Happy October everyone! It’s finally feeling like fall! The temps are slowly going down and that means my fall decor is coming up. It’s such a great time of year, and it always reminds me of how thankful I need to be all year ’round.
October is going to be a great month on Well-Made Heart because there are going to be lots of DIYs for the season and for your home decor. I’m really excited to help you get your home all cozy and warm! To start this month off I have a really fun and quirky DIY that would go great anywhere in your home. I wanted a fun fall piece and this is what I came up with: my Wood Squirrel Stand!
I have such an affinity for squirrels- fat ones, skinny ones, squabbly ones- they’re all hilarious to me. So I designed this modern squirrel graphic and realized it would go great onto a piece of wood for that woodsy, fall feel. Simple and very mid-century modern, this baby will speak Fall in all the right ways.
Before I explain it all I want to say thanks to my Dad! Often I come with this grand idea of how I want a project to turn out, and he provides the logistics 🙂 Also, just so you know this project isn’t hard, but there are many steps to it.
Now- Here’s how it’s done!
To start off you’ll need:
- Wood slice (I bought mine at Michael’s)
- Wood burning kit (preferably with a image transferring tool)
- 2 nails screws (I say nails but what I mean are Spax T-Star Lag screws) They are like a nail and screw all in one!
- Clear self adhesive vinyl bumpers
- Squirrel template – Download here!
- Metal plate – mine was 8X6 in. This one was just a scrap that we had lying around. I’m sure a home improvement store can help you select a similar one.
- Drill bit size 1/4 for the holes
- Stain in your choice of color
- Polyurethane finish
- Heavy duty hot glue gun
- Gorilla glue
OK! Before we get started I want to say, if you bought your wood slice DO NOT REMOVE THE PLASTIC! You may think that you’ll burn the template first (and you can) but this way worked out great too- and not removing the plastic saves time!
Now- first decide where you’ll want to stick your nails in. Figure out what is the middle of your slice, and where you’ll place nails on either side to balance the wood. Once I figured that out, I marked a red line on the edge of my wood slice, and on top of the wood to know how far each nail needed to go. Since the wood is round and uneven both nails will not go in the same amount and since the plastic is still on, it didn’t matter that I marked on it :).
Here’s one example:
And this is the other:
Now take the metal plate and draw two dots directly spaced out as on your wood slice.
Once you figure that out- take your drill and drill straight into the metal making the holes.
Afterwards, you can take a larger drill bit and drill over the holes to create space for the nails to fit smoothly.
Now- take your wood slice and get it ready to drill the holes. We don’t have any fancy machine for this, lol.
Pre-drill the holes for the nails to go in.
Make sure to drill deep enough as the nails need to go! Now take your metal with the nails in and get it ready for drilling into the wood.
Turn the plate upside down and have a helper hold the metal while the nails are drilled into the pre-drilled holes. These nails needed a star drill bit.
Once you do both nails, the stand should be able to stand on it’s own! Yay! Now stick your clear adhesive bumpers on the bottom of the metal to make sure that the nails don’t disturb how the whole thing will stand. The bumpers provide space and make the metal safe for all surfaces.
Now, the stand will be wobbly so take your gorilla glue and add that to the bottoms of the nails screws.
Let that dry (drying upside down is best), then grab your heavy duty glue gun! I have a small regular one I do small crafts with but this project required the big one.
Add hot glue underneath and fill the holes through the top as well.
Let it dry! I hope you haven’t removed your plastic yet because now it’s time for spray painting.
I love GOLD so of course, this is what I used.
Spray that baby up! And with the plastic wrap still on you don’t have to worry about messing up the wood!
Once it’s all dry you can finally remove the plastic! And now take a break, grab something with caffeine and get ready for the wood burning part!
Make sure you’ve downloaded and printed the squirrel printable. I designed it for this particular project! It would help to print it on an inkjet printer if you are going to use the image transferring tool on your wood burning pen, otherwise carbon tracing paper works just as well.
Now take the paper and cut it up so that you know exactly where you want to place it.
Since I used the transfer tool, I knew it would come out backwards. Get the tool ready to go- this is what it looks like:
Now just go over all the lines slowly, checking to see if the image is transferring. Since I was only using the lines as guidelines, I didn’t bother making sure the whole thing was dark. Here’s how it came out!
[A note about placement- as you can see I didn’t bother surveying the surface of the wood before I placed my squirrel, and that’s why he came out looking like he got shot in the leg lol. I highly recommend paying careful attention to this!]
The tool is really awesome! I could use it just as it if I wanted to.
Now to actually burn the wood. Take your tool, choose your tip and get to work! I realized quickly that slow was better.
Once I finished the outlines, I went back in with a thicker tool to do the inside.
This is how it came out! Now I wanted to stain it, but instead of staining the whole wood, I took some Q-tips and darkened the lines.
Then, I put some polyurethane on top to seal it all. This also added some light coloring.
I let it dry overnight, gave it a light sand and voila! Finally done and it looks fab!
Even my other squirrel friend likes it.
I hope you get the chance to make one! Once you gather all your supplies, it really shouldn’t take more than an afternoon to assemble and burn the wood. The rest is just drying time!
Have a great weekend and remember to tune in next week! I have a really great DIY on making your home cozy for apartment dwellers!