Rustic and Fun Wood Slice Ornaments for the Holidays

By Bruce Johnson

Give me an afternoon off, or even just a part of it, and you’ll find me either in an antiques shop or a craft store. Either way, I’m always looking for a unique twist on a familiar idea, such as turning these unfinished birch coasters into Christmas ornaments.

I started by sealing the unfinished wood with a couple of coats of aerosol Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. This will prevent my stain from seeping under the stencil I plan to use.

I always keep stencil blanks around so that I can draw or trace a design onto the clear sheet, then cut it out. In this case I started with a simple Christmas tree design, and squeezed out a small amount of “Emerald” Minwax® Express Color™ Wiping Stain & Finish, which contains both a water based stain and finish.

I used a piece of sea sponge as my applicator. I moistened it with Express Color, pressed it against a paper towel to remove the excess stain, then gently dabbed the Express Color onto my stencil until I got the amount of color I wanted on my ornament.

After drilling a small hole for my string, I was ready to hang the first ornament of the season on our mantle. But I suspect Leigh Ann will be asking me to make a few more as gifts, which is fine by me.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home.

An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, “Knock on Wood,” which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine.

A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his “Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration” shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won’t ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement.

Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

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