DIY Decorations with Wood Slices – Part 3

Using Big Wood Slices

The following blogs are a three-part series where we can dive into some great DIYs using some leftover branches and create some artful wood slices decor.

Welcome back to the final three-part series of DIY decorations with leftover wood slices. For the past two months, we’ve dived into DIYs using smaller wood slices. That’s all good and helpful when you have leftover branches form trimming a bush but, what if you come by some bigger branches? This DIY is for those one-in-a-long-while findings when you or a neighbor is cutting down a bigger tree branch.  Alternatively, you can easily buy these bigger slices at a store, let’s start prepping for bigger and better DIY decorations with even bigger slices.

Go big or go home!

Chalkboard Message

Make your season’s decorations pop with a thoughtful message, announce the day’s menu or just leave fun messages for your family. An extra plus is, you don’t need a single bone of calligraphy experience on you to make these amazing messages. Here is what you’ll need:

Before we start you want to make sure your wood slice is sanded down to a smooth finish. If you purchased the wood slice it most likely be sanded down already. But if you got it from nature directly, you want to make sure to do so. A smooth surface is recommended for the chalkboard paint. You can follow the original DIY Wood Slice Chalkboard tutorial here.

  1. Using the Painter’s tape, frame the area you want to paint with the chalkboard paint. You can make it a square or follow the edge or the wood slice. DIY-Wood-Slice-Chalkboard-iowagirleats-06_mini
  2. Follow the application instructions of the chalkboard paint. Most likely it will ask you to paint two coats, one painting horizontally and another vertically, letting it dry in between coats. Finally, let it dry completely for 24 hours.
  3. While it’s drying you can look for a design you want to have on the board. Google a message you would like to transfer on to your board. You can look for “holiday calligraphy” or “kitchen typography.” Alternatively, you can open a Word document and type your message using their fronts. We are going to use the image as a stencil, so you don’t need to worry about the color or if the edges aren’t sharp.
  4. Before you print make sure to resize the message. If you chose an image you can open this image in Word or Photoshop and scale it so it fits the size of your wood slice.
  5. Take your printed-out message and flip it upside down. Rub chalk all over the backside of the letters.
  6. Flip it over again and place it gently over your chalkboard. Using a pencil, or a mechanical pencil with no led, trace the edges of the letters. Press hard enough for the paper to touch the wood but not too hard that you tear the paper.
  7. Once you’re finished, remove your stencil and you will be able to see the outlines transferred to the chalkboard. Grab your chalk and go over the letters once more and fill in any thicker letters.

As mentioned in the video, you can use chalk or a chalk marker, and wipe any excess chalk dust using a wet Q-tip.

Hanging Plant Stand

A little green in your house brings peace and helps clean the air.

This next DIY can make statement piece with just a few items. You can find the original DYI Hanging Wood Slice Plant stand tutorial here. Below is what you’ll need:

This is a very small DIY but it takes a bit of labor:

  1. First, you have to drill four holes in the wood slice. Use a drill bit that is 9/64 and 1/4 in size.
  2. Pull all the ends of the suede strings through the holes and make a knot on the bottom. The suede strips will act like the straps to a bag. Whichever string you choose to use, make sure you will be able to tie knot that will work as a stopper and won’t run through the whole.
  3. Next, drill the plant hanger into your desired wall -whether you choose to place it outside or indoors. In the Original tutorial, the hanger was spray-painted gold, which made the planter stand out and look even better.
  4. Last but not least, choose your plants. From the same tutorial, succulents were used as these can stay small and won’t weight too much.

 

 

DIY Decorations With Wood Slices – Part 2

The following blogs will be a three-part series where we can dive into some great DIYs using some leftover branches and create some artful wood slices decor.

Welcome back to the continuation of last month’s blog! Let’s dive in and go over some great DIYs for leftover branches. This month we move up a level and show you some great wood decoration DIYs with medium-sized wood slices. Of course, you can do the same thing we suggested the previous month, but having a bigger canvas means there is more space to spread the creativity.

As mentioned before, you can get some wood turning blanks we sell here that would need to be sliced. They are medium-sized -between 4 – 5 inches in Diameter. You can also find them on AmazonMichaels and with luck, at Walmart.

Using Medium Wood Slices

Let’s raise the stakes. Lest use bigger wood slices to decorate your home, make a biggerer statement and make them part of your house’s style.

Coasters

Just like decorating the smaller pieces, you can watercolor or sharpie them up, but now you have a bigger canvas and we can get more creative. Wood image transfer is a great way to skip the sketching and get a Picasso image right in your coaster. For this DIY you will need:

  • Medium-sized wood slices 3-4 inches in Diameter.
  • Wax paper
  • Regular printing paper
  • Tape
  • Plastic gift card

 

  1. First, cut a piece of wax paper that is the same size as the regular printing pager.
  2. Then overlap the wax paper on top of the regular paper. Holding it vertically, move the wax paper down about half an inch and fold it back. Tape the fold to the back securely. This bottom part will be the part of the paper that will go into the printer first, the tape secures the wax paper from moving around. However you feed your printer, make sure that the wax paper is the side that will get the ink. This variates from printer to printer.Botanical-wood-slices-7
  3. Arrange your images in a Word document making sure they will fit inside your 3-4 inch diameter of space.
  4. Before printing, damp the side of your wood slices where you will place the image.
  5. Print your images and then carefully cut around them. Make sure not to touch the inch because it will smudge.
  6. Place your cutouts upside down and gently rub the ink onto the wood with the plastic gift card. Avoid taking away or moving the image because it can smudge.
  7. You can sand away any part of the image you don’t like, like a smudge or a background color.

You can find the original DIY here.

String Art Ornaments

This kind of DIY can be a simple afternoon activity for your kids or it can become your weekend project. this activity can be as simple as or as elaborated as your creativity. For this DIY you will need:

Wood-Slice-String-Ornament
  1. Lightly sketch the outline of the shape you want to make with your string art.
  2. Lightly mark dots where you want your nails to be. For some figures the nails would go in the angles/points -for instance, a star but, for rounder figures -for example, a heart, multiple nails along the edge will create the shape of the figure. You can play with figures and the number of nails in and around your shape and can even create an even bigger design in a bigger piece of wood.
  3. When you’re setting the nails make sure to not go all the way through the wood. make sure to leave some space but the nails are secure enough to hold in place.
  4. Knot a piece of thread around one of the nails.
  5. Wind the thread around the nails. Follow the path, cross over, create a pattern with the string lines, go crazy and let your creativity flow and add multiple color strings.
  6. When finished, tie another knot around a nail and trim the excess string. To avoid coming undone, dab a little school glue on it to hold it in place.
  7. Screw a small eye hook into the top of the wood slice and string a ribbon circle so it can be hanged.

Aside from wall or Christmas tree decorations, you can put all these wood slices together. Instead of screwing a small hook to it, you can nail all the decorations together and make a wreath like in this Finding Home Farms tutorial. You can take this idea and develop it even more with this creative sign from Hey There Home.


how-to-make-a-string-art-sign-2

DIY Decorations With Small Wood Slices

The following blogs will be a three-part series where we can dive into some great DIYs using some leftover branches and create some artful wood slices decor.

Sometimes you don’t have the money to buy big pieces of wood, sometimes all you need are the leftovers of the latest tree trimming in your neighborhood and you can make wonders! Here are some beautiful ways to decorate your house with a natural look with wood slices. You can reuse almost all the different sizes of branches, from small 1/2 inch in Diameter to 12 inches -but these might have to be purchased if you’re not cutting a tree off completely. You can also get some wood turning blanks we sell here that would need to be sliced. They are medium-sized -between 4 – 5 inches in Diameter. You can also find them on AmazonMichaels and with luck, at Walmart.

Using Small Wood Slices

In this month’s blog, we will be exploring the best ways to reuse small wood slices. These are perfect for little accents of decoration. 1- 2.5 inches in Diameter would be great for the following DIYs. For this DIY you will need:

Magnets

Hanging your kid’s drawings deserve just-as-decorative magnets, instead of old and boring ones from companies with tinny little letters. Let’s frame those drawing with some of nature’s art.

Fist, decorate one side of the small wood slices. You can draw on them with sharpies, paste some textured stickers or,  get your kids, some watercolors and stain the little slices. Here are some examples:

1470067268-wood-slice-magnets-suburblecom-1-of-1 0783ec751089a7bf0e51305d14c61313 DIY-Watercolor-Wood-Slice-Coasters-9

 

 

Alternatively, leave the faces intact and color the circumference of the wood like on this tutorial.

diy-wood-slice-thumbtacks-upcycledtreasures-02

Paste the magnets on the back and done!

 

Placemats

Style up your table with a beautiful placemat or, if you don’t want to do so many, just an accent mat for a coffee table of a console table. For this DYI you will need 55 to 60 wood slices that are approximately 1/2 – 1 inch in Diameter. In order for your mat to be more even, you might need to sand down some wood slices to make then thinner.

  1. Lay out the burlap and cut it to make a mat that is roughly 12-16 inches but you can make a rectangle, square or circle -as you desire.
  2. Arrange the wood slices, lay big ones down and put smaller ones in between and without leaving too much open space. Once you have the slices on top of the mat and arranged how you want them to look now it’s time to paste them.
  3. Let the glue dry for the recommended time is its instructions, once its dry, trim the corners and edges so that the mat frame curves with the different wood shapes. Here you can find the original post.
birchbranchplacematcbforehow2

 

Staircase Storage Ideas

Even though you have a lot of storage areas in your home and the garage, it never seems to be enough! But have you ever thought about the space underneath or in your stairs? Well, let us show you the possibilities!

We know sometimes it could be impossible due to the design of the house and stairs but, here are some space-saving ideas that could be implemented someplace else around the house.

Walk-in Sitting Area and Storage

You walk into your home and you have school bags, jackets, hats, scarfs muddy shoes and keys in hand. You just need a place to organize everything, separate what you’ll need the next day and what leave at the door so it doesn’t get the whole house dirty. Avoid crowding the floor and entrance by organizing everything in a storage area underneath the stairs.

1420867078704 storage-ideas-under-stairs-in-hallway2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In-stair Storage

Have you thought of the space left inside the stairs? Sometimes a vacant square can become a perfect storage for extra pillows, seasonal shoes or extra towels for the guest restroom! Either by making the stairs themselves small drawers where you can store sandals while winter boots are being used or store your tennis shoes after the evening walk with the dog. Maybe design the whole stairway so they double as drawers and cabinets to store coats and jackets.

hidden-staircase-storage-ideas-15-smart-solutions-with-hidden-storage-ideas-hidden-storage-ideas under-stair-storage-ideas-inspiration-obn_45222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Planters

Maybe, instead of storage you would like to grow some veggies but lack the space. These vertical planters can sprout some life into your home. This easy steps can show you how to make a great stair planter for the porch, Stair Riser Planter Garden. Make then short, make then tall and grow delicious fruits and veggies for everyone to eat.

1420865023002 stair-riser-planter-garden un-jardin-vertical-escalonado-01

Wood Carving 101

Woodworking is one of the oldest arts or humankind. From early-men using spears and attaching stone points, creating utensils, architecture and ultimately carving pieces or art. All around the world different cultures mastered this art creating stunning statues, pieces of furniture, boats, buildings and more. Woodcarving is defined as the action or skill of carving wood to make a functional or ornamental object.

Carving tools include:

  • Knives220px-Carvingknives
  • Chisel
  • Gouges11WCC-5-1
  • Malletscarvingmallet
  • For carving in the round, rasps and files are used as well and can be very helpful. 861683ea5539174d741f22d5667f1c72

Gouges

These come in various shapes and are categorized by their width and sweep -the amount of curvature on the edge, and they can be available in shot and long handles. Below are the basic categories but there can be different variations among them.

chisels and gauges
  • Straightstraight gauges
  • Bentbent gauge
  • Fishtail
  • Back Bent back bent gauge
  • Spoonspoon gauge
  • V-gouges

When you want to start a project we recommend is to first choose what you’ll like to make and then buy the tools for it -insteadn of buying some tools and then not using some and needing others. Below are the most common ways or woodcarving, you can incorporate different styles into your project or just follow one. To start, you can watch this video with tips for beginners.

  • Chip Carving 
  • Relief Carving221a06533dba49b3913906415922a0ba
  • Carving in the Round/ Caricature Carving/ Sculpture3eae6894ed43b3a96921fcf0020f3c69

How to start carving

If you have already had some experience with woodworking some of these points may sound familiar, for example, carving with the grain. Its easier to start by following the longitudinal lines of the wood. In the video below you can see how moving your tool very little on ta left to right movement and pushing forward will help you get more control.

Removing Water Stains in Wood

It’s happened to everyone. The condensation on your kid’s water cup has left a ring stain from the day before. Or, maybe you bumped into your beautiful mesquite coffee table and the cup of coffee spilled a little but it was enough to leave a stain; even hot dishes can betray you and leave white marks.
Maybe, all these scenarios are not relatable because you take well care of your wood surfaces and use coasters and tablecloths all the time because your wise momma taught you well. In this case, say you restore furniture as DIY projects and you may be dealing with old stains of who-knows-what! Here is a compilation of some house remedies to try.

water-stains-on-table

These 1-5 steps are a couple of the home remedies -because who wants to go to the store if you have what you need in your our pantry. We recommend to try them in order; if the first doesn’t work, then move on to the next.

1. Heat

If the “crime scene” is recent meaning that this stain is from the same day or, at the most, a week then, you can place a thick, clean towel on top of the stain. With the use of your iron, set to a low-to-medium setting, press over the towel for a couple of seconds. Make sure the iron doesn’t touch the wood because then we will have to deal with burn damage -and you don’t want to make more trouble for your self. The gentle heat will release the moisture into the towel. Check underneath the towel to see the results, you can repeat as needed until the stain disappears. Finish by polishing and fluffing the surface with your usual wood cleaner/polish.

2. Mayo

Yes, mayonnaise will not only make your sandwich delicious but it will get read of those unsightly water rings.
Apply a generous amount of mayo over the damaged wood and let it rest for 10 minutes. Wipe clean with a damp rag and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

3. Toothpaste

With this method, you have to be precise. Spreading the toothpaste beyond the actual mark may leave a stain of itself. Dab and wipe the toothpaste without leaving it too much time on the wood surface,
These are the steps: with the use of a regular white toothpaste, not the gel kind, squeeze a dab of it in a rag and follow the stains shape.

4. Baking Soda

Mix equal parts of baking soda and water in a small bowl, 1/2 or a 1/4 teaspoon will do. Wet the corner of a cotton rag and gently rub over the water stains until they are gone. Wipe clean and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

5. Salt and water

Make a salt paste by mixing one teaspoon salt with a few drops of water. Apply the paste to the stain and gently rub it in with a cotton cloth until the mark is gone. Wipe clean and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

 

The last one is recommended in a couple of websites, but you must be careful as it is a paint thinner and too much can damage your wood finish.

6. Mild solvent

Before using it directly on the stain, test how your wood furniture will react to the paint thinner. Test first on an underside, back or inside area of the furniture. Using a soft cloth, rub gently with the paint thinner. If it dissolves the finish then don’t use it in the stain, if it doesn’t affect the surface you can go ahead and use it in the water stain. Wipe clean and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

Knot Just Wood

Knots on wood pieces add character and give an attractive look. The wood grain creates waves around the knot as the tree or branch grew wider, giving each knot a different appearance depending on its position and how much the wood grew around or on top of it.

Item 126B – 3″ x 19 1/4″ – 42 1/2″ Slab

Item 126B – 3″ x 19 1/4″ – 42 1/2″ Slab

Knots are imperfections of a tree caused when branched grows out of them. Sometimes branches fall off and the tree grows around it. There are two main types of knots, live knots, and dead knots. You can find more knot categories here.

Most likely you can identify the difference by just looking at them, but first, let’s identify the difference of how these two are made on a tree.

Live knots are from branches that were alive when the tree was cut. They are also known as Sound, Spike or Tight knots because the fivers of the wood are largely intergrown with those of the surrounding wood.

Live knot

Image by wunderwoods.files.wordpress.com

Dead knots also known as Unsound or Loose knots are those where branches were cut or fell off the tree long before the tree was cut down. As the tree grew, it covered the knot, sometimes you can see a bark ring of encased knots. These knots are loosely attached and some are likely to fall out once the wood is sawn into boards.

Dead knot

Image by wunderwoods.files.wordpress.com

 

Live knots and dead knots image on Faifer and Co. edge slab

Live knots and dead knots image on Faifer and Co. edge slab.

For this reason, when working with wood that has dead knots you have to know how to fix them or work around them. Follow this link about Understanding & working with wood defects by Woodworking Network for tips on how to deal with and use knots in your next wood project.

Woodturning Blanks for the Craftsman

Woodturning is a unique skill that requires patience and, most importantly, vision. From identifying the piece of wood you want to use to figure out what you want to do, and finally visualizing the object.

Woodturning is simply the craft of creating wood pieces, either for decoration or for their day-to-day use, utilizing a lathe. A lathe is a machine for shaping wood, or other materials, by means of a rotating the piece being worked on, on one axis. With the use of different tools, a craftsman can carb into the rotating piece and create various outcomes.

lathe

Image by: fundamentalsofwoodworking.com

Most likely you’ll think of a bowl when talking about woodturning, but there are a lot of things that can be done and you might not have noticed you have them around your house. These include wood spindles that can be used for railings, chess pieces, table or chair legs or old-style salt & pepper grinders and candlestick settings like the ones shown below. But those are not the only things craftsmen turn. The creativity can extend on to complex pieces of art that include putting together different wood species into a pattern or adding acrylic to pencils to create a very fun and colorful piece.

The holiday day season may have ended, but you can treat yourself to these woodturning blacks full of possibilities. We’ve got different varieties from Pecan, La Coma, Texas Wild Persimmon to, our favorite, Texas Mesquite.
Find them all, here.

wood spindles railing

 

 

 

 

 

salt and pepper wood mills

Image by williams-sonoma.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

candle stik settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Transform your Home with Hardwood Mesquite Stairs.

Sometimes understated, stairs are a significant part of a house. They are an addition to the look and feel. They are walked through, jumped and stomped. Choosing the wrong material with the high traffic they sustain can cause a lot of damage like scratches, dents wore-down areas and even splints. You want a material that truly lasts the test of time, not to mention, brings beauty and uniqueness to your home.
mesquite stairs

You may be thinking, “Well, I can avoid all of that by adding carpet.” But then again, with all that traffic going up and down the stairs, cleaning can become a hustle when pet hair and dust accumulate and vacuums can hardly reach corners; not to mention wear and tear! You would have to replace that carpet within a few years. Hardwood floors are easier to clean and with the high-ranking hardness and stability score of Mesquite wood, your stairs will last for generations to come.

nasty-carpeted-stairs-go-to-mosaic-garden-path-magic--stairs.1


Picture by Gayle Hometalk.com

 

When choosing to remodel your stairs consider how old your existing stairs are as the “skeleton” or the wood underneath the carpet, can still be used. Allocate time and working areas as you will have limited access to the second floor and you may have to use a ladder to get upstairs if necessary. Also, have in mind that sometimes plumbing or electronic work could be underneath the stairs, if you have your home’s plans, it would make work easier for your contractor.

To learn more or to order mesquite wood for your building project, call us today at 830-216-4189.

mesquite hardwood stairs

The Art of Bookmatch

When creating a new peace or project, craftsmanship takes a lot of time and thinking. Knowing your woods, tools, and tricks can make a section of wood a one-of-a-kind art piece. Nature can help you out sometimes when you’re looking for a perfect piece of wood that it’s original with a lot of details and would add character to your work. Bookmatching, in this case, will create the perfect addition to your workpiece.

book-matched panels by woodworkersjournal.com

Book-matched panels by woodworkersjournal.com

Bookmatching is the process of matching two wood or stone surfaces that have been cut vertically through its width. Obtaining two identical and mirror-like surfaces of each other.
When you glue the two pieces together, aligning and matching the grain patterns from each piece, it creates an “open book” effect because the pattern looks as if you “open up” a book.

This process can be seen in many wood crafts like musical instruments,  tables, or other type or accent on a piece of furniture. It can be a delicate process because sometimes the panels can fracture and break off. Great craftsmanship experience is needed as well as knowing your tools and equipment.

Bookmatching wood in violin

This style also greatest impressive pieces when done in stone like granite or marble.

Bookmatching effect in granite

 

This technique is used mostly for aesthetic purposes. It enhances the material’s natural beauty and becomes a statement piece of art whether or your wall or furniture.

You can find the steps on how wood Bookmatching is done in WoodMagazine.com