In a previous post, I was deliberating whether I was going to drill a hole in the top for an screw eye hook OR drill a hole through the wood slice, I finally found some eye hooks that would for my ornament project, so I decided to go that direction. After consulting about whether a pilot hole was needed for such a small screw eye hook, turns out that a 1/16 drill bit was just the perfect size. I had every intention of using a vise and the drill press for this project. However, the 1/16 drill bit is super tiny, so I figured I’d stick with an electric hand-held drill. After designating the drill site with an ordinary push pin, I got the wood cookie all cozy in the vise. The screw-in part of the eye hook is relatively short, so I didn’t need to drill a super-deep hole. As I had suspected, Bradford Pear is a pretty hard wood. After getting the hole as deep as I needed it to be, I set forth screwing the eye hook into the wood cookie. For some reason, I can’t find my needle-nose pliers, so I had to use regular pliers, which worked just fine.
I’m delighted that this stage of this project turned out to be relatively simple. Always nice when something goes well.
Since I’ve been on quite a roll with these little wood cookie ornaments, I figured I might as well keep the momentum moving forward. That being said, I’ve reached yet another roadblock. After making good use of the pre-fabricated wood cookies I had on hand, I figured I’d see if any of the more “rough” wood cookies I’ve got on hand would work for this particular project. Just my luck, I discovered a pretty good stash of little, ornament-size wood cookies we cut back in 2015. These particular ones are thicker than the other finished products, but have the same diameter. I’ve been busy sanding ’em all. And, let me tell you, Bradford Pear is a pretty tough wood, but it sure does look neat on the inside.
Anywho, now I’m faced with the question of drilling a little hole at the top and inserting a screw eye hook OR drilling a more traditional hole through the wood cookie. What to do? Go figure, yet another holding pattern.
A while back, I scored some neat wood cookie ornaments during the after-Christmas sales. Unless I’m mistaken, I got each pack for 49 cents each…and each pack contained 6 ornaments. I had some grand plans of sanding the deer stamp off and using them for some crafty purpose. Alas, even with a power sander, I just couldn’t get rid of the stamp on the one side. So, as it is with (far too) many projects…the wood cookies sat. Every now and then, I would glance their way…and wonder what I could do with ’em.
Flash forward to just a few days ago. While I was working on putting together some lovely daffodil bouquets for Valentine’s day, I thought the vases could use a little something more. But what? After recently mowing the lawn, I had recently passed by the long-forgotten ornaments awaiting my attention out in the garage. And, conveniently I had gotten a magazine in the mail that had a bunch of “perfect” hearts on one page. Putting two-and-two together, I figured I’d take my hand at a little painting. I cut out the heart that worked best with the space, traced it, painted it, and outlined it. Holy smokes, it actually looked good. The first one provided the perfect accent to the bouquet.
Building upon that success, I figured I’d try some different heart colors. And, since I could paint (well, fill in an outline of) a heart…why not try something more challenging? I’ve seen a particular image of state-pride on window clings, stickers, t-shirts, etc. and figured I’d put my own spin on it. So, I printed out some outlines of Oregon and did the same sort of process as I used with the simple hearts. Yes, there are quite a few steps involved, ’cause we’re talking layer after layer of creativity. But, I must say, I am more than pleased with the end result. And, I finally put those dog-gone wood cookies to use as OR-naments. Go figure, just a day shy of Valentine’s day and Oregon’s 159th birthday. Thematic? Perhaps.
A few weeks ago, I was hiking and came across some awesome Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis var. occidentalis) branches. The branches were just waiting to be cut into manageable pieces and given the opportunity to truly shine. In total, I brought home 5 pieces of beautiful wood. This evening, I finally had an opportunity to see how it looked after some time with the chop saw. I was able to cut quite a few wood cookies from those 5 segments. And, I’m not sure if it is actually possible for it to look even more incredible now that it has been cut into wood cookies…but it does. In addition to each piece looking so unique, this wood also smells great. Unfortunately, I can’t quite share that scent through the internet at this time…but, trust me, it is quite delightful.
Now, I’m only hoping they’ll all dry with non of the wood checking (ie. cracking, splitting, etc.). Ahhh…just think of the possibilities! I’m thinking I see some of these as coaster, some as name tags, and some as pocket tokens.
A couple weeks ago, I noticed some neighbors had put some tree limbs out by the street to be hauled away by the city. I got thinking that some of them might make some neat wood cookies. Plus, the branches were from a type of tree (Bradford Pear) that I haven’t seen on the west coast. So, with assistance, we were able to drag a couple of them home. And there they sat.
Fast forward to last night. We pulled out the chop saw and got to work cutting cookies (and creating tons of sawdust). Yes, I know the wood was still green…but, it’ll be a whole lot easier packing cookies, as compared with packing branches. So, with plenty of help, we cut a bunch of wood cookies (of all sizes). I’ve grouped them into small, medium, and large. Now, I’ve just got to find space to pack ’em all in my luggage.
Just think…of all of the name tags, ornaments, and wreaths these wood cookies can be used to make. The possibilities are nearly endless.
With the holidays just around the corner, a great deal of my time has been spent getting various projects ready to sell at a holiday craft bazaar. If you’ll recall from (about this time) last year, I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon with my version of a rustic wood round/cookie wreath. Unfortunately, that particular version didn’t sell last year. So, the two lonely wreaths sat…just waiting for this year to roll around. After some moderate brainstorming, I was inspired to add a little greenery (we’re talking real greenery here, folks). With fresh greenery, that meant a green bow just wouldn’t do, so I decided to change the color of the bow as well. In reading various posts and trying to figured out how they actually attach the greenery, I noticed that some of the other wood cookie wreaths had used something called a craft ring as their base. After thinking about it a bit more, I figured a wider base would provide increased surface area upon which I could glue the rounds. I was able to find the craft rings I needed at Michaels and set to work dismantling all of the previous year’s hard work. I scraped and sanded off the old glue on the wood cookies and set to work re-gluing them on the wider base. For this step, I used my trusty wood glue once again. I then spent the next couple of weeks thinking about what type of greenery I would like to use AND (perhaps most importantly) where I could acquire said greenery. Conveniently, I was able to find many of the things I wanted to incorporate located all around me. I found the cedar at the base of some large trees on the edge of a McDonald’s parking lot. The holly came from trees which line the road on my way to the local Taco Bell (FYI: I asked the owner before I snipped off some twigs). The pine cones (which I didn’t use this time around) came from my very own backyard. Now, I’m not sure why I didn’t even think to add greenery last year to the wreaths last year…especially considering that I made 3 swags at nearly the exact same time. Perhaps I was just trying to keep the wreaths simple. Alas, I digress. With the wood cookies attached to the new base, I simply started laying the greenery on ’em. Add a little green floral wire to mix and you’ve got a very simple way to add so much flair to what started out as a basic wreath. As I mentioned earlier, a green bow just wouldn’t cut the mustard, so I did my best to recreate the bows from last year…this time, with the red burlap ribbon. I’m pretty certain the making of the bow was the hardest part of this whole project. For me, I found it pretty tough to get the bow to look perfect. With that being said, I was very pleased with the end result. In fact, the two wreaths I took to the bazaar were the very first items to sell. I suppose I better get started on making more for next year.
With the holidays soon approaching, I figured I’d post a piece with a crafty holiday flair. Earlier this fall, I came across quite a few pieces of Big Leaf Maple wood…mainly nice-sized branches. Not knowing what I would do with them, I held onto them and let them dry for a bit. And then I came across this fabulous wreath on Pinterest. I figured I, too, could come up with some way to make something like that…with the supplies (and budget) that I have. Here is the point at which I got out the chop saw and set to work. Since I had the saw out, I cut way more wood rounds that I could possibly need. I am still blown away by how much sawdust was created during this process. Sorry, I didn’t think to take any pictures of that step. For the base of my wreath, I found two 12″ embroidery hoops at the local GoodWill Outlet (bins) and figured they’d work perfectly. I tied a little twine up at the top to create a loop from which the wreath could hang. Originally, I was going to leave the wood rounds rough…think, straight off the chop saw. But, I figured they’d probably glue better if they had a smoother surface, so I sanded all of the wood rounds I would need. This part was the definitely the most time consuming part, as the wood was still pretty ‘green’. With the sanding finally complete, I broke out my trusty wood glue and set to work gluing the first layer of rounds into place directly on the embroidery hoop. With that layer dry, I meticulously glued another layer of wood rounds onto the first layer…taking care to cover the places where the first rounds had intersected. I just loved the way that the wreath looked at this point, but figured no wreath would be complete without a bow. The wreath I was using as a model had a burlap bow, so I was off to the store to find something of the burlap variety that would work with my particular wreath. Using a 60% off coupon at JoAnn’s, I was able to purchase a great dark, olive green roll of burlap ribbon. The ribbon was too wide for my 12″ wreath, so I used pieces that had been cut in half length-wise…saving yet more resources, money, etc. With the help of this simple tutorial on YouTube, I was able to make my very own burlap bow. Using green floral wire, I attached the bow to the top of the wreath. I like the rustic simplicity of the wreath, so have yet to add cones or greenery. We’ll see how it grows on me. Now, it’s all ready for hanging and spreading some holiday cheer.