I’m popping in with a quick and easy holiday project today! These DIY Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments are really fun to make and come together in a snap…meaning there is still plenty of time to make them in this short holiday season. They are not only a really charming way to decorate a tree, but they also make for adorable gifts in and of themselves or even as tags tied onto boxes of cookies, poinsettia plants, gift cards, etc. If you’re in the holiday crafting spirit and/or are still looking for easy and inexpensive gifts for the neighbors, teachers, friends and others on your list, give these tree slice ornaments a try!
The rustic wood slices paired with bright, sparkly and patterned iron-on vinyl give these ornaments a fresh and modern feel. I love the contrast of textures, and the various reds and pinks make for quite the festive collection! While I’m partial to the red holiday scheme shown, you could easily customize this idea using any colors, patterns and images you like!
Pssst – Wondering why I chose to use iron-on for this project instead of standard vinyl? Standard vinyl adheres best to smooth, shiny surfaces (e.g., glass, plastic, etc) and would be easily peel-able on the wood ornaments. On the other hand, the heat-activated adhesive on iron-on vinyl is stronger and more permanent, making it a better choice if you want your designs to stay put on the wood!
You only need a handful of supplies to make these ornaments:
- Wood slice ornaments
- Iron-on vinyl (aka: heat transfer vinyl) in any colors, patterns, texture you like. I used: red | red glitter | stripes
- Iron – the smaller the better. The Cricut EasyPress Mini is perfect for this tiny project!
- E-cutter such as a Cricut or Silhouette machine or a die cut machine like a Sizzix.
- Ribbon or twine
Pssst – Never worked with iron-on vinyl before? Check out my comprehensive tutorial here before getting started on this project!
To start, you need to figure out which images you want on your ornaments. I chose a variety of “classic” Christmas images such as a sleigh, snowflake, elf hat, present, tree, holly, etc. (If you’d like to cut my exact images, you can access my file here.) Other ideas include initials, states, all snowflakes, all trees, words, or phrases. However, if you’re planning on making a lot of these ornaments, I suggest you pick images that require very little weeding to keep it quick. Also, whenever the designs had disconnected elements (e.g., the cuff and the mitten), consider cutting them in contrasting vinyls (glitter versus matte) to give the ornaments even more interest!
Once you choose your designs, size them to fit the wood slice ornaments. My slices ranged from 2.75-3.25″ so I sized each of my designs to be around 2″ wide. When you’re satisfied with your designs, cut them from the iron-on material of your choice and weed them as needed.
TIP! If you’re using words or letters, don’t forget to set your machine to “Mirror” so they will look right once ironed onto the ornaments!
Picking out the images and then sizing, cutting, and weeding them is certainly the most time consuming aspect of this project (which, again, if you keep your images simple, won’t be much time at all!). Once it comes time to assemble the ornaments, it goes super quick!
I chose to use my Cricut EasyPress Mini for this project since it’s perfectly sized to fit on these small ornaments. To ensure I ended up with great results, I referred to Cricut’s interactive Heat Press Guide, which gave me the following specs for working with wood:
With my Cricut EasyPress Mini set to Medium, here is how I assembled each ornament:
- Upper left: preheat the ornament for about 5 seconds.
- Upper right: place the iron-on design down onto the warm ornament, shiny liner side up.
- Bottom left: heat the design with firm pressure for about 30 seconds, keeping constant movement around the design.
- Bottom right: peel off the shiny, clear layer while the design is still warm.
I will reiterate that using a “warm peel” will definitely give you better results. What does that mean? Simply peel off the carrier liner (the shiny clear paper) while the design is still warm to prevent it from pulling off the wood. Once the adhesive is fully cool, your design will be perfectly adhered to the wood without any pulled edges or bubbles!
If you choose to use two types of vinyl (as shown below), I always recommend securing the glitter layer first, followed by the matte layer. Glitter vinyl doesn’t show evidence of overheating/melting as easily, so you can add additional elements without it effecting your overall design.
Keep ironing on your festive designs until you have a happy collection of tree ornaments!
To finish off the ornaments, tie some pretty ribbon or twine through the holes. Since we will be using these as gifts this year, I also added a simple message and the year on the back with a fine tip Sharpie marker so friends will always remember where they came from!
We’re planning on packaging up ornaments with plates of cookies for friends and neighbors this year. But I also think a collection like this would look so darling adorning a mini entryway tree with a bunch of red ball ornaments. And I can see them as chunky, rustic gift tags atop pretty wrapped packages! With so many possibilities, however you choose to use or gift them, they will surely bring a little more cheer to your holiday!
You’ll have to let me know if you give these ornaments a try. Although I made these to give away this year, I kinda want a set for our own home so I might be making more here very soon! Happy holiday crafting, friends!
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