HomeDIY CraftWooden Ornaments: How to Dry, Design, and Seal

Wooden Ornaments: How to Dry, Design, and Seal

Preserve the beauty of your Christmas tree or turn branches into artwork with these wooden ornaments made from scrap wood. Using pyrography (wood burning), you can create stunning, beautiful or fun designs to decorate your tree this year. Follow along for creation tips and tricks!

Owl Design Wooden Ornament

In my family, the Christmas tree is always one of the most special parts of the holidays. Every year, Kiddo and I go out together to pick out a Christmas tree and spend time together making ornaments and decorating the tree. No tree is ever the same as the last,

It’s hard to say goodbye to your tree at the end of the season, and I’m always looking for ways to recycle my Christmas tree into one of my artwork. After making the wood slice coasters, I thought I’d give it a different look by making wood-burned ornaments instead!

Pyrography is a fun and unique hobby. Using a special handheld tool, you can decorate wood and other materials using direct burn marks. The effect is a gorgeous and natural looking Christmas ornament.

If you want to try your hand at making your own wood piece ornaments, keep reading for all my tips and instructions.

This post will cover…

Wooden Christmas Tree Ornament
You can hang these wooden ornaments inside or outside.

This project comes made a garden, my crafting book full of garden-inspired seasonal projects. It has plenty of projects to keep you busy all year long to help beautify your home and garden and make meaningful gifts. If you want more crafty, practical projects, check this out!

Garden Maid book by Stephanie Rose

Christmas tree preservation

I will always be on Team Real Christmas Tree. One of my favorite traditions to participate in is going to a Christmas tree stand and picking out a tree and then going home to decorate it.

As I grew up and fell in love with gardening, I just had to experience the rom-com-esque Christmas tree pilgrimage where you cut down your own tree. We walked to a tree farm in gum boots, drinking cider from paper cups and listening to carols playing over the loudspeaker.

He told us, “Grab a saw and go out into the trees.” We settled on a spectacular tree with fullness, color and needle retention This appealed to the most and pulled that thing onto the roof of the car. The drive home was a sight: in every direction, trees towering over sedans filled with families speeding along the highways. I imagined all the people who would be eating eggnog later that day in preparation for Christmas.

child picking fresh christmas tree
Ask to keep the part of the tree trunk that they cut down at the Christmas Tree Farm!

That year our tree was full of new memories and giving off a fresh evergreen scent that welcomed me every time I passed by. The experience of picking trees in the cool breeze with a pink nose and woolen gloves warmed me every time I added another gift to the bottom.

When it came time to pack up the ornaments and say goodbye to our tree, I had trouble letting go. The needles had fallen, and the branches were dry, But the trunk was just the right size for making wood-burnt ornaments.

Instead of throwing my tree in the compost, I decided to turn its trunk into some ornaments that will have a lot of sentimental value. Here’s how I made these wooden ornaments with pyrography designs.

Wood Piece Ornament with Snowflake Design
The design possibilities are endless when it comes to these wooden ornaments.

DIY wooden ornaments

I love that I can carry over past Christmas trees to next year with these wood-burning Christmas ornaments. They are sentimentally special but also look amazing on the tree. I always choose natural decor, and I love how rustic and personal these are!


Wood Burnt Ornaments with Snowflake Design
Add wooden pieces as festive and useful gift tags.

Where to get pieces of wood

For my wooden ornaments, I made my own wooden pieces by cutting down the trunk of an old Christmas tree.

If you don’t have fresh trees in your home but still want to make this project, there are plenty of ways to obtain wood. You can go to a tree farm and ask to cut down large branches or very tall tree trunks.

After the holidays, you can walk on residential streets Look for discarded trees ready for recycling. Or find out where tree compost is made in your area and collect it there.

If all else fails, you can go to the local garden center or tree stand after Christmas and ask for what they haven’t sold.

In addition to purchasing local lumber, you can also Find pre-cut materials at most craft stores. For making wooden ornaments. i found some online Amazon, MICHAELSAnd hobby Lobby,

Wooden ornament with owl design
Add names and dates to your jewelry for a fun, personalized gift.

dry wood pieces

Once you have your tree or branch for this project, cut off all the branches as close to the trunk as possible. Allow the stem to dry completely in a warm, dry place to avoid cracking the wood, Cut the stem into sections for faster drying.

It takes time to dry. In some cases, months! Looking them up ahead of time is the best way to speed up practice. Keep them in a warm place inside the house so that they dry quickly. Some cuts may break during the process, so keep this in mind when determining how many slices to cut.

cut and sand

Cut the wood using a table saw or handsaw Quarter or half inch thick discs.

Sand each piece of wood by hand first with coarse-grit sandpaper, then smooth the surface with fine-grit sandpaper. If your tree still has bark left, leave it alone! I love adding a natural edge.

Punch a hole in the top of each ornament So that you can loop the string or ribbon.


Decorate your wood piece ornaments with paint, fabric, wood stain or decoupage. I decided to celebrate the natural look in this project by using a wood burning pen set.

To use a wood-burning appliance, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Practice on a few pieces you are not overly attached to, Be sure to try different pen tips!

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can draw your designs in pencil and trace with burning pen, or simply draw some free-form shapes with your fingers. Snowflakes and stars are simple and festive, but try anything meaningful to you. Instruments, animals, initials, and words are all good choices, but there’s no need to say you can’t make monster trucks or cupcakes if that’s what you’re into.

you can do it too Paint your wooden ornaments using the Acrylic craft paint. I would recommend using a book of hymns Seal the paint with clear varnish beforehand to prevent cracking or yellowing. More information about sealing below!

For decoupage, I would recommend using modge podge and a foam sponge, you can print family photosTake magazine clippings, fun scrapbooking paper and more to create a beautiful collage.

Wood Burnt Jewelry
Be sure to practice before attempting to create a design on your favorite slice.

How to Seal Wood Jewelry

you can Cover wooden ornaments with sealer If you want a glossy finish or want to protect the design. This can also help prevent cracks.

You want to seal the jewelry after you’ve completed your design, not before. For wood sealant, both spar urethane And polyurethane Are popular choices.

spar urethane It is commonly used outdoors as it can withstand harsh elements. It expands and contracts with the movement of the wood during temperature and humidity changes. If you are hanging your ornaments outside, spar urethane is your best option., Note that although it is clear, it usually has a slight yellow tint.

The second option is to use polyurethanewhich is the highest Popular for indoor projects. It is generally heat and moisture resistant. It dries clear but may darken or yellow over time.

Apply the sealant to the wax paper with a natural bristle brush. Most of these sealants are oil based, so they may take a while to dry. Follow all instructions on the sealant’s label.

Wood Piece Jewelry Before Sealing
If you hang your ornaments outside, seal them after creating the design.

FAQs About Wooden Jewelry Making

Can you paint ornaments made from wood pieces?

Absolutely! I recommend using primer beforehand to prevent the wood from absorbing any paint and designs. Regular acrylic craft paint works best. Once you’re done, you’ll want to seal it with clear varnish.

How do you dry wood pieces for jewelry?

The biggest mistake people usually make when making jewelry from wood pieces is drying. Drying is a very slow process, which can take several months. I recommend cutting the tree into pieces immediately for these ornaments. This will help the slices dry faster.

Then, store the slices inside. You want a place that is warm and with limited humidity. Wait for the slices to dry completely before decorating.

Note that some slices may crack during drying. Be sure to cut a few extra pieces to account for potentially broken pieces.

How can I keep my wooden jewelry from splitting?

Before making jewellery, you will need to dry the wood. Otherwise, you may experience some breakage later on.

Some woods are more prone to cracking than others. One of the best products to help with this is Pentacryl Wood Stabilizer. After cutting your slices, you soak the wood with Pentacryl. This will help displace the moisture in the wood and speed up the drying time. Almost guaranteed to prevent splitting later!

3 wooden ornaments with owls on each
Try a theme like these owls.

It includes all my tips for making your own wooden ornaments. This is a great project after the Christmas season is over, and you’re looking to recycle your tree. You’ll love hanging them next year!

If you have any questions about how to do this project, leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able.

More Christmas Crafts to Try

DIY Wood Piece Ornaments

Make these burnt wood slice ornaments as an adorable way to recycle your Christmas tree.

  • table saw or handsaw

  • drill

  • wood burning pen set

  • Allow the tree trunk or branch you will use for this project to dry completely to avoid cracking. To speed up the process, cut it into a few smaller sections. This may take several months, but if you bring them inside to dry where it is warm, it can dry faster.

  • When the wood is dry, use a table saw or handsaw to cut the wood into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick discs.

  • Sand each disc first with coarse sandpaper, then with fine sandpaper.

  • Drill a hole through each – this is where the string will go.

  • Decorate your wooden piece. I chose to use wood burning pen to create the design, but you can use paint or whatever you like.

  • Apply a coat of sealer to protect your jewelry for years to come.


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