Can you believe it’s already February!? Seems like Christmas just ended and it’s now time to decorate for Valentine’s day! (Or if you’re like me – finally take down the Christmas tree!) This is the third month of the Ready, Set, Craft Challenge with Gav + Ro, Our House Now A Home, and XOKerry. We’ve had some fun challenges the past 2 months including Mini Ornaments and Yarn. I was especially excited for the challenge item this month: wood! A few months ago we had a HUGE tree limb fall in our front yard (narrowly missing our house and cars). Most of it was hauled away, but I saved a few branches thinking I would craft something out of them. Who else do you know that has a major disaster in the front yard and immediately creates a Pinterest board with projects for it? The same kinda gal with a friend who comes over with a chainsaw to help clean up and is paid in wood scraps! The challenge this month finally gave me a chance to put some of this wood to good use! I originally planned to create ornaments with these (and you totally could!) but since it’s now time for Valentine’s I decided to use a wood burner (for the first time!) to create a custom wood slice banner.
- Tree branch
- Cutting board
- Ornament Hooks
- Hot Glue Gun/Glue
- Wood Burner
- Miter Saw
- Drill (optional)
- Safety Goggles (Not optional)
- First step is to cut the wood slices from the tree branch using the Miter saw. While wearing your safety goggles, place a 12 inch section of tree branch on the saw and slice 1/2 inch - 1/4 inch slices. This works best with a straight branch.
- At this point you can drill 2 parallel holes towards the top of the slice to thread the ribbon through for the banner. The wood I was using was a bit dry and I was afraid it would crack, so I skipped this step.
- Plug your wood burner in so it has time to heat up. Make sure the stand it rests on is secure so it doesn't touch anything or move. THIS TOOL GETS EXTREMELY HOT. Be very careful!
- While your tool heats up, use a pencil to draw the letters you want on the wood slices. You could stencil the letters on or free hand it like I did. For Valentine's day I put: WOOD U B MINE. See what I did there? 😉
- I used a wooden cutting board to work on since I was sure the tool would melt my desk! Once the tool is hot, you use it basically like a pen to "write" on the wood. I recommend using a scrap piece first so you get the hang of it. Depending on which tip you are using, you get a different design using different pressure and angles. This was a really fun tool to play with!
- Once you're done with wood burning, it's time to hang your pieces. I used a hot glue gun to secure ornament hooks to the back of each wood slice.
- The last step is to hang your wood slices! Since I used hooks I simply hung them off the ribbon I put on the wall (in front of my tassel garland!). If you drilled holes in step two, you can string the ribbon through the holes and hang that way. (This way would definitely be more secure but either will work.)