How To Make Wood Slice Map Ornaments

It is looking like a winter wonderland here where I live and it's taking everything for me to refrain from playing Christmas music. Snow always gets me into the holiday spirit and my thoughts have been wandering to ideas for hostess gifts and ornament exchanges this year. I prefer giving handmade gifts and with the holiday soirees soon approaching, I needed to come up with some ideas fast.

When I saw the theme for this month's Thrifty Chicks Challenge was world globe and/or map upcycles, it gave me the inspiration I needed for my handmade gifts this year with these adorable wood slice map ornaments.

Easy Wood Slice Map Ornaments

How To Make Wood Slice Map Ornaments

Tucked away in a file cabinet were leftover pieces of maps used a few years ago on a Mid-Century Modern Dresser Makeover. I found enough pieces to probably make a dozen or so map ornaments but at this point, I didn't have a clear idea of how I would make them.

While killing time on his lunch hour, Mr. Frugalista found a pile of off-cut treated pine posts at Goodwill for $2 each and wondered if I could put them to good use. Heck yes, it was just the inspiration I needed. Because what I saw wasn't pine posts but rather rustic wood slice ornaments and an idea was born.

Treated Pine Posts Used For Wood Slice Map Ornaments

Before I get into the details of how I turned the wood slices into map ornaments, I should tell you a little about the Thrifty Chicks group. On the second Wednesday of every month, my creative junk loving friends and I come together to transform, upcycle or repurpose a junk find based on a theme. As I mentioned above, this month the theme is world globe and/or map upcycle.

Thrifty Chicks Monthly Themed Blog Hop

These are the products I used to make them, minus the red and green burlap ribbon. I found plaid ribbon I liked much better. At the end of this post, I've included a materials list for your convenience.

Materials Used To Make Wood Slice Map Ornaments

4 Handmade Wood Slice Map Ornaments

Rig a jig to cut wood slices

To get a uniform thickness for each ornament we made a simple jig using a piece of melamine mounted with clamps onto the miter saw. Set at approximately 1/2 inch from the blade and at a 28° angle, echoing the angle already on the pine post, we cut a dozen wood slices.

A rigged jig to cut wood slice ornaments in uniform sizes

Make the back side pretty too

You can skip this step but because the treated pine posts were dark brown, I stained the back side of each ornament dark walnut to match the sides.

Dark Walnut Stained Backs on Wood Slice Map Ornaments

Decoupage Maps

You'll notice in the picture below, the ornaments were not stained on the back when I decoupaged the maps. Learn from my mistake - stain the back of the ornaments first before starting this next step.

Once the stain is completely dry cut up a map (I used world map paper) into small pieces and decoupage them onto the front of each wood slice using Mod Podge and a foam brush.

Decoupaged World Map pieces onto Wood Slice Ornaments

Once dry, use scissors to cut the paper around the perimeter of the wood slices. With an inexpensive emery board (I got mine from the dollar store), file the edges of the paper working from the top (papered side) down.

Emery board to file edges of decoupaged wood slice map ornaments

Apply a thin coat of matte Mod Podge over the map to protect the paper.

Song Verse Typography

To add a verse to the maps you have three options. Unfortunately, I don't have a handy die-cut cutting machine and so I had to apply mine using an image transfer technique.

Create typography in Word for Wood Slice Map Ornaments

Option 1 - Image Transfer Technique

Create the typography verses in a Word document using the Great Vibes font in a 36 point size and print the sheet. Cut out each verse and center them over the map wood slices. Slip a piece of carbon or graphite paper underneath and trace the verse onto the map. I used my other hand to hold the verse down while I traced but you could use low tack tape. Go over the verses with a fine point Sharpie marker in the color(s) of your choosing.

Here is where I'm keeping it real guys...

On a test ornament, I tried a gold metallic marker but it looked lost on the map. Next, I used a bright red marker thinking it would pull the red from the plaid ribbon and pop. Wrong. So in my infinite wisdom, I decided to go over the red with a green marker for added dimension. I'm not overly thrilled with the results but I had no more map paper left so I just went with it.

Thankfully, I'm providing you with other options below...

Peace On Earth Wood Slice Map Ornament

Option 2 - Make a stencil

Using a die cut cutting/embossing machine and contact paper, create a stencil and paint the verse on. I would suggest protecting the paint once it dries with a thin coat of matte Mod Podge like I did with my Sharpie option.

Option 3 - Self-adhesive sticker

Using a diet cut cutting/embossing machine create a sticker using self-adhesive vinyl. This would have been my preferred option had Santa fulfilled my Christmas Wish List the last couple of years. Something tells me I must be on his naughty list.

Joy To The World Wood Slice Map Ornament

Eye hook hanger

Poke a hole in the top of each wood slice with an awl and screw in a small eye hook.

Adding freshly fallen snow

Using an artist's pallet knife, apply Snow-Tex onto the top of each wood slice and let a little drip over the edge onto the map for a realistic look. While it's still wet, sprinkle glitter over the snow, letting the excess fall into a dish to reuse again later.

Christmas Around The World Wood Slice Map Ornament

Embellish the ornament

Tie a mini glitter snowflake onto the eye hook so it hangs just above the verse. Loop 1/2-inch wide plaid holiday ribbon through the eye hook and tie a small bow.

Weary World Rejoices Wood Slice Map Ornament

Materials List

As promised at the top of this post, I've included a materials list for your convenience. 
This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. See my disclosure policy page.

Mod Podge Matte
Foam Brush
Dark Walnut Minwax Stain
Eye Hook
Carbon or Graphite Paper
Sharpie Fine Tip Marker in Red & Green
White Glitter
Artists Pallet Knife
1/2 inch wide Plaid Holiday Ribbon

Handmade Wood Slice Map Ornaments

Here is another wood slice idea that may interest you. Two years ago I made fun Wood Slice Holiday Coasters from the branches of a fallen tree in our yard. 

If you enjoyed these handmade Wood Slice Map Ornaments, please share them with a friend and/or save them on Pinterest.

How To Make Wood Slice Map Ornaments

Please join me in visiting my friend's blogs to see what they did with either a globe or map.
6 Ways To Upcycle A World Globe or Maps
Wooden Platter To Make A Lazy Susan by Shoppe No. 5
Christmas Around The World Star Ornaments by Adirondack Girl At Heart
Will Be Back Next Month by Just The Woods
Vintage Trunk Refresh by Lora B. Create & Ponder
How To Make Wood Slice Map Ornaments by The Interior Frugalista (that's Me)
DIY Globe Upcycle by Little Vintage Cottage

You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.