N-O-E-L Time!

It’s NOEL time! Can we be more excited??!! The holidays are here!!!

Thanksgiving is at our house. The fam will be here just for a short time, COVID-friendly, and all. So as soon as the holiday dishes are done I will be cracking open the Christmas closet and putting my holiday decorations ON! Whoot whoot!

A few weeks ago storm ZETA came roaring through the neighborhood and did a ‘little’ damage. Needless to say…….my neighbors have firewood for quite some time! And this wasn’t the only one to fall… hardwoods and pines.

Have you ever heard a tree fall? Hope you never do…

After the cleanup was over and done I grabbed a few of the logs to do something crafty. Hmmmmmm…..what can I do?, what can I do? I saw this little cutie in a store and tada! Thats it!

Perfect right?

A couple of years ago I had a very large tree cut down and had them make a few slices from the trunk to use on the buffet table or centerpieces. Well, it took about a week and boom!, the rounds got huge cracks in them. Wait….what? So I did some research and learned quite a bit about wood. It’s a living thing and when you take away the water, something has to give.

Hey Google! How do you keep fresh wood from splitting? Enter Pentacryl TM from Preservation Solutions. https://www.preservation-solutions.com/product/pentacryl/. Their website is informative and taught me exactly what I needed to do to make wood ‘cookies’. Also check out Youtube videos. Pentacryl is readily available and super easy to use. I tried another product but it made the cookies waxy and paint wouldn’t stick.

You’re going to need a chop saw or someone who has one.. Santa… are you listening? 🤷‍♀️ Once you have one you will wonder how you ever lived without one. Right up there with a glue gun, honestly.

What we’re going for..

I cut up a hardwood log and a pine log. Hardwood has irregularities and pine is much more cylindrical. Point here being, it’s easier to keep a cylindrical shape securely in the saw and cut it straight, than vice versa. But, on the other hand the hardwood branch irregularities give the cookies a uniqueness. I will be using both as I expand this project at home but this post will show the hardwood. Both dry in the Pentacryl just the same.

I cut the cookies in a width of 1/4″ to 1/2″. For no particuliar reason other than, as above, it’s hard to keep an irregular shape in the saw. I predrilled holes top and bottom so they could hang to dry. Drying time, and process, is very important for the cookies. The website and videos will go over the process well. Cutting the cookies will produce an incredible amount of sawdust. I saved a good deal of it and used it to pre-dry the cookies. According to a source at Pentacryl this is ok to do.

Went to the dollar store and bought a couple of plastic storage containers. These worked really well to soak the cookies. I bought 2 quarts of Pentacryl. I wasn’t really sure how far a quart would go. For reference sake, I was able to soak 65 5″ diameter cookies in a quart and a half.

Follow the Pentacryl directions on how to soak the cookies. After soaking I placed them in the sawdust to pre-dry. Left them for about 5-6 hours and then hung to dry. Again, follow the directions as to drying time and procedure.

Using paperclips, I hung the cookies in a draft-free zone in the garage. You can see the shape difference between the hardwood and the pine cookies.

Time to get to the fun part!

All readily available at craft stores.

Step one – stencil on the snowflake. I’m a lot of things but an expert stenciler is not one of them! 😎 To solve that shortcoming enter a paint pen. Outlining the snowflake gives it definition and covers up any paint that may have slipped past the edges of the plastic template. For variety, I choose different size snowflakes and placed them randomly on the faces of the cookies.

Next, paint on the letters. I choose N-O-E-L but pick anything you want. I plan to do a variety of words and make a set of these to hang around the house. I’ll post those later. Haha… as soon as I find a few moments to get them done…🤷‍♀️

Now, if you are one of the lucky folks to have a Cricut or Silhouette machine, ‘jeally’ doesn’t begin to describe my feelings! I do not have a Cricut. Yet!….. So I hand painted the letters on the cookies. Using a pencil, then a paint pen, then craft paint.

So that the letters are placed uniformly and are of consistent size, use a ruler to draw the letters. Consistent width and height.

For additional definition, outline the letters with a medium point black marker.

Haha, unlike me on this first draft, ensure the letters are placed correctly in relation to the holes. 🤦‍♀️

Choose a ribbon for the bow and a thin ribbon for tying the cookies together.

If you don’t have access to a chop saw or prefer precut wood you can get them at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

You can stain the wood to help bring out the beautiful grain and wood characteristics.

Here’s hoping you and your family have a blessed and safe holiday season.

Take care and thanks for visiting East of Waco!


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