This project was a gift that I made as an LED night light tree (made from a log and branch) that would also hold jewelry on it!
It is a simple build with the only real materials being the LED light strips and a log and branch.
The tools you will need are a handsaw, something to clean up the bark (I used a drawknife and spokeshave), a nailgun and glue, and sandpaper or a jointer to flatten the bottom log.
Check out the video of the build its a quick and fun one to the watch!
Step 1: Clean Up the Bark
For a log like this is it best to remove all of the bark with either a drawknife or a spoke shave for the small branch. You could also use a hatchet or a pocket knife to carve off the bark.
I also used a wire brush after removing the bark to get rid of the dirt and remains before I cut it with my handsaw.
Step 2: Cut Off the Slabs!
I put the log in the vice and marked where I wanted to cut the slabs off. I cut this log into three parts with the bottom slab having a flat on the bottom cut for standing.
For these cuts I used a japanese handsaw, but any handsaw would work. You want these cuts to be as straight as possible.
I cut a flat on the bottom slab and then ran it over the jointer to ensure that it was flat for the whole nightlight tree to stand up on.
Step 3: Cutting the LED Slots
For the lighting I used a cheap LED light strip kit with remote that you can get off Amazon. I used my router with a .25" bit and router out a slot for the strip to sit in. Then I went back and cleaned up the slot with a chisel. I also made a small slot for the wires to come out the back of the log to keep them more hidden from site from the front.
These slots were cut out of the back of the log slab so that they will not be seen and the front of the night light will appear more ambient.
Step 4: Installing the LED Strips
I wired up the LED light kit and cut two strips for each of the upper slabs. The bottom log slab will not have light in it since I want the light from the LEDs to shine downward and be tucked up out of sight.
To secure the LED strips I just used some hot glue.
The glow produced from the front of the log is really cool and provides a few different mood settings with the LED light changes.
Step 5: Adding the Branch
The top of the log has a branch sticking out of it for aesthetics and hanging jewelry or other small items.
After trimming the bottom the branch into a wedge shape in a previous step and tracing it onto the log, I drilled out the hole for the log with a forstner bit on my drill press.
To secure the branch I just added glue, pounded the branch into the hole, and a few small brad nails from the bottom.
I didn't drill all the way through the top log for this hole, so that the branch would not protrude into the next layer.
Step 6: Finishing It Up
The final steps are to add the spacers between each layer, glue and pin nail them into place, and then stack on each slab.
I finish the log with some spray lacquer and that about wraps it up!
Step 7: Fin
I love the look of this night light and how the glow is ambient out of the front of the log!
If you like this instructable go and check out my full build video on it! Its a quick and fun watch!
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