I Can use them in the future. But only three of the four casters were useable — the fourth split in half so the entire buffet was wobbly and slanted. Not cool. So I grabbed four new casters, popped the old ones out and popped the new ones in.
  3. Spruced up bottom: I removed the bottom of the cabinet, cleaned it up and sprayed it black. When I put it back in place I also added another piece of wood underneath it for extra support.
  4. New backing: Can you tell what backing I used for this piece? It’s peg board! I wanted to use the pretty, cutout tin but it was hella expensive. Instead, I picked up a sheet up peg board at Habitat Restore, sprayed it black and cut it down to size. I screwed it onto the back to close up the buffet and give it a finished feel. The black peeks through at the top, again picking up the black in the hinges and the new hardware.
  5. Refinished the wood: I’ve talked about this product before and I’ll continue to use it because of the results I always get (This is not a sponsored post — I just love this stuff!) I used Howards Restor-A-Finish to bring the wood back to life. This stuff gets rid of light surface scratches, colors in deeper scratches so they aren’t as noticeable and just gives wood a beautiful sheen. I did the Restor-A-Finish once when I got the piece a few months ago, and again yesterday. The results are stunning, especially on the scratched up side. I followed this by a waxing with the Howards Feed-N-Wax.

Ready for the finished version?

Buffet After

BAM!

That scratched up side? Well, it is scratched up no more.

Buffet Side refinished

The peg board? Thoughts?  I was skeptical, but I really like it. I like that it is black, versus a shiny, silver tin. I think it goes better with the piece overall. Win!

Buffet Top Detail

And look, a back! Woohoo! It’s amazing what not being able to see through a piece of furniture does for the overall look of said piece of furniture.

Buffet After open

I’m glad I’m done with this buffet. It is great to be able to get it out of my craft room and out there for the world to see (dramatic much?)!

Thanks for stopping by to see the transformation today. Happy weekend!

Furniture, Thrift Store Finds

Before & After: Navy Dresser

I fell in love with this little beauty the moment I set eyes on it in a thrift store. I had to convince my thrift store buddy of its worth, but me, I saw the vision immediately. The lines are beautiful, the handles are awesome, but the old wood in chipping condition… not so hot.

Dresser Before

I knew when I bought this piece that I wanted to paint it navy. I thought the brassy handles would pop beautifully off of a navy facade. So I used Paint Minerals and some dark navy paint to turn this….

.

… into this!

Navy Dresser Complete

I opted to coat the whole piece in Varathane polyurethane. This isn’t typically recommended for chalk-like paints, but since this dresser will likely have stuff resting on the top I wanted it to hold up well. Now most bloggers will tell you to use polycrylic versus polyurethane when going over paint, but not me. I hate HATE hate polycrylic. I’ve ruined two projects using polycrylic and I don’t intend to ever use it again over paint. Not everyone has this same experience and maybe I’m doing something wrong, but it does not work for me. I definitely recommend using the Varathane brand of polyurethane because it dries beautifully.

Enough of my polyurethane spiel… After everything dried, I put the hardware back on. I love the result. Can’t believe I got this beauty from a thrift store for less than $10!