Handmade Holidays Blog Hop


Welcome to the 7th Annual Handmade Holidays blog hop hosted by Smart Fun DIY! Day 1 of this hop is all about unique gift ideas to inspire you to create something from the heart this holiday season. I’m sharing how … Continue reading

How to make wood burned ombre alphabet art

I am in love with the ombre effect, especially in art. Wood burning is an easy way to make an ombre effect. For this art project I chose one of my favorite art themes, letters, to use the ombre wood burning technique on. All that is needed is the point tip on the wood burning tool and you too can make an ombre effect on any wood surface.


Materials and Tools

1.5″ Wooden Letters A-Z and &

Basswood Canvas – 12″ x 12″

Creative Versa Tool


Thin strip of wood



I arranged the letters on the Basswood canvas and included an ampersand.


Once I had them arranged I glued them down using a scrap of wood as a guide in between rows.


Then all that was left to do was make lots and lots of dots with the wood burning tool. The row of letters on top were almost completely filled with dots and then they were spread out a bit more for each row until the bottom row was loosely dotted. This image shows the letters about 1/2 filled in from the final. The process was a bit like needle felting.

Walnut Hollow is having a sale! Click the image below to take 20% off the hot tools and hot tool accessories so you can make projects like the one above that Abby created today:


Thanks for taking time to check out this wood burning tutorial and if you’d like to see more of my crafting with a re-purpose and adult coloring pages pop on over to my blog Sweater Surgery.

Stefanie Girard with scissors

Stefanie Girard is a crafter with a re-purpose. She has been cutting stuff up since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors in her tiny hands. She earned her degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and move to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry first as a Set Decorator and Prop Master then onto TV Producer specializing in How-To TV shows for HGTV and the DIY Networks. After writing 5 craft books for the Quarto Publishing Group she now spreads the crafty word online through book reviews and original projects with a focus on recycled elements.

Nathalie’s Elephant

By Judi Kauffman for Walnut Hollow


???????????????????????????????Nathalie’s Elephant is named for mixed media artist Nathalie Kalbach. She designed the stencils that inspired my project. It is also in honor of Carla Sonheim whose wonderful class, Woodburning for Mixed-Media Artists, I audited a few weeks ago. It was Carla who reminded me how much fun mark-making with a woodburning tool can be. (I admit that my Creative Versa-Tool had been gathering dust for the last few months so having a reason to keep it front and center again has been a joy!)


I had a great time working with a wood burning tool and a pair of stencils. I highly recommend the combination! For a surprise finishing touch I made Shimmer Sheetz side pieces and corner accents.


Safety reminder: If you’re new to pyrography (the other name for woodburning), be sure to read all of the instructions for the Walnut Hollow Creative Versa-Tool® and use it precisely as directed. I like to stand while I work so I put my glass mat on a granite counter in my kitchen with the stovetop’s downdraft fan pulling any wisps of smoke away from my face. (Do not leave the tool plugged in when unattended or not in use; it’s not a toy so make sure it’s not within reach of children or pets.)




1. Using a soft pencil and very little hand pressure trace an elephant silhouette from the Elephant Parade Stencil onto an 8” x 10” Walnut Hollow Basswood Canvas (set as a horizontal rectangle). Trace the spiral portion of the Batik Stencil three times – once at the left edge, once above the elephant’s back, and once to the right of its front foot. Using the photo at the start of the blog post as a reference, continue tracing various shapes from the Batik Stencil to fill the Canvas.


???????????????????????????????2. Using the Tapered Point in the Walnut Hollow Creative Versa-Tool® (set on Orange, the second hottest heat setting) outline all of the shapes traced in step 1 except for the small pattern elements below the elephant’s feet.


???????????????????????????????3. Add details and shading using the Flow Point, Shading Point, and Circle Stamping point as follows:

*Dots – light and dark, large and small = Flow Point

*Small stenciled pattern shapes below elephant’s feet = Flow Point and Circle Stamping Point

*Darkening throughout the surface = Shading Point

*Patterns, darker shading, and wrinkles on elephant = Shading Point

*Other patterns = Circle Stamping Point


4. Erase any pencil marks that remain visible. For added durability, use one or two coats of matte acrylic to seal the wood burned surface. (Dry between coats.)


5. Back two 5” x 12” pieces of Fire Opal Gemstones Shimmer Sheetz with double sided adhesive sheets. From one 5” x 12” piece cut two 8” x 1.75” strips, and then cut one 2” x 5” strip. From the other 5” x 12” piece cut two 10” x 1.75” strips. Set aside all scraps for future projects.


6. Using an ink applicator tool to apply colors for a mottled effect, alter all Shimmer Sheetz pieces from step 5 with Espresso and Pool Alcohol Inks. Darken ONLY the 2” x 5” strip with a bit of Pitch Black Alcohol Ink.


7. Working one strip at a time: Insert the 8” x 1.75” strips into the Lots of Dots Embossing Folder (sideways) so that only the middle section will be embossed and run through the machine using the appropriate plates. (Feel the inside of the folder to make sure you have the Shimmer Sheetz positioned so that you will have RAISED dots on these two pieces.) Both ends of these strips will have NO embossing.


8. Again, working one strip at a time: Emboss the center section of the 10” x 1.75” strips twice – with raised dots for half of the embossing and de-bossed dots for the other half. Both ends of these strips will have NO embossing.


???????????????????????????????9. Lightly sand all four embossed strips to create an aged look and tone down the shine. Wipe with damp paper towel after sanding. Follow with Timber Brown StazOn ink to further enhance the feel of patina.


10. Working one side piece Shimmer Sheetz strip at a time, remove the paper release sheet to expose the adhesive and position the strips on all four sides of the project.


???????????????????????????????11. Create two faux metal luggage straps for each corner of the project: Use the small label/tab shape die from the Tags & More 2 – Deco die set to die cut eight pieces from the 2” x 5” piece of Shimmer Sheetz. VERY IMPORTANT: Each of these shapes has two TINY die cut circles. Be sure not to misplace them!!!


Reminder – You will need a metal adaptor plate to die cut the Shimmer Sheetz. Cutting side of the die faces the metal plate; Shimmer Sheetz is between the plate and the die with the ink-altered side (front) facing the cutting side of the die. Use your machine’s usual plates for the rest of the cutting sandwich.


???????????????????????????????Elephant-6-Kauffman12. Working one piece at a time, remove the release sheet to expose the adhesive and add the faux metal luggage straps to the corners, folding in half as shown so they wrap from one side of the project to the adjacent side. Tip: Mix up the placement of the tiny circles for extra contrast. This makes them look more like nail heads than if they were kept with their original label/tab shapes.




Walnut Hollow

Basswood Canvas, 8″ x 10″

Creative Versa-Tool®


Elizabeth Craft Designs

SS0218 Fire Opal Gemstones Shimmer Sheetz

114 Lots of Dots embossing folder

952 Tags & More 2 – Deco die set

802 Metal Adaptor Plate

5” x 12” Transparent Double Sided Adhesive Sheets (two pieces)


StencilGirl Products

L320 Batik Stencil by Nathalie Kalbach

L321 Elephant Parade Stencil by Nathalie Kalbach


Other –

Ruler with grid, craft knife and cutting mat OR paper trimmer; Tim Holtz Alcohol inks in Espresso, Pool, and Pitch Black (Ranger); StazOn ink in Timber Brown (Imagine Crafts featuring Tsukineko); Pencil; Sanding block; Optional: Tempered (heat resistant) glass mat




Do what makes you Happy

By Chris Wallace for Walnut Hollow

We are excited to be blog hopping with Quietfire Design all this week. We have so many creative projects to share with you using Quietfire Design high quality rubber stamps with Walnut Hollow Wood Surfaces and Tools.

Walnut Hollow + Quietfire Design Prize

We have a great prize to give away. Let us know what you think about our projects by leaving comments. We will choose a prize winner Monday, October 6. Leaving comments on all of the projects will increase your chance of winning! See where to go next at the end of my post!

Walnut Hollow Crafts | Do What Makes You Happy


This mixed media project was perfect for Suzanne Cannon’s wonderful calligraphy sentiment stamp set, Twirl & Enjoy. I’m so delighted that she makes them for us to use so we can share these words over and over again! And for many of us, we get to “do what makes us happy” while we are using the stamps. Doesn’t get much better than that.

I began this project by using a large flat brush to basecoat the Walnut Hollow Basswood Canvas with DecoArt® Americana® Hauser Light Green. I wanted a little sparkle on the surface, so I added DecoArt® StarLite Varnish, just to the top of the Canvas. The varnish is great because it adds just a touch of glitter.


While everything was drying, I cut (3) 1 ½” strips of ivory cardstock and inked, stamped and used my sewing machine to attach several thinner strips of colored cardstock to the ivory paper. For the ink pads, I used Clearsnap® Tutti-Frutti Queue which includes 6 colors – perfect for this project.



After die cutting scallop circles from Spellbinders®, I used Clearsnap® ColorBox® Midnight ink pad to stamp all of the sentiments – “do what makes you happy” and other stamps from Quietfire Design – “My friend” and “Each of us has a song to sing” – 2 of my other favorite stamps. (I actually have lots of favorite Quietfire Design stamps!!!)


You’ll need to use scissors to cut scrap pieces of felt. Cut a dress and 3 small flowers.

Do what Makes You Happy Side

Now it’s time to assemble everything. Using Tombow® adhesives, I adhered the different elements to the Canvas. I used MONO Multi Liquid Glue to glue small beads onto the felt flowers and set them aside to dry.

Use Tombow® Xtreme to adhere the sewn papers around the wide edges of the Canvas – leaving openings for the stamped sentiments. Also adhere the purple strips and the turquoise circle with Xtreme.

I used Tombow® Foam Tabs to layer the orange circle on the turquoise circle.

Use MONO Multi Liquid Glue to adhere the felt pieces. Use Power Tabs to adhere the pewter charm embellishments. You can cut the Power Tabs into smaller pieces to fit behind each of the charms.


Thanks for stopping by to see my “Do what makes you Happy!” Now go see what Suzanne created! http://quietfirecreations.blogspot.ca/


By Chris Wallace for Walnut Hollow


If you haven’t tried wood burning yet, this project would be a perfect way to start learning. It’s easy, fun and also gives you a chance to try the Alphabet Hot Stamps to add words!


I used the Creative Versa-Tool® with the Versa-Temp Temperature Control to make things easier.


After reading all of the instructions found outside and inside the package, use pliers to attach the Flow Point on the Tool. Secure the Tool Stand to your work surface with tape and place the Tool on the Stand. Plug into an electric outlet and turn the Versa-Temp control dial to the Red Zone and heat for 4-5 minutes.


While the Tool is heating, position a stencil onto the Basswood Canvas. I used a Martha Stewart stencil for this project. Use a pencil to trace the design onto the wood, leaving room to add the words under the branch.



Use the Flow Point to wood burn the branches and berries. Outline the bird, legs, feet and eye. Use the pliers to remove the Flow Point, dropping it into a ceramic dish. Turn the Versa-Temp control dial to the Yellow-Orange Zone.


Attach the Shading Point with the pliers. With the Versa-Temp control dial on the Yellow-Orange Zone, wood burn very lightly inside the bird with the very flat portion of the Point to shade the bird. The lower heat of the Tool will help to keep the shading lighter than other parts of your wood burned design. When you are finished shading the bird, use the pliers to remove the Shading Point and drop it into the ceramic dish. Turn the Versa-Temp control dial back to the Red Zone.


Attach the Circle Hot Stamps on the Tool with the pliers. Wood burn all the edges of the Basswood Canvas with half of the Stamp on the top edges and the full Stamp on the side edges. Use the pliers to remove the Circle Hot Stamp and drop in into the ceramic dish.

26162 HotStamps TrilingualIMG_2014

To add words, attach an appropriate letter from the Alphabet Hot Stamps with the pliers. Place the Tool on the Stand.

Use a ruler and pencil to draw lines under branch to keep letters straight on the Basswood Canvas. Carefully burn each letter, removing and attaching each letter with the pliers.

Once your wood burning is complete, erase any remaining pencil lines. For a protective finish, apply 2-3 coats of either spray or brush-on varnish.

For more information and videos on Beginning Wood Burning using the Creative Versa-Tool see the YouTube Video below:


Basswood Canvas vs. Wood Panels

Chris Wallace for Walnut Hollow

Thinking that we should talk about specific Walnut Hollow products now and again, I decided it would be a good idea to discuss the differences between 2 products we manufacture – Basswood Canvas and Wood Panels.


They look quite similar if you see them in a photo or even on a shelf in a craft store.

However, they are actually very different. I don’t really have a favorite, I just choose one over the other depending on what I am creating.



WP Back

Let’s start with the Wood Panels. They are made from top-quality Baltic Birch and are cradled with a ¾” pine wood frame. They are sanded smooth and the Panels won’t flex, stretch or warp.

I enjoy creating on the front side. They can be treated just like any wood plaque – here are a few samples:


Ellaweese (that’s the birds name!) was perfect for the Panel and since the Panel is smooth it was so easy to paint on. I used acrylics, but oils, encaustics, mists or any type of paints work very well on the Panel surface. You can also decoupage, stamp, create mixed media pieces, etc. The other Wood Panel was created like a scrapbook page. I always think that scrapbook pages inside of an album won’t be seen often. It’s fun to put something that you would secure in a closed album up on the wall instead.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA29839 Wood Panel Ice Resin Project

The reverse side of the Wood Panel is also great to use. The way that the cradle pieces are positioned to support the Balitic Birch, meitered corners are created and look like a frame. The recessed area allows for lots of creativity. The Friends Forever project made a perfect frame for photos of young girlfriends. The “Life is too short” project was created with ICE Resin and the inside area was perfect to hold the liquid ICE Resin until it dried to a beautiful finish.


side back view

As for the Basswood Canvas pieces, the high-quality surfaces are ideal for fine art, encaustic art, fiber & paper collage, wood burning, wood carving and much more. Each Canvas is made from ¼” premium Basswood, cradled by a 1 ½” pine wood frame. The smooth surface is archival quality with no pitch or grain to interfere with techniques and will not flex, stretch or warp.

Basswood Canvas Cherry VinylOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whether you are creating a project with Elizabeth Crafts Peel-Offs (Cherries) or wood burning as in the Zentangle-inspired piece, the surface is wonderful for many techniques: oil painting, paper crafting, wood burning, wood carving, encaustic art – or drill a hole in the center and make a clock!


Marie Browning, a wonderful friend and designer, created this project by using the reversed side of a Basswood Canvas. It became a shadow box ready to hold a photo and many beautiful embellishments.

There are a couple of similarities with the products. Both the Basswood Canvas and Wood Panels are reversible and can be used with or without a frame. Both styles come in rectangle and square shapes. Another great feature is that they are easy to hang flush to the wall. And finally, they are Made in America – just like all of our fine wood products.

So, what would you like to use – a Basswood Canvas or a Wood Panel? Do you have a favorite?







by Chris Wallace


It was fun turning a Basswood Canvas into a clock! Of course, anything you can drill a hole in can become a clock. You’ll need to use a 3/8” drill bit for the correct size hole in the item to hold any Walnut Hollow® clock movement.


Start by using a pencil and ruler to find the center of the Basswood Canvas  – I used one that was 8” x 8”. Drill the hole in the center, then you’re ready to stain the wood.


To add color to the wood, it was really easy to use Tim Holtz® Distress Stains (Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey, Frayed Burlap and Peeled Paint) because you can simply use the sponge applicators on the bottles to both add the color and blend the colors together.


After the Stains were completely dry – they dry quickly – I stamped the surface with Tim Holtz® Clear Stamps – Urban Grunge. Use Imagine Crafts Versa-Fine™ Ink to stamp each image.

Add the chain and hammer small nails just above the chandlier stamped images to hold the chain in place – the other end of the chain is nailed to the edge of the Canvas. Add a Tim Holtz® Idea-ology® Ornate Plate in the center of the Canvas so the clock movement shaft will be in the center. Glue the Plate with Tombow MONO Multi Liquid Glue for a secure adhesion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA26162 HotStamps Trilingual

OK. Now comes the fun part! Use the Creative Versa-Tool® with the Alphabet Hot Stamps to add the word T-I-M-E-K-E-E-P-E-R.

After reading all manufacturer’s instructions found inside the Creative Versa-Tool, use pliers to attach “R” Hot Stamp alphabet letter on the Tool. Secure the Tool Stand to your work surface with tape. Place the tool on the stand and plug into an electric outlet, turn the Versa-Temp control dial between the Orange and Red Zones and heat for 4-5 minutes.


I started at the top right corner of the Canvas and spelled the word backwards to ensure that the spacing was correct. Begin with hot stamping the letter “R”. Remove the letter with pliers and drop the letter into a glass or ceramic dish. Attach the letter E” on tool and proceed with each letter until you are finished. When the word is complete, turn the Versa-Temp control to “O” (OFF) and let cool on stand.


Now you are ready to add the clock movement, hands and numbers. For this clock, I used a clock movement with a 3/8″ shaft to fit the thickness of the wood surface.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe back of the package has the instructions for attaching the clock movement to the Canvas. Just follow along. Once you have the hands on as instructed, place the adhesive numbers that are included with the clock movement at the 12 – 3 – 6 – and 9 o’clock positions. I start with 12, move straight down to the 6, then go to the 3 and 9.

Add the AA battery, set the time and your TIMEKEEPER is ready to hang on the wall or sit on a tabletop for display.

Tribal Scales

by Chris Wallace

Coming Soon-stencil-StencilGirl-Walnut Hollow-1

If you are following along with the Walnut Hollow + Stencil Girl Blog Hop then you are in the right place! Be sure to leave comments on all of the blogs to enter to win this prize package!! The post below this one is another Walnut Hollow Project for the hop! Be sure to check that one out too!

Stencil Girl Blog Hop Prize lowresThis prize consists of Walnut Hollow Mini CrateCard Box12″x12″ Wood Panel6″x6″ Basswood Canvas and a Creative Versa-Tool®! (A $70 Value!)

Enter to win by commenting on the Blog projects that are a part of the Walnut Hollow + Stencil Girl Blog Hop. The more blogs you comment on the more chances you have to win! Giveaway will close on Sunday, March 2nd at 11:59PM Central Time.


When StencilGirl asked if we would like to participate in a Blog Hop with them, we were delighted. StencilGirl stencils are so unique and fun – we love them. The most wonderful part is that all of the people at StencilGirl are simply the best! We met Mary Beth at the Craft and Hobby Association tradeshow in January. Those of you who have had the opportunity to take a class from her are extremely lucky. And Maria is so helpful and great to work with.

So back to the Blog Hop – for years we have told our customers that they can use stencils for wood burning ideas.  But there are stencils and then there are stencils, if you know what I mean. StencilGirl stencils are different and the hard part was trying to decide what to do. I have quite a few ideas so stay tuned for future StencilGirl projects!


I used a 6” x 6” Basswood Canvas (http://www.walnuthollow.com/store/wood-surfaces/basswood/items/basswood-canvas/) for my project and the Creative Versa-Tool.


I started my project by taping the Scales stencil by Jessica Sporn  (http://www.stencilgirlproducts.com/product-p/s173.htm) on the raw Basswood Canvas. I used a small round sponge to apply Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Shabby Shutters, Dried Marigold, Scattered Straw and Antique Linen) starting in the upper right corner with Shabby Shutters and ending at the bottom left corner with Antique Linen.

background completeOnce the background was complete and dry, I penciled in the Tribal Hand stencil by Lizzie Mayne (http://www.stencilgirlproducts.com/Tribal-Hand-Stencil-by-Lizzie-Mayne-p/s180.htm).

trace stencil

with pencil

I used the Creative Versa-Tool to wood burn the design by simply following the pencil lines.

wood burn hand

After the hand was complete, I burned an outline to finish the edges of the hand.



I used a metal ruler to wood burn a straight outline of the edges of the Scales stencil on top of the Basswood Canvas.  I attached the Shading Point on the hot tool and burned the top edge to “frame” the design.


I used Peeled Paint Distress Stain to stain each side of the Basswood Canvas.


After it was dry, I used the Shading Point to wood burn the top of each side.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this project was complete. Of course, having fun while I was doing it made it seem to go even faster.

Great stencils made by great people – doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks StencilGirl, we love being friends and Blog Hopping together!

Be sure to view the post below this one! It is also a part of the Walnut Hollow StencilGirl Blog Hop!

StencilGirl Talk/Judi Kauffman <http://www.stencilgirltalk.com/>

You are here >> Walnut Hollow <https://walnuthollowcrafts.wordpress.com/>

Mary Beth Shaw <http://mbshaw.blogspot.com/>

Kirsten Reed < http://bit.ly/1plkRug >

Carolyn Dube <http://acolorfuljourney.com/>

Janet Joehlin <http://jjhappyreminders.blogspot.com/>

Linda Kittmer <http://lindakittmer.blogspot.com/>

Mary C. Nasser <http://www.marycnasser.com/blog.html>

Julie Snidle <http://juliesnidle.blogspot.com/>

Jessica Sporn <http://jessicasporn.blogspot.com/>

Judy Shea <http://thekeytomyart.wordpress.com/>

Maria McGuire <http://www.believedreamcreatewithmaria.com/>