This is the second project using the wood pieces that we saved several months ago after our neighbor had his tree cut down. I’ve decided to use wood slices again and this time to make something slightly different – a flower/tree. I must admit, this project took many turns. I had no clear idea when I first began what I wanted to make and kept changing and adjusting things as I moved along. What I did know was that I wanted to use some of this wood and try to upcycle materials I have piled up in the garage, waiting to be put to some creative use.
For this wood slice flower/tree project, I also used some of the leftover wood pickets that we saved after DIYing our fence earlier this year. As a general rule, I try not to buy new materials/tools unless I feel like I have no choice and I try to use as much as can of what I already have on hand. For this project, I ended up buying yarn and a circle template; everything else came from the garage. At the end of it, what came out was quite nice – a flower made using upcycled leftover fence pickets and wood slices, plus yarn and paint. Here are the steps.
TOOLS AND MATERIALS:
- wood to slice, or already pre-cut wood slices
- sander and sanding paper
- picket wood, or any kind of wood as back board
- glues – wood glue, gorilla glue and craft glue
- brushes in various sizes
- empty container for water and paint dilution
- yarn (version 1) and twine (version 2)
- circle template (version 2)
Time: 6 hours
If you already have pre-cut wood slices, proceed to step 4; otherwise follow steps 1-3 to cut your wood slices. See my previous project for pictures of these first steps.
- Take the wood branch you’re working with and mark your slices with a pencil. Mine are between 1/2″-1″ wide. I tried to keep them uniformly thick but that was nearly impossible.
- Using a saw, start cutting the slices you need. Make a couple of extras while you’re at it, in case you’ll need replacements later.
- Let the wood slices dry, especially if they’re from freshly cut wood. It could take weeks for them to be fully dry, depending on conditions. I let mine dry for a little over a month.
- Using a sander and a medium grit sanding paper, sand the wood slices. Set aside.
- If you’re using a single piece of wood, no need to follow the next few steps. I used wood glue on four leftover fence picket pieces that I glued together.
- After the glue dried, I sanded the wood piece.
Now, time to paint. I used the leftover paint samples we already have. I wanted to do a ‘worn out’ look and I accomplished that this way:
- First, I painted a light base coat in white and let it dry
- Next, I dipped a brush in various paint colors, diluted it in a container with some water, then did random ‘streaks’ over the white paint. I added more water if too dark or more paint if too light.
- After the streaks dried up, I sanded the board once again.
I painted the other side with a green base so I can give myself more options, although having more options isn’t always in my best interest… I then had to decide between the two and ultimately picked white. (like I said above, many detours came about in this project, because that’s usually what happens when I’m not committed and not 100% sure about what I’m doing :))
Once you’re happy with how the board looks, it’s time to glue the wood slices on. I used gorilla glue here because the wood glue would not stick since I already painted over the wood.
This is where it gets tricky…again. I thought that I’d be done once I glued the wood slices on, but I wasn’t thrilled how the project turned out… it looked too plain and bland. After much consideration, I decided to try using some yarn to make it pop some more. Initially, I was going to use the yarn on top of the wood slices, but that didn’t look good at all! Then, as I was trying different things, I decided to wrap it around each wood slice and the result was much better.
I decided to painted over the wood slices in the flower petals and stem with some of the latex paint samples I had. Once dried, I used different color paints and a brush to paint circles over using the template I purchased. I started with the bigger outer circle, then worked my way in. By the way, the inconsistency in painted circle lines is intentional. 🙂 Lastly, I decided to use some twine I had and do the same wrapping method I did in version one. It adds volume and makes the shapes stand out some more.
And here’s the result!
You can also use the circle tool to make different color circles over the wood slices. I’ve seen this method done with turn tables but if you don’t have one or can’t make it work that way, this is another option to get the look.