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Distressed & Carved Wood Monogrammed Ornament

I have a holiday project to share with you today. It is a carved wood monogrammed ornament that is really a plaque, but in the shape of an old-fashioned ornament onto which I carved a monogram.

I am posting it now to give anyone that would like to make one for themselves or to give as gifts this holiday season, plenty of time to get one or more made. When December rolls around and the frenzy begins, you will be all set and stress-free as much as anyone can possibly be in December. :-)

Carved wood monogrammed ornament. How to carve a monogram into a wood cut out ornament to decorate your house or give as Christmas gifts.
Dremel makers project - Carved Monogram onto wood ornament.

I have owned a Dremel rotary tool since Ed and I were first married. I use it to do many tasks… like cutting metal hooks so they would fit over a door, drilling tiny holes in acorns to make a garland, and most recently hollowing out a cork to make a bottle stopper. It is my favorite DIY tool to fix things around the house as well as create decorative items.

Dremel 200 rotary tool

Earlier this year I got a brand new Dremel – a two speed one. Wheeeee!  Have you ever used one? Once you do and start seeing all the things you can fix and create, I am sure it will become your favorite tool, too.

It is a small tool that fits easily into my hand. There is quite an extensive line of accessories sold beyond the kit that comes with the tool, which are what make it such a versatile tool.  There are literally a hundred that you can use to sharpen, cut, carve, grind, polish and sand. It is one very handy tool to have around.

How to Make a Carved Wood Monogrammed Ornament

carved-wood monogrammed ornament for Christmas

The process for making the monogram carving takes 3 steps. First you need to create a monogram using your computer, second, transfer the image to the wood, and third, carve it.

How to Transfer a Monogram or a Design Onto Wood

Using the craft store painted and distressed wood ornament is a perfect piece to try your carving skills. The imperfections in your new carving skills will look just fine and part of the overall rustic feel of the distressed ornament.

how-to-transfer-a-monogram-to-wood-to-carve-or-paint

supplies needed:

  • distressed wood ornament – I bought it at Michaels. It is actually fake wood with a white painted distressed finish.
  • Here is the link to it:  White Onion Plaque by Celebrate It
  • transfer paper – craft store
  • pencil
  • computer print-out of your monogram:  4-1/2″ high x 5-1/2″ wide
  • old paint brush
transfer-a-monogram-to-wood so you can carve it
  1. Create your monogram using your computer and/or photo editing software. You can read more about doing this in this post: How to Make a Monogram using Microsoft Word. The font I used to make my monogram is KK Monogram. You can find the link to it here: Free Monogram Fonts

Carved wood monogrammed ornament tutorial

2. Place a piece of transfer paper face down on the wood ornament. Center your monogram on top. Trace over the outline of the monogram. The pressure from the pencil will transfer the image onto the wood.

How to Carve a Monogram into a Wood Ornament

dremel-rotary-tool

supplies needed:

You can buy all Dremel tools and accessories in the tool section at the home improvement store.

  • Dremel Rotary Tool, I used the 200 model that comes with the basic accessories.
  • Dremel carving, engraving, and cutting bits. There are routing bits that would carve into the wood also like #640, but I wanted to keep the thin parts of each letter and not make them all the same width which a routing bit would create.
  • Safety googles and face mask – so you protect your eyes and don’t breathe in the wood dust as you carve.
Dremel rotary tool carving bits and numbers

These are the carving bits I used: Numbers: 106, 191, 194, and 7134. You can see I use #192 a lot. Most recently to drill holes in a black plastic bucket.

how-to-use-a-dremel-rotary-tool

A Dremel comes with a little wrench that makes changing out the bits easy.

dremel-drill-bit-needed-to-carve-a-monogram-into-wood

Every bit carves and cuts differently on various types of wood, hard and soft. As I found out with the wood ornament, it even works on fake wood or MDF. I practiced with a few bits on a pine board before I started to carve the monogram.

Carved wood monogrammed ornament. how to transfer-a-monogram-to-carve-or-paint-on-wood

I started by testing out the Engraving Cutter bit #192 on the widest part of the letters in the monogram. It worked fine, even in the fake wood.

how-to-carve-a-monogram-into-wood

Once I saw the carving would look distressed, I proceeded to carve out the rest of the monogram.

carve-a-monogram-into-a-wood-ornament

I used the #106 bit to outline the letters.

monogram-wood-ornament-made-using-a-dremel-rotary-tool

I started using the low speed, but found that the carving came out smoother and was much easier to do when I used the high speed.

carving-a-monogram-into-wood-technique

After the three letters were outlined and carved, I went back into the wide areas with the #192 bit and for the thin curled lines, I used bits #7134 and #106.

monogram-wood-carving-tutorial

As I worked, I used an old paint brush to remove the wood grit so I could see the lines as I carved.

Monogram carved into a wood Christmas ornament

I left the carving untouched to look distressed, but you could paint the carved letters using craft paint and a fine tipped paint brush.

carved-monogram-into-a-rustic-wood-christmas-ornament

To hang the carved wood monogrammed ornament, I used fishing line and placed two beads to sit on top. I then tied on some greenery from my yard and a ribbon bow. This is my first Christmas project for 2016. I have many more planned that I will be sharing in the next 8 weeks.

Have you ever used a Dremel rotary tool?  If so, what did you make or fix around your house?

For more ideas on how to transfer a monogram or a design onto a surface, check out this post: How to Transfer Typography and Images to Wood Furniture

Looking for more affordable DIY Holiday Decorating projects like this?  Click here: Holiday Decorating Projects to Make 

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21 Comments

  1. What a lovely ornament. Thanks, Diane, for sharing this with us and all the “how to’s.” It looks fabulous.

  2. I adore this and I’m definitely trying it!! Thanks so much for sharing your creative ideas.

  3. I love this. I cut out my own ornament and used my cricut to monogram. Thanks for the beautiful idea !! I was late doing this so Michaels had sold out so I had to compromise !!

  4. Forgot to ask you about that ribbon. It looks like burlap with some metallic bronze or something. Did you find that at Michaels too?

  5. Just had to tell you that I loved this so much that I just drove 50 miles to go get one!! Thanks so much for this beautiful and creative project.

  6. LOVE this! Actually I love a monogram anything and this is just lovely! My husband has a dremel in the garage and has on more than one occasion encouraged me to try using it, but I always declined. This project may actually get me to give this a try! On a side note, I used to be a dental assistant and I just wanted to comment how the dremel attachments remind me of some of the drills back in the day! Alas I fear the most difficult part of this craft might be not being able to find the nice ornament blanks at Michaels- I am less than pleased lately with the availability of stock there. Perhaps if I go now they might have them. Thanks for this great idea and the step by step instructions to create this great gift!

  7. Where can you get the bits you used for carving? Great idea! Thanks for all you share! Donna

    1. Hi Donna – You can get the bits at any hardware or home improvement store. They can range in price from a few dollars and up. The most expensive one I ever bought is the diamond cutter disc.It was $16. It lasts forever and is my go-to bit. Most bits are under $5 and they last a very long time.

  8. Beautifully demonstrated. You make everything look so simple. This encourages us beginners to try out our dremels.

  9. What a beautiful ornament! I’m a sucker for monograms :)
    We have a Dremel and I use it for the normal tasks it was designed for in addition to pumpkin carving.

  10. I’ve used my son’s dremel tool for pumpkin carving! One year I did a very intricate Celtic knot and the tool made it a breeze.