Introduction: Christmas Wreath Made From Scrap Wood
If you are anything like me, you keep even the smallest of pieces of scrap wood. I wanted to find a fun way to use up some longer bits of thin strips of wood I had laying around so I designed this wreath. It is a simple project that can easily be finished in an afternoon.
In this write up I have included a way of making your own plywood ring. If you would prefer to purchase one (you can get find a link to purchase a craft ring in the supplies section) then skip ahead to Step 4.
Below are links to tools and materials I used in this build. It is either the exact tool/supply or something very close.
- Scrap wood, thin strips approximately 1/4" thich and 1 1/2" wide.
- Scrap plywood or MDF at least 14" (can be larger or smaller depending on the size of your wreath)
- Table Saw
- Craft Ring (instead of making a ring, you can purchase a ring already pre-cut)
Note: The links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Step 1: Marking the Center of the Plywood
Start with a square piece of plywood that is the dimension that you want your wreath. In my case I started with a piece that was 14"x14".
To mark the center, use a straight edge (a ruler, a level or in my case a scrap board that I knew was straight) and line it up from one corner to the other. Then using a pencil mark a line from one corner to the other.
Turn the board around and line up your straight edge on the remaining two corners. Mark a line that intersects with the first line. This is the center of your plywood.
Step 2: Mark the Circle
First position your work piece on top of something you don't mind getting a nail hole in. The top of my workbench is a piece of plywood, so I will use it.
Place the nail on the center mark from the previous step and hammer it in place.
Attach a string to the nail. I have used a string with a hook on the end, but you can just as easily tie the string to the nail.
Stretch out the string to the edge of the work piece. Hold your pencil at that length and spin the work piece and it will draw a circle to mark the outer part of your ring. Tip: I find if I wrap the string around the pencil it is easier to hold.
Now make a mark 1 1/2" from your first line. Hold the pencil at this mark and spin the wood again. This will mark out the inner part of your ring.
Step 3: Cut Out the Ring
There are many different ways for cutting out circles, but I find the simplest way is to use a jigsaw. That being said, jigsaws are not known for their accuracy, so if you watch the video at the top of this instructable, you will see me using my bandsaw to get a perfect outside circle. If you have any questions about that method, let me know in the comments below.
To use a jigsaw, the outside cut is simple, just follow the line. I found that it was easier to keep the work piece nailed down and rotate it around instead of moving the jigsaw along.
In order to cut out the middle piece you will first need to drill a hole. I used a 3/16 drill bit on my drill press. You can easily accomplish this with a handheld drill as well.
To cut the inside you use the same technique. Just follow the line. Once you are done you will have the ring that will support your wreath.
Step 4: Cut the Strips to Length
You can either use a miter saw or a table saw (as pictured.) Either way, set up a stop block 6" away from the blade. This will make sure that all of your pieces are the same length. Then run the pieces through the blade until you have enough to make the wreath. You need to cut at least 26 pieces, but I cut way more than that as I was on a roll (and so that I could batch these wreaths out.) I suggest having a few extra pieces just in case.
Step 5: Glue the Strips in Place
It's time to heat up that hot glue gun! I was first using a glue gun I got at a dollar store, but it just wasn't cutting it. It took a long time to heat up and the glue sticks were very small. Halfway through this project I bought a new dewalt hot glue gun and it was totally worth it.
Before gluing any of the pieces down, I laid them all out to get a good feel for the angle that was required. I mainly did this by eyeing it out, but one tip I can give you is the inside matters more than the outside, so pay attention to the inside.
The first step is to put down a piece and don't glue it down. Use it to get the spacing right on the first piece you glue down.
Then just go around in a circle and glue all of the pieces down. I found it easiest to put glue down on the ring and then place the piece on top. I would then add a bit of glue to the edges to help secure the piece.
The last piece is the trickiest. You need to remove the piece you didn't glue down in the first step and put some glue down and then slide it back in. Just be careful to not detach the other pieces when doing this.
Step 6: Add Finish
In this step you will get to see the wood grain pop by adding finish. I choose to use Watco Teak Oil as I like the simplicity and the color it adds to the wood, but any wood finish can be used.
It is a very simple finish, you wipe it on with a rag, and then wait a bit and wipe off any excess. Then repeat at least one more time.
Step 7: Adding a Hook
You could easily just buy a d-ring style hook and screw it in place, but what fun would that be? I prefer making things if I can, and in this case I used a washer to act as the hook.
Just grab any old washer and put it in a vise. Then lightly tap on it with a hammer and you will have a slightly bent washer. Then just glue it in place and you are good to go!
Step 8: Making the Bow - Part 1 - Preparing the Material
Get your favourite bit of wired ribbon. I chose some red ribbon with white edges.
Cut the ribbon into three pieces, one 36", one 24" and one 6".
Make sure you use the proper scissors when doing this. Fabric scissors will get nicks in them from cutting through the metal wire.
Step 9: Making the Bow - Part 2 - Folding the 24" Piece
Take the 24" piece and fold one side into the middle. Then fold the other side into the middle and overlap the first piece by approximately 1". Add a very small amount of hot glue to the ends so they stay in place.
Step 10: Making the Bow - Part 3 - Folding the 6" Piece
Add a very small amount of hot glue to the corners of the 6" piece. Then fold both edges to meet in the center.
Step 11: Making the Bow - Part 4 - Folding the 36" Piece
Find the center of the 36" piece and add some small dabs of hot glue to the edges. Fold both edges into the middle so they meet. Then folding in the other direction, fold this part of the ribbon in half.
You should end up with something that looks like the last picture, where it goes from outside edge, middle, outside edge.
Step 12: Making the Bow - Part 5 - Assembling the Bow
Lay the 6" piece on its back with the edges facing you. Place the 36" piece at the bottom and the 24" on the top. Fold over the bottom of the 6" piece and glue it in place. Wrap the top of the 6" piece around and glue it in place. Cut off any excess material from the 6" piece.
Step 13: Making the Bow - Part 6 - Cutting the Notches
Take the ends of the 36" piece check to make sure they are the same length. If not, cut the longer one to be the same length as the shorter one.
Then take and end and fold it in half. From the folded side to the edge, cut at a 45 degree angle. This will make a nice looking notched affect in the ribbon.
Repeat on the other side.
Step 14: Attaching the Bow
Attaching the bow is simple, just add some hot glue and put it in place. That being said, be mindful of where the bow is in relation to the hook. If you want it to be at the very bottom when it is hanging, then you have to be careful to put the bow opposite the hook.
If you want the bow to look offset, this is much easier as the placement isn't as critical.
Either way, depending on the finish you used, the hot glue may not adhere well. If this is the case, remove some finish where you want to attach the bow and try again.
Step 15: Hang and Admire!
I used a command hook to hang the wreath from the glass on my front door, but you could use other types of hooks as well.
This brings me to my favourite part of any project getting to admire the final product. Once you are done admiring your wreath, sit back and be the envy of all your neighbors!
I hope you enjoyed this project. If you make one for yourself I would love to see pictures. I am very excited to see some personalized version of this wreath using various species of scrap wood and different ribbons.
As always, I am always happy to answer any questions in the comments below.
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