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DIY wood burned Christmas ornaments

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

Every year I like to give my kids a new tree ornament. It’s something my mom did, and I think it’s a really cute tradition that results in each child ending up with a special collection of their own ornaments. I hate kitsch, so I tend to go for more natural tones and textures. This year i thought it would be fun to make them each a personalized ornament with their first initial on.

This project was very easy but took a little patience. Overall, i’m really really thrilled with how they turned out and the kids love them!

If you’d like to try your hand at making your own, here’s how!

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

// SUPPLIES //

  • You’ll need some wooden disks or wood slices. I really wanted wood slices, but couldn’t find them in Perth – so i opted for MDF circles instead (they were $10 for 50).
  • A pencil
  • A wood burning tool. I bought mine from a local hardware store (Bunnings) for a different project last year and it was just under $30.

My total spend on this project was technically $40, but given the tool can be used in the future again (and has been used for other projects) and i have many disks left for other projects, I would consider these ornaments to be much cheaper than $40 divided by three.

// METHOD //

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

Draw out your design in pencil. I stuck with something really simple, the first initial of their names and a half wreath. I would also love to try snowflakes or special dates!

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas
DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

Begin burning your design in slowly. I found that the best method was to do many light strokes on top of each other, building up to the desired effect. Pushing down hard will result in a burn hole, and makes it much harder to control your strokes. Keep it light, take it slow and build up.

It’s also important to take lots of breaks. I found that after completing one letter the tip of the tool had cooled down enough that it wasn’t burning efficiently anymore. Make sure that you leave the tool to heat up again after a period of use. I know that’s hard when you’re impatient to finish a project, but believe me it is well worth it and will save you some frustration.

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

Make sure that you work on a surface that you don’t mind damaging or which can’t be damaged. Here i worked on a metal cookie sheet – but you could also work on a wooden bread board, or old piece of wood. Just make sure you don’t work on anything too flamable or that you’ll cry about if you damage it.

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

Make sure that you leave enough space at the top to drill some holes for ribbon or string later on! And don’t forget to record the year on the back.

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas
DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

Drill holes in the top to thread through twine or ribbon. When drilling always make sure that you are safe and careful. I like to drill outside with a large scrap of thick wood underneath. That way if i drill too far, i’m only drilling into scrap wood. As an added precaution I lay the thick wood base on the grass just in case – there’s a chance that once in the not too distant past i accidently drilled into our deck. Just sayin.

Thread through some twine or ribbon. I have a lot of love for butchers twine, so that’s what i used, but i think ribbons would look gorgeous too!

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas

Hang them on your tree or give them to someone special!

DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas
DIY wood burned Christmas tree ornaments by Megan Nielsen // Handmade Christmas
About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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J
J
6 years ago

What did you use to make the distressed look around the edges of your wood?

gingermakes
6 years ago

These are so gorgeous! I love them! Next year! :)