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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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, Craft Projects, DIY GIFT GUIDE

Pallet Tree

The hubbs brought a few pallets home from his mom’s house and they’d been sitting out back waiting to be turned into something awesome. I used a ton of the wood for gifts this year. The first project I’ll share is the pallet tree I made as a decoration for our house.

I used a reciprocating saw to remove the flat pieces of wood off of the pallet in between the supports. I didn’t care about the pieces of wood being even because I planned on trimming them further.

I lined up four pieces of wood, and screwed them all together from the back, leaving a portion of the back support uncovered so it would act as the tree trunk.

Pallet Tree_Back

When all of the horizontal slats were secured, I flipped it over and traced a tree onto the front. To make it perfect, I measured the center point at the top of the tree, then traced straight lines to each corner from the top.

Pallet Tree_Traced

Once the tree was traced on, I used a circular saw to cut along the lines.

Pallet Tree_Saw

The final tree was adorbs, but still missing something.

Pallet Tree_Bare Tree

I thought about staining it, but opted to leave it plain. Instead, I created bunting out of cardstock, twine and gold paint. So stinkin’ cute.

Pallet Tree_Finished

Of all the things I made this holiday season, this is one of two things I kept for us. I just love it. I made it right before Christmas, so it wasn’t displayed for long. When I find a better spot for it next year, I’ll probably add hangers to the back so it can hang on the wall.

All in all, the only took about an hour from start to finish. Super easy project and would make a great gift! Now pin it for next year since I didn’t share untilย after the holiday. Rookie move, I know.

Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Christmas Eve Craft: Wooden Tree

Last year, err 2012, my dad and I did a craft on Christmas Eve. It was one of the highlights of my Christmas break and I was looking forward to doing one again this holiday season. My family loves traditions, and when you do something awesome, why not do it every year?!

meanddad

Well, turns out my dad scheduled carpal tunnel surgery the Thursday before Christmas Eve. ON BOTH HANDS! He is crazy, and tough, and did I mention crazy?

If I had asked him to Christmas craft with me on Christmas Eve, he probably would have said yes. So I didn’t ask. Sometimes the kid has to play parent.

Instead, I set out to make a craft as a final Christmas gift for him.

When we made our Christmas Tree craft in 2012, we cut out one extra base for this year — we had grand plans to make a light up tree!

Tree stencil

With the base already cut, I got out my supplies for my craft: shims, paint sticks, Minwax stain cloths, wood glue and battery operated lights.

First, I cut off the “tree stand” from the tree we created last year. Basically, I trimmed down the tree so it was a triangle with an itty bitty rectangle stump.

Then, I lined my shims and paint sticks in rows to see how many I had and if I wanted to cut any down to size.

Christmas Craft Shims

I definitely had a few to trim and sand, but first I got to staining.

Speaking of stain, I was fortunate to receive a few Minwax goodies before the holidays. One of the goodies I got was a new product I hadn’t heard about. Minwax now makes stain cloth wipes! They look kinda gross (OK, really gross), but they are awesome.

Christmas Craft Shims minwax wipes

I wanted two different tones of wood on the tree, so I opened both pouches. Each wipe is soaked in stain and each pouch comes with a handy set of gloves (it’s like they know I won’t wear gloves if they aren’t taped to the package!)… use a wipe, toss wipe, toss gloves, you are clean! I am pretty sure this product was designed for me…

Christmas Craft minwax wipesAwesome, huh?

Christmas Craft Shims stained dark

I let the stained shims dry for about an hour before moving on with the project.

Christmas Craft Shims Stained

Dry stain meant time to get moving. I was doing all of this on Christmas Eve after all. I used wood glue to adhere the shims to the tree base (after trimming down a few here and there with a hand saw). When all of the shims and paint sticks were in place, I smushed the entire tree under a heavy bin to put pressure on the shims to help them stay in place.

Christmas Craft Assembly

With the three dried and holding up well, I moved onto the lights. I bought battery-operated LED lights from Target. The strand had 18 itty bitty lights on it, so 18 itty bitty holes I drilled. I taped all of the wired down against the back of the tree and added the battery pack to the back with velcro command strips. Last, I drilled a hole in the top and wove a ribbon through the top.

Unfortunately, this next picture doesn’t do the tree justice. But in the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I didn’t really care to get the perfect picture. Forgive me?

Christmas Craft Complete

 

 

 

 

 

All that really matters is that my dad loved the tree. He hung it up immediately ๐Ÿ™‚ In 2014, we are definitely crafting together though. That was just better, even if my tree is pretty darn cool.

Did I mention the lights twinkle, too? Light-up tree? Mission accomplished!