DIY Birch Photo Ornaments
A Couple Tree limbs + Saw + Mod Podge …. and you get what?
More homemade ornaments!
More DIY photo ornaments!
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Anyway, on with today’s ornament project. I swear we don’t just make these photo ornaments because we want to see our lovely faces hanging all around our house (and Grandma’s house). Or maybe we do. Hmmm ….
I’ll skip right to the good part … here’s how they turned out:
We even engraved the back of one to give as a special personalized gift:
Want to put your pretty little faces on some ornaments, too?? Well, here’s the how-to:
- Birch logs and a saw OR purchase pre-cut Birch Coasters from Michael’s (with your new gift card???)
- Mod Podge (I tested out using Glossy and Matte … judge for yourself which you like better, either will work)
- Wood Glue (optional)
- Drill with 1/4″ bit
- Ribbon, twine, or bakers twine for hanging
- Dremel/Multipurpose tool for engraving back
- Picture … I love how the sepia toned picture with the birch turned out, but we also made one with color … your choice!
Here’s the Dremel tool I used:
Step 1: After you have either cut your slice (or unwrapped your purchased ‘coaster’), sand both front and back. The purchased coasters don’t need much additional sanding, but if you cut your own, you want to be sure its smooth.
Step 2: Determine placement of your picture, trace birch slice shape onto picture and cut out. You’ll probably want to trim all edges from here to allow some of the birch to show through all around.
Step 3: Determine where the hole will be for hanging and mark your birch piece.
Step 4: Drill 1/4″ hole through the birch slice
Step 5: Using a hole punch, punch a hole in your picture in this same location.
Step 6: If you have wood glue, liberally apply a layer of glue to the front surface of the birch slice. If you don’t, use mod podge instead (just make sure you apply a fairly thick layer … wood is very absorbent!).
Step 7: Stick picture (that is already cut to size) to this layer of mod podge. Make sure holes line up!
Step 8: If you used wood glue in step 6, allow glue to dry a bit (~30 minutes). If possible, place pressure all around picture to ensure photo edges adhere to birch securely. If you used Mod Podge in step 6, you can skip to step 9 without letting the first layer dry.
Step 9: Apply a layer of Mod Podge over the picture, making sure to get enough all around edges.
Step 10: Let this layer of Mod Podge dry (~30 minutes), the apply another layer over picture and all edges.
Step 11: Once Mod Podge is dry on the front, flip ornament over and engrave back using dremel tool.
This was my first time using this tool, and I definitely need some practice, but here’s a couple pointers I learned after making several ornaments:
- I used the thinnest point tip
- Let the tool warm up completely before attempting to use
- I made a first pass at my message, barely pressing into the wood.
- Then I went back and started burning in the letters.
- Always move the tool toward you if possible. You’ll have to turn the ornament around quite a bit. It is much easier to control the tip when you’re pulling it toward you.
- For curvy letters, I finally figured out it works to make a series of little dots all around the curve. Then go back and attempt to connect the dots as best as you can.
- And lastly … as you’re concentrating on what the tip is doing, don’t let the metal rings around the tool halfway up hit the wood (I learned the hard way … that’s what happened to the 1 in 2013).
Step 12: Add ribbon, tie a bow … COMPLETE!
Here’s how the ornament using Matte Mod Podge turned out (and the Birch Coaster I purchased from Michaels):
Using Glossy Mod Podge (and our handcut birch slice):
Our color photo, glossy Mod Podge, Birch Coaster purchased from Michaels:
I love how they all turned out … both the glossy and the matte finish. I think we’ll keep a couple, and give one or two to Grandma and Grandpa this year!
Happy Tuesday, and thanks for stopping over! Oh, and I think I’m finally done with the ornament projects for this year now! On to wrapping presents ….