A Valentine’s Day Wreath from Tree Branches

When I saw this mirror frame Jaime from That’s My Letter made, I was instantly head over heels in love with the branch circles.

So much so, that every branch I passed by I would think, “Hmmm, I wonder what the disks on that branch would look like. It’s a sickness y’all.

So, this past weekend, I hauled in a bunch of branches and began to formulate a design for my Valentine’s Day Wreath that wasn’t overtly cutesy.

I even called my neighbor to ask if I could have one of their logs from their woodpile. (Yes, I was coveting thy neighbor’s wood. Sheesh.)

I am thrilled with the final results. Although I had to engage in a few extra spray painting steps to get here, I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say that no matter what color you paint thin wire, it just doesn’t show up on top of wood disks.

Here is the tutorial y’all. Take it or leave it, but just be sure you ask before cutting down your neighbor’s cherry tree.

Materials:

  • Newly cut thick branches and logs
  • Miter saw or hand saw
  • Safety goggles
  • Hearing protection
  • Piece of 1/8″ plywood
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Liquid Nails all purpose glue
  • Ribbon
  • Washer
  • Multi-Purpose utility wire 16 gauge ($7.99 for a huge roll of it)
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • White and red pipe cleaners

Start by setting up a stop block by clamping a small piece of wood against the fence of your miter saw. (Or be prepared to be diligent about measuring every slice you cut. My slices are 1.5″ wide.) IMPORTANT: Wear your eye protection and hearing protection!

Hold your branch against the fence and cut into the log. The larger logs cut fine, but the smaller branches and sticks tended to kick back all over the place, so be sure you stay on the right side of the saw and the slices are on the left. This way you’ll be out of the path of the flying disks. Cut, until you have a large collection of wood slices in a variety of sizes.

It was at this point that I looked down and noticed this little worm squeezing out of the log!

Ewwww. I rushed inside to research killing bugs in wood. I read you can either bake your wood in the oven at 175˚F – 200˚F for a few hours. Or microwave the wood for a minute. Being the perfectionist and neurotic termite-fearing person I am, I did both!

After roastin’ and nukin’ those little buggers, you can lay out the slices onto the plywood in a heart shape.

Trace roughly around the shape.

As I said I’m a perfectionist, so feel free to skip this next step.

Fold a piece of scrap paper in half and cut out a half heart shape to give you a symmetrical heart shape. Trace around the template onto the plywood.

Use a jigsaw or Dremel TRIO to cut out around the shape.

Sand the edges until they are no longer jagged.

Lay the scrap paper template back on top of the heart shaped plywood. Fold it in half. Drill a hole through the top of one of the sides of the heart (through paper and wood.) Open the template back up and mark where the hole is in the paper. Drill through the other side.

Thread a length of ribbon through one hole. Tie a washer onto the end of the ribbon on the back side.

Hang the heart up in your desired location. Adjust the length of the ribbon and then tie another washer onto the ribbon.

Begin to lay the wood slices back onto the plywood and start gluing each one using Liquid Nails.

It may take a little maneuvering and trials to get the slices to fit neatly within the heart shape. But, hey it wouldn’t be fun without a little trial and error.



After your shape is filled, lay a folded towel, some scrap wood and heavy weights on top. Do a few bicep curls before setting them down, just because.

While your wooden heart is drying, bend the word “Love” into the wire using needle-nosed pliers.

Wrap white pipe cleaners around the word.

Then wrap red pipe cleaners around leaving space so the white pipe cleaner shows through.

Tie a bow at the top of the hanger ribbon. Thread another length of ribbon through the bow and secure it to the “L” and “e” in Love.

Find a spot to hang your unique wreath.

I wonder if I can put another word on there for St. Patrick’s Day? Maybe “Luck” with some green ribbon.

 

Comments

  1. I LOVE it! It looks so cute! I can relate about the termite phobia. Thanks for showing us how to get them buggers.

  2. Brittany! I’m in LOVE with this!!!! I’m pinning it NOW! :)

  3. This is very cute! Love those roasted logs ;-)

  4. I love your work, this is fantastic. I am hooked on the wire writing, which I also included in my wreaths,this one is so cool!

  5. I wondered about bugs- thanks for the tip! How many hours in the oven? Did you think of sealing the wood with anything after (poly?)?

    Awesome idea! Do you think I could turn this into a kid-friendly project?

    • Anna, I think it was about 3 hours. But honestly I saw them all crusty and dead within an hour. I think it would be longer if you had a big log instead of the slices like I had.

      You could let the kids help you glue the disks onto the board. Just put rubber gloves on them for good measure. Or use foam board and cut out paper circles instead ;-).

  6. Love this. My husband cuts down lots of trees, now I have to start putting those logs to use…rather than just burning them to keep the house toasty warm.

  7. Love this! The creepy crawlers give me the shudders so I had to laugh at your double dose of extermination! Better safe than totally grossed out and sorry!

  8. Who knew to roast the logs!! Turned out very cute! Thanks for sharing!

  9. So, so cute!!!

    Going to familiarize myself with the link you posted.

    Maxwellhouseinteriors.Blogspot.Com

  10. Seriously Cute!! What a great idea. Once all the pieces were cut (and de-bugged), it’d be a fun project to do with the boys.

  11. Brittany your take on the wood slices is genius and so appropriate for the holiday! Great idea about the roasting – my sticks were dry sitting the basement for 3 months – I didn’t see any bugs but I’ll keep you posted! Also I think you might not even need the LOVE, the big red bow and heart shape say it all. Thanks for the link back and credit, that’s truly what I love about blogging – all the sharing of ideas – it makes everyone better.

  12. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this! I love working with natural elements! I found you though the OPC Community, I am a new neighbor over there and happy to be your newest follower here!

  13. After a bout of bedbugs last year, I’m especially paranoid about bringing any sort of crawly friend into the house. So I totally feel you about the worm.

    The wreath is so cute! I even like it without the word, just the plain wood.

  14. Awesome idea!

  15. I’ve been looking for a project to do with my Daddy, he and I both can make one!! I know I have found it now! How special it will be to pass on to my sons for their families.

  16. What a great shower/wedding gift this wreath will be for my son and his fiance. After this heavy snowfall, there will be lots of branches down in the backyard. I just have to get them before the dog does! Thanks for the tutorial.

  17. Oh, my, that is just so stinkin’ cute PLUS pretty easy – I am going to have to have a go at it! Great job and thanks for the tutorial!

  18. No way! This is absolutely genius!!! I adore every part of this. Nice job Brittany!

  19. Dammit, woman. You and your talent. Once again, another project I love!! :)

  20. Love it!!!! I made a wreath for Christmas and one for Valentine’s also using wood slices and I can’t get enough of them now! I’m looking for new ways to use my stash of wood discs! :) Great job!

  21. A great idea and well done, as always. I haven’t used my saw for a while, so will have to put it to use soon.

  22. This is so great!!! I need this for my door! Thanks for sharing!

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