During the wedding planning for my brother’s wedding, one thing that the lovebirds knew that they wanted were slices of wood for their centerpiece. Unfortunately – finding slices of wood locally proved to be impossible. Although we found them on Etsy they were pretty expensive to ship to Canada. I kept racking my brain trying to figure out how we could do our own. It wasn’t until I was at our cottage – a few weeks before the wedding that it hit me – We have a TON of wood stumps on our property and all I needed was someone to slice them. (It seems obvious I know, but really it was the slicing part that was stumping* me)The “ah-ha” moment was the realization that a man who works at one of my favourite cottage antique spots always was wood working outside the shop, and it hit me that if anyone knew how to slice the stumps, he would. I decided to try my luck and see if he would be able to help me. And he said yes! He informed me all we needed was a chainsaw. Well, we needed a chainsaw and someone comfortable enough to use it. That’s where Andy came in.
I have a little mouse sander but it wasn’t working as much as I’d like it on these. The Home Depot heard I was doing this project back in September and sent me this awesome gadget….
A Ridgid Heavy Duty Belt Sander. Whoooooo!!! If there is one thing I love as much as I love vacuums it is power tools that I can use like power sanders. If you don’t have one in your home then I highly, highly recommend one. Although the mouse would likely be the most used in most DIY toolboxes this belt sander is pretty awesome for heavy duty sanding. Although I’m showing it in use for this wedding craft – I actually got more use out of it in some other projects I’m working on – which are coming up. But back to the wedding crafting for this post….
The sander arrived when my brother was there – so we actually got to do this project together which was pretty darn fun. (Although my brother looks pretty grumpy, but I assure you he was happy). It was ridiculously easy to use. The cool thing with this sander is that it has a bag on the end to collect the sawdust – a great plus if you’re doing something indoors (which I did do later, and although it doesn’t suck up ALL the dust, it’s pretty significant how much it does)The thing that I discovered was that the belt sander was actually too powerful for the little slabs of wood that I initially wanted to use it for. It kept throwing the slabs at me because the rotary part means that the sandpaper well, rotates vs. staying in one place. Even though it kept chucking the wood slices at me (cue a few screams from me, and hysterical laughter of those watching) it worked really well on planks (you can see me sanding a plank above). So if you’re sanding small items, stick with a mouse. Bigger items like planks of wood or big furniture pieces – the belt sander is sooooo much fun.
With the leftover slices that weren’t even enough for resting a vase on – I painted chalk board paint on them to be used throughout the wedding venue to write things on. 🙂
It was pretty darn cute. Ps., Oscar snuck into the picture above.
The birch wood slices sanded the easiest. So if you’re hunting some piles of wood – go for the birch. :)In terms of sanders, the mouse still is my favourite but this Belt Sander is a welcomed addition to my DIY toolbox for bigger projects. 🙂 You should also check out this pretty helpful page: Sander Buying Guide Belt Sander…….Ridgid Heavy-Duty Belt Sander via The Home Depot
Wood Tree Stumps ………. My cottage. 🙂
Wood Cutting ……………. A friendly neighbour at the cottage, Andy
Mouse Sander …………… My own, but you can get it at The Home DepotThe Home Depot provided me with the rotary sander to help me accomplish this project. Thank you!!*Pun Intended. 🙂
Pointer: Super time consuming. Even I got frustrated at this part.
You’re going to paper mache your cardboard wreath in the same kraft paper that you’re going to make the leaves out of. Why? You don’t want the cardboard to show through the leaves and this also means that if you hang the wreath on a mirror, as I have, the back of the wreath isn’t ugly. I simply took white glue, added a wee bit of water to it, and plastered my cardboard wreath in kraft paper. [See a picture below of the wreath covered in kraft paper to get a better idea of what I mean]
Step 3: Cut out leaves out of paper
Pointer: Some judgement on leaf size will have to be made by youThis is a bit time consuming but grab a ton of kraft paper and cut out large leaves. Although I cut out small, medium and large leaves, the nature of a Magnolia leaf is really that it is all BIG leaves. I didn’t use a template – nature isn’t perfect, nor were my leaves. You’re going to go through a LOT of paper. Make more leaves than you think you will need so you’re not skimping out on them when layering.
Step 4: Fold your leaves
Because the leaves are symmetrical, gently fold the leaves in half and using your finger, run a crease up the centre of the leaf. You don’t need anything fancy, just the back of your finger. Don’t be too hard on the leaf – you want the crease to be subtle.
Step 5: Attach your leaves to the wreath.
Apply a small dab of hot glut to the back of the leaf at the bottom. You don’t need a lot of glue because too much glue will flatten your leaf. You want this to appear as natural as possible – so this is where patience and attention to how you handle the leaves will be important.
As you can see above, you want to carefully put each leaf over one another – layering, but being mindful not to squish the layer under it. Take your time, do it with love, and step back to admire your work.
And that’s it.
I hung my wreath using a wreath hanger from the dollar store, that I covered in a beautiful ribbon. If you’re looking for other paper crafts then House & Home has some gorgeous ones!