1.07.2013

Project: Wood Wreath

Warning! Photo-filled post today! Read on if you're ready for it :).

A couple of weekends ago while we were visiting my in-law-family, my father-in-law asked if I'd like to help him with a little project he'd dreamed up. He advertised power tool usage and blogging material, which was all it took for me to want in. I heart power tools. And blogging. Done. My father-in-law knows a thing or two about making stuff because he's a builder (including of houses - which is what he did/does for a living), He owns many, many tools that I don't have access to on a regular basis. Itty bitty city apartments just aren't conducive to that, ya know?

So as you may have guessed from the title of today's post, the project he dreamed up was a wood wreath. I took quite a few pictures throughout the process so that I could share a step-by-step tutorial with you in case you'd like to take on this kind of project yourself. Let's get started, shall we?



Supplies needed:
  • Logs of various widths and sizes
  • Circular saw
  • Wreath form (I'll get to what we used for that in a moment. You'll need some additional supplies if you make one like we did.)
  • Heavy duty glue (We used construction adhesive.)
  • Polyurethane (optional)
  • Paintbrush (optional)
Annnd we're off! You can see I was ready to get started. Ha.


Grab one of your logs and set it up on your circular saw so that when make a cut, the piece will end up being about one inch wide. Repeat this process with logs of various shapes and sizes. Exactness isn't important here - you want some variation. 



Continue this process until you have enough pieces to fill your wreath form. Here's what we ended up with after slicing and dicing.



Next, my handy father-in-law created the form for our wreath out of a scrap piece of plywood he had sitting around (again, the advantage of doing projects with people who have these kinds of supplies on hand!). If you decide to make your wreath form too, here are some steps to follow. Consider this a "sub"-project. If you already have a wreath form you can use, you can just skip this section.

The supplies needed for this part of the project are:
  • Plywood
  • Hammer
  • Nail (any kind)
  • String
  • Pen/pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with a wide bit (optional)

To start, draw out a circle that you can use as a guide to cut out the wreath form. You could do this freehand, but I'd suggest a more exact method. You don't want a wonky circle! An easy way to do this is to use a nail, string and writing implement. Begin by hammering your nail into the center of your plywood.


Take a piece of string that is the length of what will be the radius of your circle, plus a few extra inches. Make a loop on both ends. Place one of the loops over your nail, and put your pencil/pen through the end of the other.


Use the pencil/pen to pull the string taut and begin tracing a circle. As long as the string remains taut, you'll be able to easily draw a perfect circle around the plywood.


Next, decide how wide you want the wreath to be and shorten the length of the string so that you can draw another smaller circle inside the larger circle. You can do this by tying another loop in the string on either end. Ours ended up being about five or six inches wide.


Trace the inside circle using the same process as before.


This is what it should look like once you're done tracing. You can remove the nail in the center if you're satisfied with it.


Now here comes the fun part - jigsaw time! Carefully maneuver the jigsaw along your pencil/pen line to cut out your circle. Be careful!


{Yes, yes, I know. Construction faux paus not wearing eye protection. Please forgive me!}

Once you've cut the outer edge of the circle, you need to access the inner edge - without cutting in from the outer edge. You don't want to ruin that circle you just made! To do this, we drilled a hole along the inner line with a drill bit that was wide enough to fit the jigsaw blade.


You'll end up with a hole like this.


Insert your jigsaw into that hole and cut along the inner line of the circle.


Once you're done, you'll have yourself a nice wreath form. Since the jigsaw can leave some rough edges, take a minute or two to sand them down. Here's one of my sisters-in-law doing a lovely job sanding.


Onto the fun part... laying out your wood pieces! Just go at it until you're happy with the way the pieces look together. Make sure to vary the shapes and sizes. It might feel a little bit like random chaos as you're doing it, but the end product will be great.


If you find that one of your pieces doesn't quite fit like you want it to, you can use a small axe or hatchet to trim off an edge. Again, be careful! No lost fingers, ok?


Once you're satisfied with the layout, you need to secure the pieces to the form. We tried hot glue...


...but found that construction adhesive worked better since the pieces are pretty heavy. (Note from my father-in-law: we used white adhesive since he had it on hand, but suggests you go with clear. This is so that if you have any adhesive peeking out from the edges, you won't see it.)


Allow it to set. (The time will depend on what kind of glue/adhesive you use. Check the label to determine how long you'll need to wait.)

Optional step: take cute pictures of your dog peeking through the fence while you wait for the adhesive to dry.


Ok, that was a fake optional step. A real optional step is to coat the wood with polyurethane if you want to protect it. This is the kind we had, but you can use any brand you'd like. The wood will take on a slightly different color, so make sure you like it before coating the whole wreath. You can test the "look" on a scrap piece first.


When you're confident the adhesive is dry, hang your wreath and admire your handiwork. We drilled a hole in-between a couple of the wood pieces so that we could hang it from a nail.

{please excuse the weird shadows. we were losing our light!}


This was a really fun project. I've got to give credit to my father-in-law for dreaming it up, and allowing me to be a part of it. Also, thanks to my sister-in-law for taking many of the pictures while I got to use the power tools. She did a great job!

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1 comment:

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