Quick & Easy Personalized Wood Slice Ornaments

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Wood Slice Ornament

If you are like some of us who have waited until the last possible minute to complete your gift shopping (ahem…), here’s a quick and easy DIY project that will surely please your recipients – personalized wood slice ornaments!

Use your imagination for any kind of designs you like. The ornaments I made are free-hand lettered with a woodburner and embellished with a little paint and some ribbon. Pinterest and Etsy websites have all kinds of ideas – simply search “wood slice ornaments” for some pictures that inspire you.

Wood Slice Ornament

Step 1

First, locate some nice branches. For my last-minute ornaments, I used fallen branches of cedar and tangelo trees, but any variety would work as long as they are the diameter you want and in good shape. These measure 2-1/2″ or so. If you have the time to spare before you need to give out your ornaments or would rather not cut them, these can be ordered online from sites like Etsy.

Step 2

Slice the branch on a bandsaw to approximately 1/4″ thick. (The bandsaw was stopped for the purpose of this photo.) A single branch can produce a lot of these little ornaments!

Step 3

Drill a small hole —1/8″ works nicely — at the top of each wood slice for hanging the ornament on the tree. A drill press makes this a quick and easy step. 

Step 4

Lightly sand the surface of the ornaments. I used 150 and 200 grit sandpaper sheets to gently smooth the surface from bandsaw marks, but left them with a somewhat natural finish. I like the raw edges of these also, especially the cedar, so I left the sides as is.

Wood Slice Ornament

Step 5

Woodburn to personalize the ornaments. I used a small woodburning tool to add names, dates, snowflakes and little designs around the edges of the ornaments, making each one a little different. I love the look of the burn on the natural surface of these, and the cedar ones smelled really good when burning them.

Step 6

Add paint and embellishments. I filled in with a little acrylic paint where I had woodburned holly leaves and berries, added some clear sparkle paint as highlights on snowflakes or around edges, and even added some “snow” on a few ornaments. Next, add ribbon for hanging and you are ready to gift your creations!

There’s still time to create some personalized heirlooms that your friends and family will cherish for years to come. Stop by your local Woodcraft store for more ideas, then get busy and make some memories!  You can also take a woodburning class to learn more about pyrography and how to create detailed woodburned scenes. 

We hope you’ll be inspired!

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