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Tutorial: Rustic North Woods Ornaments by Crafts by Amanda

Hi everyone! My name is Amanda Formaro. I have two blogs, Crafts by Amanda and Amanda’s Cookin’. I am also the kid’s craft expert for Disney’s Kaboose.com and the Home & Garden editor over at Craft Gossip. It’s an honor to be posting here at Handmade Spark and wanted to start by saying thank you for having me!

With Christmas coming up I’ve been thinking about what type of ornaments I want to make this year. I was also looking back on last year’s ornaments and these with the “up north” theme I made for my best friend have to be my favorite. See last year my friend wasn’t having such a great December. She was concerned about Christmas gifts, bills, rent, and even groceries. I was talking to her on the phone one day and she told me about all the cool moose and bear ornaments she had seen at the store, yet couldn’t afford to buy them. She talked about how she would loved to have decked out her tree in north woods ornies, but finances just wouldn’t allow it. That’s when it hit me.

I looked in the backyard at the pile of limbs sitting next to our fire pit from the trees we had trimmed last year. Surely there had to be a decent limb in that pile that I could slice into disks. With the help of a kind neighbor, who just happens to be a carpenter, I found myself with about a dozen 1/2″ round slices, ready to decorate.


The other design in my head involved twigs, burlap and flannel or gingham of some sort. I knew I would need something sturdy, but I’m sooooo not into complicated, so cardboard was my medium of choice. And from these two ideas, these ornaments were born. My friend loved them, so did her family. It made me happy to be able to give them to her, knowing how much she appreciated it. It’s the giving. The warm feeling in your heart that you get. That’s what Christmas is all about.


Rustic North Woods Ornaments
designed by Amanda Formaro
Crafts by Amanda

1/2″ disks of wood
black paint
thin paint brush
ribbon for hangers
jute, gingham ribbon or checkered material for bows
Clear glaze spray
hot glue gun

If bark around wood is healthy you can leave it in place. Mine were weak and falling off, so I just removed the bark all together and tapped the disks on the table to knock off any excess dust and grit.

Note: I was lucky and my disks had natural holes in which I ran the ribbon through for the hangers. You may need to drill a hole. Run ribbon through the hole and tie to create a hanger.

You can either freehand your designs with a pencil like I did, or use mini cookie cutters for stencils. Another idea is to google some north woods decorations and print out a few designs to use. You can even use black transfer paper to add the designs to the wood.

Paint the designs black and let dry.

The beauty of this craft is that silhouettes require no details, you just have to make sure your outlines are recognizable.

When they are dry, spray with clear glaze. Repeat on the other side. Do a total of 2-3 coats.

Create bows out of jute or ribbon.

I used material strips from the leg section of boxer shorts that my boys had outgrown.

Hot glue to the front of the ornament, above your design.


Rustic Twig Framed Pine Ornaments
designed by Amanda Formaro
Crafts by Amanda

thin cardboard (from the back of a writing tablet, cereal box, etc)
gingham material (again, I used the legs of recycled boxer shorts)
glue stick
black acrylic paint
thin paint brush
hot glue gun
gingham ribbon or fabric
small woodland buttons (optional)

Cut rectangles and triangles from cardboard, mine were roughly 2″ x 3″.

Cut a piece of gingham or flannel fabric twice the size of your cardboard. Cover one side of the cardboard with the glue stick. Place sticky side down on to the fabric and smooth it out with your hand. Cover the exposed side of the cardboard with glue and fold the remaining fabric onto the glued side. Smooth out with your hand. Trim the excess fabric, feeling the sides of the cardboard as a guide.

Cut a piece of burlap about 1/3 the size of your cardboard. The idea is to be able to see the flannel fabric background after your twig frame is attached.

Cover one side of the burlap with white glue, gently spreading it out with your finger. Glue on to the center of the flannel fabric.


Use a thin paint brush and a generous amount of black paint to add a vertical line up the center of the burlap. Because burlap is not a smooth surface, you will need a fair amount of paint and the least amount of detail. Add simple limbs on both side of the “tree trunk”, finishing with a point at the top.

Cut a piece of jute for the hanger. Break twigs to fit along all four sides of your fabric, you will need enough for both sides of the ornament. Hot glue the twigs onto the fabric, make sure you insert the jute hanger as your are adding the twigs so that it ends up sandwiched between the twigs. Tie a bow from jute and add to the bottom of the ornament with hot glue.

You can use mini north wood themed buttons to decorate the edges of your ornaments as well.

I just wanted to thank everyone here at Handmade Spark for inviting me to guest post and for allowing me to share my rustic north woods ornaments! I have plenty more tutorials on my blog, Crafts by Amanda and I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!


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  • http://twitter.com/PrairieWindDsgn Misti Krause

    These are so cute! What a warm gift! Thank you for sharing!

  • http://hotglueguncrafts.com/rustic-north-woods-ornaments-by-crafts-by-amanda-handmade-spark/ Rustic North Woods Ornaments by Crafts by Amanda | Handmade Spark | Hot Glue Gun Crafts

    [...] crafts by Amanda. 1/2″ disks of wood black paint thin paint brush pencil ribbon for hangers jute, gingham ribbon or checkered material for bows. Clear glaze spray hot glue gun. If bark around wood is healthy you can leave it in place. … View full post on glue gun crafts – Google Blog Search [...]

  • http://jorpins.tumblr.com/ ejorpin

    Such unique ornaments – what a great project! Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://jorpins.tumblr.com/ ejorpin

    Such unique ornaments – what a great project! Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.first4hampers.com Christmas Hampers

    Good article – Thanks

  • TamsJewelry

    Very Cool!

  • http://milllanestudio.blogspot.com Mylene Hillam

    Fantastic project, especially with the story behind them!

  • http://MailleEtc.etsy.com Bonnie

    Thanks for sharing your cool ornaments! They’ll be fun projects for adults and kids and will look great on our trees!

  • http://eightymillion.etsy.com Jennifer Schulting

    Cute, good idea.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

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