Christmas in July: Old World Shaved Wood Ornaments Made Easy!

Festive Heart ornaments

Combining the little ready made shaved wood curls from Olsen's Shaved Wood Ornament Kits and shaved wood strips called "Spon or Bastelspan" sent to me by a friend in Norway has allowed me to make ornaments I was not able to make using only one or the other alone. And these hearts are some of my favorites!

Spon comes in nice long, very thin strips of wood - perfect for creating large shapes but I personally have had difficulty curling it into tight curls. Olsen's Shaved Wood Ornament Kits provide beautiful little curls of wood; but although the strips can be straightened and used to create shapes like for instance tear drops, they are too short for larger shapes.

Combining long strips of Spon and the little shaved wood curls from the Olsen's kits has worked out well to create lovely old world natural wood ornaments (heart on right above). Problem is - Spon is not readily available in the USA. However, I have found a perfect substitute thanks to Suzonne over at Urban Comfort - BARC wood veneer paper from ARC Craft.

You might remember I used Barc wood veneer paper to construct this Christmas Snowflake (or Star).

Festive Heart ornaments

(BARC wood veneer paper on left, Olsen's shaved wood curls, and Bastelspan on right.)

Now, I am cutting BARC wood veneer paper into narrow strips and using it just as I would Spon, and it is working out beautifully. AND the BEST part is that both products are available to crafters in the US so that old world inspired shaved wood ornaments can be made by anyone living on this side of the pond!!!

All you will need on hand is a pair of scissors or an Xacto knife, ruler, Elmer's glue, hair clips (like those provided in Olsen's kits or short hair pins, BARC White Birch Wood Veneer with 2 mil paper backing (learn more about ordering here) and shaved wood curls from an Olsen's Shaved Wood Ornament Kit (learn more about ordering here).

Festive Heart ornaments

(Note: the sample in this image and the one below are made using Spon, however, BARC veneer paper workes exactly the same way.)

To create a heart:

1. Cut two strips of BARC wood veneer paper WITH THE GRAIN - the same width as the curls, and glue the ends together to create the shape of a heart. Let dry before proceeding.

Tip: The BARC paper heart likes very much to curl, so I place a pair of scissors or bottle of Elmer's Glue as a weight on the little heart to hold it flat while drying.

2. While the heart form is drying, glue about 12 to 15 wood curls and hold til dry using clips or pins.  Try to make your curls as close to the same size as possible.

3. Once the heart form and the wood curls are dry, fill the heart with wood curls arranging them any way you like. Note that the number of curls and the arrangement will alter the shape of your heart.

While placing the curls, be sure they are all in the same orientation.  It will make a big difference in the appearance of the completed ornament.

Tip: The tendency for the heart form to curl doesn't go away when the glue is dry so I suggest first glueing several key curls into place right across the middle. This will connect the center point to the outside edges and will stabilize the heart while you complete the glueing process.

Festive Heart ornaments

4. Once you are happy with the arrangement of your curls, glue them and hold in place and until dry.  A hair clip or short hair pin does a perfect job. Be sure to glue every spot where two curls touch, or a curl touches the heart form.

Tip: All you need is one spot of glue at each join. You might find it easier to apply the glue between curls using a bamboo skewer or a toothpick as an applicator.

Note: Work on wax paper and leave to dry on wax paper. The dried heart will lift right off! And since Elmer's glue dries clear, any little dabs that accidently might have escaped will be almost invisible.

Festive Heart ornaments

(Spon on the right and BARC veneer paper on the left.)

5. Once the hearts are dry, use a thin needle and thread to attach a hanging loop. Or if you are more on top of your craft than I seem to be, you can actually glue the hanging loop right in the join at the top of the heart!

Note: Clearly, the wonky heart on the left makes it quite obvious that how you arrange your curls inside the heart form will determine the shape of your heart. This is NOT the fault of the BARC product but rather a fault of the crafter - who is sharing it so you can see why a watchful eye on the overall shape is important!

Festive Heart ornaments

(Made with Barc veneer paper and Olsen's Shaved Wood Kit curls)

I am especially happy with this heart! And if I hadn't exhausted my supply of wood curls making the lighted curled wood tree in the previous post, I would have already made several more of these!

Festive Heart ornaments

Glue the heart together as shown here and then fill with curls! As it happens, this heart form is much more stable when dry and is much easier to work with while filling with wood curls.

Note:  If you look closely, you will notice my curls are not all exactly the same size and although they are all curling to the right they are not necessarily oriented perfectly.  Make a couple to learn the glueing and construction technique and then move on to more perfect orientation!

I realize that these heart ornaments can be constructed using paper or even toilet paper rolls. But personally, I think making them from real wood moves them into an heirloom category. And the wood provides a beautiful classic Christmassy old world look. (AndÂ… they smell lovely!)

Just so you know, I have not been paid by either ARC Crafts or by Olsen's!  I am just thrilled that after six years I have found these two options which finally makes it possible for me to share this craft with all of you!

More ideas for playing with shaved wood curls and with BARC wood veneer paper coming soon!

Hi Pam, i hadn't seen this,

Hi Pam, i hadn't seen this, i'm terrible with my in box of my mail.
But this is brilliant, and as well that you are paid for this.
Congratulations. Allthough it's problalby very late to do so.;-D
I like those ornaments, my mom bought them in my childhood in a very expensefly shop. I thought it was too difficult to make.
So thank you for the sharing.

I'm still sending you every day good thoughts.
And i hope your are doing so far as can well.
I send you tons of dutch hugs and some soft headbumps of my two girls.

Thank you Jet.  I have loved

Thank you Jet.  I have loved them since the day I came across them in 1972!  Can't find them now.  But many many people have been ordering her kits.

Also I do appreciate you lovg and healing thoughts.  I am finally really feeling like myself although I still don't push muself too hard yet.

Hugs back and headbumps to your two girls.

All so beautiful, Pam I LOVE

All so beautiful, Pam I LOVE the asymmetric heart - was surprised to read its shape wasn't intentional. Embrace it! (Don't you just love Suzonne's blog? She finds the best/neatest supplies!)

Ann, I think of you now every

Ann, I think of you now every time i play with curls of shaved wood!!!  Wish you had been with me as i built that large tree of wood curls!!!  I am sure with your background in quilling, you would have had some very useful advice for this absolute novice!

And yes indeed - love Suzonne's blog!

:) You did just fine creating

:) You did just fine creating the tree without me - it's lovely!

Thank you Ann.  But I still

Thank you Ann.  But I still would have enjoyed your company! :-)

These are great, I shall have

These are great, I shall have to look and see what's available over here in the UK.

You should be able to find

You should be able to find Bastelspon.  It is made by an European craft supplier by the name of "Rayher".

What a marvelous combination

What a marvelous combination with gorgeous results! Your ornaments turned out lovely! Thanks for sharing this tutorial with us!

Arielle, I really do think

Arielle, I really do think you need to make a few for your tree to celebrate your sweetheart's heritage.  And they are perfect gifts because they are made of wood and are quite substantial feeling.  And - ha!  ... they smell so Christmassy!

Man, these are so beautiful!

Man, these are so beautiful! And really cool that your long search for the perfect materials has finally paid off!

You of all people would

You of all people would know!!!  After all, you were by my side when I found the first ones! Wish I had understood then that they would not be around forever.  But yes, so happy to have finally found a way to make something quite close with readily available materials.