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DIY Wood Burned Birch Slice Ornaments

While I was visiting my friend Ashley, in Ottawa, we got a little crafty and made some easy DIY wood burned birch slice ornaments.  We had both seen these wood burned birch slice ornaments on Pinterest, and Ashley wanted to try making some for her rustic Christmas tree theme!  You know I love a good craft, so I was more than happy to help!

DIY Wood Burned Birch Slice Ornament

Supplies for DIY Wood Burned Ornaments:

  • Birch branch or pre-cut and drilled wood slices
  • Wood burner (we bought this exact one)
  • Drill (if you’re making your own slices)
  • Chop saw or hand saw (if you’re making your own slices)
  • Sandpaper
  • Narrow plaid ribbon or twine/string
  • Pencil
  • Pliers (to change wood burner tips)
  • Old chopping block or cookie sheet (to protect work surface from wood burner)

How to Make DIY Wood Burned Birch Slice Ornaments:

Here is the quick tutorial for how to make wood burned birch slice ornaments.

  1. Cut birch slices with a saw – or purchase wood slice ornament blanks online
  2. Drill a small hole for hanging
  3. Lightly sand the surface
  4. Optional – peel off bark and sand the edges
  5. Draw or trace a design with pencil
  6. Follow the design, using the wood burner like a marker or pen

More Detailed Tutorial for Making Wood Burned Ornaments:

Step 1: Cut and Prepare Birch Slices.  Ashley’s Handy Hubby cut birch slices for us and even drilled the holes so they were ready for hanging.  If you’re tackling this project, you can also buy wood slices, already cut, sanded, and ready for crafting.  We left the bark on, instead of peeling it off and sanding smooth, because Ashley preferred the rustic, natural look.  But you can choose to peel the bark away and sand lightly.  Otherwise, just sand the surface lightly so it’s nice and smooth.

DIY wood slice ornamentsDIY rustic ornament

Step 2: Trace a Design and Follow with the Wood Burning Tool.  Wine in hand (not recommended), we spent an evening taking turns with the wood burner, creating a series of snowflake designs – no two alike!  First, we roughly sketched out a design using a pencil, and then simply tried our best to trace that design using the wood burner.  You can also transfer a design on to the wood slices if you’d prefer to use some clip art – the wood burner I linked to even includes a transfer point so you can transfer laser printed images onto a surface with ease.

How to use a wood burnerWood burner tips and tricksReview of Walnut Hollow Creative Versa Tool with Versa-Temp Temperature Control

Neither of us had used a wood burner before, so we really experimented with different designs and all of the wood burning tips.  We created some duds during our experimentation, but we had a lot of fun making these DIY wood burned birch slice ornaments  – actually, this project is kind of meditative because it’s so repetitive and simple.  Plus the burning wood smells soooo good.

Creative handmade gift tag ideasDIY wood burned birch slice ornaments

Step 3: Add a Thin Ribbon and Hang!  When we were done the wood burning, we let the designs cool and then threaded a narrow plaid ribbon through the drilled holes, finished with a knot, and used a dab of clear nail polish to keep the ends of the ribbon from fraying.  These DIY wood burned birch slice ornaments would also make adorable gift tags!  You could burn initials, names, or meaningful dates on the other side.

birch slice snowflake ornament

Tips for Using a Wood Burning Tool:

  • Protect your table with an old chopping block or cookie sheet so if you drop the tool, or switch out the tips, your work surface is protected.
  • Start with a simple design while you get the feel for the tool – snowflakes were easy!
  • The hotter the wood burner, the smoother and more fluidly it will move across the wood, so experiment with the heat a little (the instructions recommend only a range of temperatures).
  • “Drawing” with the wood burner is not what you might expect: we ended up making lots of short strokes – kind of like sketching.
  • Work slowly and build up the intensity of the wood burned areas – you can go over areas as many times as you like to smooth out the design.
  • Practice is key!  Have some scrap wood on hand to experiment with techniques, tips and heat – especially if you bought pre-cut wood slices and have a finite number of them.
  • Take breaks so you don’t overheat the tool.
  • Use a pair of pliers to change the tips and allow a new tip to heat up before using.

The Finished DIY Birch Slice Ornaments:

That’s how easy it is to make DIY wood burned birch slice ornaments!  Here’s a look at the DIY wood burned birch slice ornaments on Ashley’s tree.  She has such a cute assortment of rustic ornaments, with a smattering of glittering balls for some sparkle.  I helped her trim the tree before I left and we spent a long time weaving that plaid ribbon garland just so, so if you want to take a moment to admire our handiwork, we definitely won’t mind…

DIY snowflake ornamentRustic Christmas treeRustic plaid ribbon tree garlandDIY birch snowflake ornamentRustic tree with plaid ribbon garland woven in and out

P.S.Don’t Forget to Pin For Later! Easy DIY Wood Burned OrnamentsDIY Wood Burned Birch Slice Ornaments

Looking for more birch slice craft ideas?

Check out these other DIY birch slice crafts and project ideas:

DIY Painted Birch Slice Ornaments

Painted Dipped DIY Birch Slice Coasters


Painted Orange Slice Coasters



  1. cred
    December 12, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    Love 'em. I have a word burner on my list- I've pinned the same ornaments but will have to wait until my other lists are shorter.These turned out so well and Ashley's tree is lovely. Looks like fun, crafting with a buddy.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 14, 2015 / 4:15 pm

      It was definitely fun crafting with Ashley! Even her Hubby tried making a couple. I really enjoyed fiddling with the wood burner, although for a really big project it might be too small. For this scale, it was perfect – and more affordable than I thought. I am contemplating buying one myself but, like you, I've got a lot of stuff on my lists…

  2. Michelle {Jarrah Jungle}
    December 14, 2015 / 7:54 am

    These look awesome you are so clever! I bet they have that lovely burnt smell too!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 14, 2015 / 4:16 pm

      Thanks! I can't take credit for the idea, but I did free-hand those designs, lol. They did smell lovely – it was a perfect winter craft.

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