Are you looking for a super quick and easy way to make gorgeous rustic wood slice ornaments? Perfect!

Because I have a huge secret to share and some tips and tricks just in time for Christmas.

Plus I’m throwing in a free Merry & Bright SVG so you can create along with me!


The Big Secret

The most important piece here is the wood slice ornament. I use these and really like them.

But the big secret in making these ornaments so quick and easy is that I only use vinyl. No messy paints or stencils. Maybe you have tried to adhere permanent vinyl to wood before and know it doesn’t stay on well and is very frustrating. So you are thinking, no thanks.

Well, here is the secret, you use heat transfer vinyl (htv) for your bottom layer and put adhesive vinyl on top of that. HTV adheres so nicely to wood. It’s quick and easy and you can often see the wood grain through the vinyl which gives it a beautiful textured look. 

So now that you know my secret, I’ll show you how to make a wood slice ornament with vinyl and share my tips and tricks to make it super easy.  

Featured Video

Watch me make a wood slice ornament here or read on if you prefer written instructions.


Cut Out the Vinyl

I use my Cricut to cut my SVG and htv background.  Feel free to download the Merry & Bright SVG. If you are looking for additional SVGs for wood slice ornaments, I also have these.

Upload the SVG into Cricut Design Space.

Need help? Check out my previous post: How to Upload a File Into Cricut Design Space

Once you have the Merry & Bright SVG uploaded into Cricut Design Space, you will want to also add a circle. To do this, on the left side panel, select “Shapes”. Click on the circle or oval to select the shape.

The Merry & Bright will be cut out of permanent vinyl and the circle will be cut out of heat transfer vinyl. 

To size the circle, I measured my wood slice ornament. I measured so the circle will stop about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch from the wood edge (I ignore the bark portion while measuring). My wood slice happened to be pretty round, so I make my circle 3.3 wide x 3.3 high. If yours is a little wider than high, etc. feel free to adjust your width and height accordingly. It can be an oval shape. Or you can just leave it a perfect circle. 

marry right

Next, you will want to put the Merry & Bright SVG on top of the circle to make sure it fits within the circle shape.  You might need to select the SVG, go up to Arrange and select “Bring to Front” from the drop down. Size it to fit. 

Marry Right

Select “Make It”. Be sure to choose your correct material types when cutting. Since we are just dealing with a circle, you don’t have to mirror your htv cut, but I usually do anyway because it’s habit. 

Don’t forget to place your heat transfer vinyl shiny side down on your mat. I always use a brayer to attach all my materials to my mat. I highly recommend using a brayer. 


Prepping the Wood Slice Ornament

Prepping the Wood Slice Ornament

After your vinyl pieces are cut, you will weed them like normal.

Prepping the Wood Slice Ornament

Next, you will want to run a lint roller over the wood slice ornament to get all of the debris off. These little guys can be messy and you don’t want bumps under your htv.

Applying HTV to the Wood Slice Ornament


Applying HTV to the Wood Slice Ornament

Now the part that can be a little tricky, unless you know the tips. Applying htv to wood works beautifully.

But when I first started doing it, I was either applying too much heat or leaving my easy press on for too long. I found the adhesive would run out under the vinyl and you could see it.

Not only that, but within months that heat transfer vinyl would start to peel up. So it’s very important you apply it correctly. Not too much heat or time, but long enough that it adheres.

I find my Cricut Mini Easy Press works great for this. I use the middle setting. You don’t want too much heat. 

Applying HTV to the Wood Slice Ornament

Move the mini easy press around in little circles covering the entire ornament. Lift the carrier sheet to check if the htv is adhered. If it’s not, put the carrier sheet back down and apply heat for longer.

Applying HTV to the Wood Slice Ornament

40 seconds of heat on medium seemed to do the trick for me. Once it is done, slowly peel the carrier sheet off.

Applying HTV to the Wood Slice Ornament

I love how you can see some of the wood grain through the heat transfer vinyl. 

Applying HTV to the Wood Slice Ornament

Create a Hole for the String

You will want to let the htv cool completely so you don’t accidently pull it up when applying the permanent vinyl. So, while it’s cooling youcan add the hole for the string. 

I use my Xacto Knife and rim around the edge of the hole. This cuts a nice clean hole in your htv. You can also just poke it through using your weeding tool or scissors. 

Applying HTV to the Wood Slice Ornament

Applying the Permanent Vinyl

Now that our ornament is cool and we have our hole, it’s time to apply the permanent vinyl. I used a glitter vinyl for a little sparkle, but use whatever you wish.  Since I used glitter vinyl, I have to use a Strong Grip Transfer Tape to pick up the textured glitter.

I prefer Teckwrap brand because it’s sticky enough to adhere to the vinyl, but it doesn’t damage the materials beneath it. Some strong grip transfer tapes are a little too strong. 

Applying the Permanent Vinyl

Line up your Merry & Bright SVG and apply it to the htv. Carefully pull the transfer tape away.
Applying the Permanent Vinyl

Finishing Touches – Adding the String and Beads

Yay! See how easy and quick that was. No messy paints to deal with and it looks perfect every time. Now for the finishing touches.

Adding the string can be very tricky. Getting both ends through the tiny little hole on the ornament is difficult. And don’t get me started on the beads. So here’s an amazing tip: use glue. Yes, glue. Add the glue to the two ends of the string. 

Finishing Touches - Adding the String and Beads

Squish them together and make them into a point.

Finishing Touches - Adding the String and Beads

Let the glue dry for a few minutes.

Once the glue is dry you have a hard little point to floss through your ornament. Push it through the ornament hole. Take the loop from the other end the thread your glue point through the loop.

Finishing Touches - Adding the String and Beads

I know the knot that I just made has a name, but I have no idea what it is. Drop me a comment if you know. But it looks great on the ornament.

Finishing Touches - Adding the String and Beads

Next, put the beads on. This will be super simple with your glued together pointed ends. I am leaving my beads unfinished because I like the way it matches the unfinished wood and looks very rustics, but painting them or staining them would look great too.

Finishing Touches - Adding the String and Beads

Finish it off by tying a “regular” knot. I know, I know, enough with the complicated technical knot terms here. Lol!

And then snip off the ends. Don’t forget to thank those glued ends before you throw them in the trash. They made your life so much easier. 

Finishing Touches - Adding the String and Beads

And there you have a gorgeous super easy and quick to make wood slice ornament. These are perfect to make for presents or to sell at Holiday craft shows. You can even purchase the smaller wood slices and use them as gift tags for those extra special fancy gifts. 

cover photo



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