This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in November 2014.
Say, for instance, you lost a big tree on your property this year. You probably had someone come chop it up, or bought an awesome chainsaw and went to town on it yourself (raises hand). One way or another, you’re left with some great firewood and a few thin cross sections of the tree (special request!). What would you do?
Craft projects, of course.
You don’t have to sacrifice a tree in your own yard – you can find cross sections of wood to work both in stores and online if you look around. This tutorial below takes into account working with a 1-1/4″ thick cross section that is a 15″x17″ slight oval. Browse through the steps below, and see how easy it is to transform would-be firewood into a pretty, rustic holiday wreath to ring in the season.
Looking for other rustic projects? Here are some ideas!
If your chosen piece of wood wasn’t manufactured to be perfectly smooth (i.e. a little choppy from the motion of the chainsaw) you’ll want to clean it up a bit. A palm sander or belt sander is a good fit for the job, as hand sanding out any imperfections might take a lot of time and elbow grease.
Use a small mixing bowl to trace a circle in the middle of your wood. You’ll be using a jigsaw to remove that inner circle, but first, make it a little easier on yourself and use a 5/8″ bit and a corded drill to pre-drill around the edge. The wood is thick, and it will be easier to maneuver the jigsaw and create a circular shape if you start a path for yourself.
Clamp down the wood to your workbench securely – there’s going to be a lot of reverberation. Use the jigsaw to cut through the holes, ensuring you don’t accidentally bore into the edge of your workbench top (just advising from experience).
Once the center circle is removed, use a detail sander or hand-sand the inner edge to smooth out any rough areas.
If desired, adorn the face of your wreath with a holiday detail – I chose a metallic gold paint, applied in looping circles. Gel stain would be pretty too (regular stain tends to bleed too much to be ideal for detail-work).
Add a spirited bow, and details of your choosing to dress your rustic wreath for your own home. I used a D-ring to add a hook on the back, and the wreath can be hung using an ordinary picture hanger. I paired a fluffy metallic bow with a faux magnolia blossom, and a faux branch of tallow berries.
Hang it on your door, over your mantle, or on the wall to welcome the holidays!