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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I love my nail gun

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I just spent the last hour assembling my nail gun!! I read through both manuals and put it all together 🙂 It works beautifully and I’ve got a fun, new project in the works now. Best. Anniversary. Gift. Ever.

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Five tools for your crafting arsenal

Yesterday was my 24th birthday and I was spoiled with crafting goodies. I received a set of clamps, a dremel and a jigsaw.

HOLYCOWIAMSOEXCITEDTOUSEMYNEWTOOLS!

As I collect more and more items for my tool arsenal, I figured I would share which tools I find most useful. So, here are five tools that all do-it-yourselfers should have at their work benches.

No. 1: Hot Glue Gun

This might seem like a silly item, but let’s face it, most crafts call for hot glue — especially the more simple of crafts. If you don’t have a hot glue gun, you are pretty much in the stone age. You can buy a glue gun pretty at any craft store, hardware store or any big box retailer like Target, Walmart, etc. I bet some grocery stores also sell them — and they aren’t expensive at all. You can buy a glue gun and refill sticks for under $15.

No. 2: Staple Gun

While I am dying to get my hands on a nail gun, my staple gun has done the trick for me so far. Staple guns cost about $20 and can be purchased at hardware stores or other stores with hardware sections. They are really versatile tools because you can load them with staples of varying length depending on the project. And, they are super lightweight and easy to use. I use mine all the time for upholstery projects (although the husband put it away and now I can’t find it!). you’ve gotta get your hands on one of these if you don’t already have one.

No. 3: Sander

If you ever plan on refinishing an old piece of furniture, you are going to need a sander. I just got my sander as a Christmas gift and I’ve already used it several times. Make sure you buy different grits of sandpaper — the rougher the paper, the more and quicker you’ll be able to sand down your project. Start with a rough paper, then work your way to a softer paper for a smooth finish before you paint or stain.

No. 4: Dremel

So obviously I just got my dremel yesterday and have yet to experience its wonders for myself, but I can already tell this is a tool I am going to love. The dremel has 25 accessories, including pieces to grind, sand, cut, carve, engrave, and polish — I cannot wait to try it out! I’ll be honest and admit I’m not quite sure where to start, but I will keep you updated!

No. 5: Pliers of all shapes, functions and sizes

Pliers are so freaking useful! They grab onto things our fingers can’t grasp, the cut wire, the fit into tiny places… they are awesomely useful. I’ve probably got about 10 different kinds of pliers in my tool kit — some flat, some pointed, some with a cutting edge, some with grips. They are incredibly useful for jewelry making and come in handy for a lot of other crafts. And, best of all, they are super cheap. You can buy pliers at the dollar store, craft stores, hardware stores, etc. If you don’t have pliers (and that is just crazy), what are you waiting for!?

What tools do you use most often? I’m always down for suggestions of tools to try out!