Christmas Wood Slice Tree

I’m sortof obsessed with the simplicity of Scandinavian- style Christmas decor. My home style is a little more eclectic but this easy DIY wood slice tree fits right in!

All you need are a few tools: a saw and hot glue gun.  A miter saw would cut the slices more evenly but I used a jigsaw. My slices are uneven in thickness but that was the point!

Step 1: Stain your wood. Current fav is a burgandy wine stain color, but dark walnut would also look great. This piece of wood was 9 x 18.”

Step 2: Cut your wood slices. Find a thick branch on your next nature hike! Look for approximately a 1″ – 1.5 ” diameter branch.  You will want smaller and larger slices to mix and match.

Start cutting… you need 26-28 slices of various sizes (width and thickness). (Follow safety rules! Goggles, hands a safe distance away, etc…)


Step 3:  Bake slices at 200 degrees on an old pan (sap could leak) for 30 to 45 minutes to kill any critters.

Step 4: Start glueing your wood slices! Reserve one branch for your tree center. I used the top of our Christmas tree for sentimental value.

After it was all glued down, I weaved twine in a criss cross pattern along the outside wood pieces and added a red paper flower at the top. Hot glue works great, but if you want the piece to last longer, Loctite 1363589 Super Glue Ultra Gel Control Adhesive, 4g Bottle” target=”_blank”>Loctite Glue works the best (they make a great outdoor glue) for weather-proof bonds.


Jute cord was stapled to the sides for easy hanging.


Try different adornments, like wood button “ornaments” or a splash of red berries if you want more color! I’ll be making a larger scale one next year for our front porch.


Joyeux Noel from the Genbumom Family to yours! Enjoy your holiday decorating.


Recommended Products (Amazon):
David Tutera Burlap Flower Picks – 4.5 x 3.5 inches – 16 pieces

Canvas Corp CVS3027 Burlap Flower, 4-Inch, Red

Loctite 1363589 Super Glue Ultra Gel Control Adhesive, 4g Bottle

As part of the Amazon Affiliate program I may receive compensation for products purchased via my Amazon links. However, I do not have access to your personal information or account information, nor does this affect the Amazon store prices.  Happy Shopping Genbumom readers!

Marigold Mason Jars 

A fun (and simple) fall craft! Stuff marigold tops in a mason jar. Instant fall decor perfect for a mantle, table centerpiece, or outdoors!

I like to paint my Mason Jar lids but you can leave them as-is also. Scout out discount stores for used mason jars (reduce and reuse). They are often cheaper that way! I purchased mine at Goodwill for .69 each. Deal!

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Add a burlap flower or ribbon… tie a small wood letter to the jar with twine to customize and give as gifts. Add a mini pumpkin, acorns, or pine cones to the bottom of the jar.

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The possibilities are endless!  My kids picked our last few ‘green’ tomatoes and put in this bucket. This prop was used as part of a fall photo shoot with my kids and my nephew.
I also caught this cute little caterpillar on camera!


Genbumom Creations update:

I am still on a hiatus due to surgery but was able to add the final touches to this custom order I started back in early October.

Latest custom order made for a family via Genbumom Creations. This was a fun sign project for a child and his baby sibling to be.

Text details. The wording is a play on their last name “King.”  So cute!

I am excited to get back to work Mid- November but for now I’ll blog a little, rest a lot, and catch up on my Netflix shows.

Spooky Halloween Sign Tutorial

Why pay upwards of $15 for Halloween Décor when you can make it yourself for $6 or less?

I made mine for the cost of the craft wood (only $2 each). I already had the other items in my home. If you are crafty you probably have Mod Podge, Sharpie markers, and craft paint!

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Materials:

  • Craft or scrap wood
  • Horror book (think Stephen King)
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • White Marker or White Acrylic Paint
  • Black Paint Marker or Sharpie marker (I use Sharpie Oil Based Paint Markers- they are $6 but one marker lasts forever)
  • Mod Podge Glue
  • Paint Brush
  • Coffee grounds (used and still wet)

Step 1:

Paint your craft wood black. Once dried, add some white streaks to distress along the border with your white marker or white paint. Less is best.

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Step 2:

Cut up your horror book pages, find passages with creepy words or scene descriptions.  Cut them with a curvy edge.  I cut several about 2 x 2 inches and a few smaller 1 x 1 and 1/4 x 2  inch passages.  (Do not just cut one page, or you will see too much white space on the page.) You want all of the text to run together and cover the  wood piece.

Rub your wet coffee grounds gently on your paper to give it a brown, vintage feel.  Brush off gently and pat dry flat with a paper towel. You can start step 3 even if the paper is still damp…

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Step 3:

Start gluing! Cover your wood with craft glue or Mod Podge and start layering your words. Leave the edges exposed. This does not have to be perfect! Just don’t leave any huge gaps.

Cover top with glue to seal.  Allow to dry completely.

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Step 4:

Add your spooky words or cute Halloween sayings with a black marker or paint pen! Fonts I really like are Harrington and Algerian.

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Add a silhouette of a raven, black cat, or bat.

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TIP!  Always sketch out words first in pencil and use a ruler to mark straight lines. The second sign I made I did not do this and you can see that the word DARE cuts off at the bottom. Crafting fail.

Enjoy your signs! Once you have the materials handy you can make these signs for just the cost of the craft wood (or use scrap wood you find laying around your garage or barn).

Happy Haunting!
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Place on a mantle or bookshelf:

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Coffee Mug Wall Art: Trash to Treasure Series {Project # 2}

When my grandfather passed away in February this year, my dad helped to clean and move my grandmother from Arizona back to the Midwest. He brought home this large wooden crate and asked if I would like it.

It had the old name for the Indianapolis International Airport stamped on it (Weir Cook Municipal Airport) and was a really cool crate with some history to it.  The bottom part of the crate has since become a raised bed in our garden, but I saved the lid.  Below is a picture of my kids playing in the crate before it became a garden bed.

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This project came about very slowly over the course of several months. I knew I wanted to make as sign but the idea that it should be a Coffee Co. sign came later… That idea was drummed up during a dinner date with my husband.

Zocrates is a screen name my husband used for video-gaming and it’s an original term (aka at the time if you searched the internet for ‘zocrates’ at the time you found nothing) and obviously it’s a play on Greek philosopher name Socrates.

So, the sign has meaning and for multiple reasons.

For my fellow DIY friends, you could make this sign from store bought wood or any lid (think a lid from an old chest,  the top of an old dresser or bookcase, or an old cabinet door).

Scour garage sales and flea markets to find a lid or top of your own to use.

I wanted to leave some of the original text so I power-sanded down everything but the words “Nautel Maine.” I thought that would work well with a coffee theme.

It was then stained in a light walnut color:

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White paint was added to the border and in the middle. I used some masking tape to tape off a top corner and then added a pop of a light minty- blue color. Then I hand-sanded each area that was painted to add a distressed look.

Then, it’s was time to add  hardware. Hooks and some decorative rod-iron brackets.  Pre-drill holes and then screw in hardware.

I bought these coffee mugs at an impromptu garage sale stop:

The brown mugs were hand crafted- the initials RW are engraved on the bottom! They were a steal for only $.50 cents each. You never know what you will find at a garage sale! It’s why you always must stop at a garage sale when you see one!

The small wooden cups pictured below were sitting in my drawer for almost two years (I had bought at a grocery store and the press and stick backing never worked), so I glued on this project with some super glue. They add a little depth to the project. They are about  1/4″ thick.

I’m not the best at hand painting text, so I printed out some fonts on Microsoft Word scaled to a few different sizes.  It also helps to determine a good layout  by moving the printed text around until you find what looks best. So having moveable pieces to experiment with is my big piece of advice for any project with a lot of text or aspects to it.

This is  “Harrington” font.  For me,  it helps to see it in the right size and directly in front of me while I pencil it in.  I then outlined in a thin black Sharpie marker and painted over in black acrylic paint.   I did not worry about filling every gap with paint, it adds to the weathered look not to.

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And the finished product! It’s now on the wall in our kitchen and we love it! It’s a pretty large piece and I had my doubts about that at first, but it’s a statement piece without being too overwhelming.

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It also matches the apothecary shelf I refinished for my essential oils and herbs.

I hope you enjoyed this how-to! It may not be the quickest summer project, but it’s fairly easy and something that can be done in the course of a weekend or two.

DIY Cement Planter

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For under $15!  

This DIY cement planter is very simple to make and will hold up over the years.

Cement planters at the store range from $30-$80 depending on the size/style, so making this yourself for under $15 is super thrifty!   

You will need:

  • 2 – 10 lb. bags Cement. I prefer Quikrite Mortar Mix (it’s smooth). It costs $3 per 10 lb. bag. Buy 2.
  • Long rectangular plastic planter (find a sturdy one). I bought mine for $8.
  • Paint
  • 2 half gallon milk cartons (cut open on one side)
  • Bucket (for mixing cement)
  • Drill (to drill drainage holes)
  • Duck tape (if you spray paint)

How to:

  1. Use butter or use a cooking spray, liberally coat the entire inside of the plastic planter.
  2. Mix cement with water to consistency of peanut butter. (wear a mask/gloves- don’t inhale cement dust)
  3. Pour cement, when 2 inches near the top (see far right picture) sink in the milk cartons and put a brick in each to weigh them down. Add more cement if needed.You don’t want to sink the cartons so far that they touch the bottom (leave about 2 inches at the bottom) but you don’t want it not to be deep enough.  You need it deep enough to plant in!
  4. After about 15 minutes, check on it, if the carton “floats” up at all, simply sink it back into the cement deeper. Check again in 15.  After that just leave it.
  5. Cover with plastic or a trash bag. Cement needs time to “cure” without drying too fast.
  6. Wait at least 4-5 days. Then gently remove from plastic planter.  The butter or cooking spray helps it come out easier. Definitely use the butter or spray!

Line with duck tape, spray paint or paint as desired. Drill one drainage hole in each section.

Find a cute quote or saying and hand paint it on. I used acrylic paint for the wording and butterfly details. Spray with a clear coat to seal… Or no seal for a weathered look as the paint chips.

You are done! Total time spent- 20 minutes for the cement part. 5 for spray paint, 30 minutes for detail painting.

I washed out the plastic planter very well and it held up fine, so I was able to reuse it to plant some herbs and placed it in our garden!

I had extra cement leftover so I made some stepping stones (use an old round cake pan or any disc shaped “mold.”)

Any questions- feel free to ask. I’ve been working with cement for over a year now. I love making flower planters and votives!

Queen of hearts {easy cement craft}

Ironically enough, cement contains chemical compounds (dust) that you do not want to inhale. I do my cement projects outdoors or in an opened- door garage. I wear a high quality mask, safety goggles, and gloves. You do not want a glob of cement in your eye, and yes, this did happen to me. So, please heed caution and read the label on the bag.

I do have a full time job and I considered this an ‘off week for blogging’ to focus on some other things (socializing mainly- two concerts this week- one with a great friend and one with the hubs- Lord Huron and Alt-J respectively). I decided a quick tutorial on an easy cement craft would have to suffice.

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This is a several day project. You only need about 5 minutes per day, but in order to reuse the glass dish you can only make one heart per day.


You will need:

  • Glass heart shaped ‘dish’  I purchased this one at a ‘dollar store.’ You only need 1 because you reuse it.  You won’t want to ever use it a gain for food (toxins). I suppose you could buy several but to me that’s wasteful of your dollars and the dishes!
  • Liquid Cement color  It’s $10 but you only use a little, so the bottle will last you for any other future projects.
  • Quikrete Cement/Concrete Mix (Mortar mix for this project- it is smoother). You can get a 10 lb. bag for about $4. It should be enough to make 4-6 hearts.
  • Nonstick cooking spray

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Step 1: Coat dish  well with cooking spray. This is going to help it pop out of the mold easier.

Step 2: Mix mortar mix with water. Start with 2-3 cups of dry mix. Add water sparingly, stir constantly until the consistency of peanut butter.

Step 3: Add the dye a 1/2 tsp at a time until you reach a desired color. Mix well.  I made two plain cement color (no dye) and two different shades of red. Play around this is the fun part. Pour into dish immediately.

Step 4: Tap dish lightly a few times to get air bubbles out.  Wrap in a plastic bag to keep  moisture in (concrete cures stronger if it doesn’t dry out too quickly).  You can spray with water once it starts setting up to keep it moist if desired.

Let ‘cure’ overnight. At least 24-48 hours.

Step 5: Gently tap out of the mold.  Wrap in plastic bag for a few more days until fully cured. Reuse dish, mix up some more concrete and start again.

These would make very charming paver stones or accent stones in any garden or landscaping.

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Queen of Hearts Cement Craft

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You can also make a concrete casting of any leaf from your yard.

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Like I said, a charming little DIY craft.