My neighbor has a pile of trimmed tree branches in his yard that have been there for, oh, like 2 years?

Well, maybe not that long, but long enough that I really didn’t think he would mind (or notice!) if I took this branch.

 

tree branch to use for wood slices

 

I wanted to try my hand at making a wood slice craft, and this branch looked like a great candidate for slicing up!

 

Making a sign out of wood slices

 

Would you like to try making your own wood slice sign? Here are the materials you will need:

  1. A Tree Branch that is roughly the same width for at least 1 ft
  2. Wood Glue
  3. Metal Corrugated Fasteners
  4. Mitre Saw
    and Hand Saw
  5. Chip Board Word–I chose the word “Welcome” from Hobby Lobby
  6. 2 Small Screw Eye Hooks
  7. Jute Twine
  8. Paint

 

Follow along for my steps for how I assembled my sign 🙂

After breaking off the dead, outer layer of bark, I sliced up the branch into roughly 1/4 inch thick pieces.

At first, I tried going at it with my hand saw, but it became clear very quickly that was going to be a ridiculous process, so instead I borrowed a mitre saw from a friend, which made quick work of cutting the slices.

Once I got my slices cut, I sorted out the ones that were roughly the same size and started playing around with how to arrange them.  I didn’t want a wreath shape, more of a gathered-slice look that I could turn into a hanging sign.

Once I got the slices into the shape I liked, I checked to make sure my chip board word would fit nicely.

 

crafts with wood slices

 

Now comes a detail step that is kind of boring, but important!

You want to flip over each wood slice, one at a time, and make a mark with a pen or marker at the point where each slice meets another.  Those will be the places where you make a slit for the metal fastener to attach the two pieces of wood together.

Once my pieces were marked, taking my hand saw I very carefully cut a small slit into the spots on each wood slice that I had marked (maybe about 1/8 inch deep).  Then I spread some wood glue into the slit and stuck in the metal fastener.

 

how to attach two wood slices together

 

I added some wood glue to the other slice as well, and then joined the two pieces together by sliding the fastener into the slit on the “partner” wood slice.

 

joining wood slices together

 

I hope that makes sense 🙂

I tried just gluing the wood pieces together, but the joint wasn’t strong enough and I knew it would fall apart once I tried to hang it up as a sign.  The metal fasteners, slid down inside each wood slice, gave the joint the extra bit of stability that it needed for the wood slices to actually stay attached.

If you’re a woodworker, you will recognize that I basically made my own version of a biscuit joint, but using the metal fasteners instead of wood biscuits.

Let me go back for a minute though and show you exactly what metal fasteners I’m talking about.

 

fasteners

 

Each fastener was a little longer than what I needed, so using some pliers I bent each fastener until it broke in half–that made them a better length for me to use.

So back to the process of joining the wood slices . . . 

I worked in sections, gluing a few slices together at at time then letting them set for several hours so the glue could fully dry.

While the joints were drying, I went ahead and painted my “welcome” chip board word, using Fusion Mineral Paint Metallic Copper paint.

 

wood slice 3

 

I made sure to paint the inside and outside of the chip board word also, since you would be able to see those places.

Once the “welcome” word was dry and all of the wood slices were joined and dry, I embellished a few slices with some more metallic paint and then glued on the “welcome” using more wood glue.

I also oiled up the wood slices with a little Hemp Oil

to bring out their shine. I screwed in a small eye hook on each side of the sign and strung some jute twine through each hook–Voila!

 

how to make a sign out of wood slices

 

My sign turned out to be very sturdy!  I even dropped it on the ground while photographing it and it stayed together–haha 🙂

I love the copper Fusion paint, but next time I think I will use a color that contrasts more with the wood.

Also, I think I prefer the wood slices natural, without the hemp oil.

So if I make one again I will probably leave out that step.

 

welcome sign

 

I will be working on my back patio later this week, and I plan on finding a nice little place to hang my sign out there!

You can recreate this look using whatever word you like and whatever color scheme you like–paint on the swirls, or leave them off!  Metallic or no metallic!  Really whatever is your taste and style.  But at least now you know how to join all those little wood pieces together!

Thanks for stopping in today 🙂

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