Homemade Wooden Ornaments

If you have a miter saw and a tree branch, then I have a craft for you that goes beyond coasters (And a great project for older kids).

I started a tradition last Thanksgiving of giving my nephews and my son Christmas ornaments. This year, I wanted to also incorporate some branches I saved for crafting. I experimented with both birch and redwood for this craft. Overall, the birch was easier to work with verses the redwood, however, in the end I chose redwood primarily because I thought it was prettier.

Here’s what you need:
Miter saw (also known as a chop saw)
Drill and wood drill bit (to make hole)
Tree ranch that is consistent in size and is straight
Chalk board paint
Pencil and eraser
Ruler
Wood burning tool with ball point and calligraphy tips
Chalk pencil or permanent chalk marker ( I ended up using a metallic marker)

I chose to cut my rounds 1/2 inch thick from a branch that was about 3 inches in diameter. Just a suggestions, cut as many rounds from your branch as possible regardless of how many you will actually need. For example, I needed four rounds, but the branch I chose was long enough to make ten, so I cut all ten. This is because wood isn’t perfect and you never know what kinds of imperfections or colors you will discover once you slice into it. Afterwards, pick your favorite pieces for your project and use the rest for practicing ideas or coasters for your table (A pack of 6 makes for a great hostess gift).

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This piece of birch has water stains, soft spots and pink marks. Each round is one of a kind!

Drill a hole at the top of your round. Paint one side with the chalk board paint. For me, it was easier using my finger to paint because I didn’t want to get any on the bark.

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Example of a redwood round drilled and painted.

You remember those extra rounds? Ok! Bust them out to practice using that wood burner! Every piece of wood is different and you want to get the feel for what you are working with before you do your final piece. Why? Because you cannot erase burnt wood, LOL, so you have only one shot! No pressure…

I cannot free-hand anything. For real though. So I used printed images to to inspire me. Remember, these aren’t perfect circles, so centering images can be tricky. I sketched my image with a pencil so I could erase if needed and clean up when done.

After, and only after, feeling confident in practicing with the burner, I went to work. I found that the calligraphy tip worked great for straight edges and the ball point was perfect for rounded ones.

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Imperfect and adorable!

Then came the hand lettering on the chalk side. Again, I need ideas in front of me and to pencil out what I want to do ahead of time. I used this book:

I went over the penciled areas with a chalk pencil, but ended up using a metallic paint pen instead based on my own personal preference.

My nephews loved their gifts and I know I was happy with the one I made for my son. Mine aren’t fancy enough for etsy, but I know some of you could probably make money off your mad skills! Enjoy!

Written by Mariah Cook, AKA Auntie MoMo.

Creative Inspiration: Please Do Not Knock

I hope this gives you a creative muse for your home! Hey, isn’t that why we flock to Pintrest? I have had a lot of requests from you, and I hear you loud and clear! You want one of these. Here is the back story on this gem of a sign. Ordering information is at the bottom of this article if you want to skip to the nitty gritty.

I am a podcast-aholic. I love hearing people’s stories and my sister turned me on to The Longest Shortest Time; all about being a parent. Moms and dads are heroes! They have a FB forum for the mamas and I am one of 10K. These people have been my companions on some crazy long nights with my little sleep-fighting monster.

Yesterday this picture was posted:
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Moms got excited. Then came a knock-off:
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Then came another inspired piece:
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Then I had to post the original pic on my personal page because it was genius. I wish I could have a sign like this. My chihuahua and child are in cahoots to make sure all sleep around here stops, but we all know Mama always wins. Well, mostly wins.

Then came a gift from one of my dear friends:
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I hope you are inspired to have fun telling people to shut-it in adorable ways.I mean, how many creative ideas do you have brewing for your own sign right now? A few, right?! You could paint wood with chalkboard paint and do it up.

BUT, if you are like me and you don’t make cute things very well and would rather just buy it, the link is below.

Mrs. Darby Gates was once a Sacramento mom, but now lives in the great Salt Lake City, UT. She will always be Sacramento at heart. Her and her hubs make all sorts of stuff from reclaimed wood. This particular sign is only $25 (plus shipping). You want to customize it? She will do that for you! You need a cupcake recipe? She has tons. She is mom you want to be connected with. Enjoy!

Written by Mariah Cook. Her and her husband live in Sacramento with their son who happens to have a wicked cold and needs some serious sleep. So don’t knock, just come in.

Trendy Wall Art You Can Repurpose Later

Trendy Wall Art

I originally started this idea for my cousin’s bridal shower. The theme we decided on was a black and white striped print with accents of pink flowers and gold glitter. I wanted to do a few wall decorations for the shower that matched the theme and would give the room a little sparkle. I’m all about finding a bargain. I have champagne dreams with an apple cider budget. So, I searched for the cheapest prices I could find.

I started to keep my eyes open for small deals and I just so happened to go to Michael’s one day and found a pretty nice sized canvas that was 50% off. I believe it was about 7 bucks! I also picked up some painters tape, a tube of black acrylic paint and a few shades of pink flowers that were also 50% off. Score!

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After about 2 weeks, I finally found a small pocket of time to start this project. I started by taping off the stripes on my canvas. I originally began to spray paint the black stripes but I didn’t like the way it was looking so I went ahead and painted the black stripes. While it dried, I hot glued the first pink flowers down.

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I slowly pulled off the tape after it dried and Voila! 

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I glued the second set of pink flowers on the canvas.

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I was torn about exactly what I wanted to do in the middle. I knew I wanted “LOVE” to be represented but I didn’t know if I wanted the word or a symbol. So, I prepared for both.

I found these letters at Michael’s for $1.49 each. I also found a wooden heart for $3.00 in the clearance section. I picked up some gold glitter, Mod Podge and one of those spongy brushes.

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I spray painted the letters and the wooden heart with Rust-oleum Metallic Finish gold spray paint first.

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I allowed the pieces to dry and then I prepped my wooden heart for the sparkle! I coated it with Mod Podge and then immediately covered it in glitter.

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After all the pieces dried, I placed them on the canvas using glue dots. I used glue dots because I’m afraid of commitment. Not really! I loved the stripes so much that I thought I might want to use the background for different seasons. Now, I can just pop off the letters and the heart and replace them with something else. How cool!? 

Trendy Wall Art

Written by Ricketa Bluford. She lives in Sacramento and is married to Sacramento local musician, Kenny, and their three kid (all under 3yrs).