Step 1: Find some wood!

Clamp a stop block about 1/4 inch from your miter saw blade, which will be the thickness of your wood slices. Butt the tree branch against the stop block and you've got a perfect 1/4 inch measurement every time. 

cut all the way through and wait until the blade stops before lifting the saw. (CAUTION: Lifting the blade while it's still spinning can cause the blade to catch on the wood slice!) 

Since there are so many cuts to make, this part can get tedious, but it is the most important part of the project! These slices are the showpiece of your project, so take your time, make deliberate cuts, and be mindful of your surroundings. 

For this project, I used:

  • Safety glasses
  • 10 inch miter saw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Wood Sealer (optional)
  • DIY Compass (DIY Instructions below!)
  • Tape measure
  • Drill and bits
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • A small brad nail
  • Some scrap wood 
  • Jig saw
  • Clamps

Time to cut out your circles! Clamp your plywood backing onto a sturdy surface and use your jigsaw  to cut out each circle along the outer edge. 

Next, use your drill with a large spiral bit or a spade bit to drill a pilot hole on the interior of the inner circle. This will be where you start your cut to remove the inner circle.

Finally, finish by clamping down your plywood again and cut out the inner circle. 

For real, this is starting to look awesome! Take a step back and admire your work so far! Now let the adhesive cure overnight (or however long the directions say).

While you're waiting, you can make some bows and strategize which accessories will look best with your wood slices.

i made three wreaths, each with a different type of wood, so i called in some experts to help: Mom made the bows and my wife selected the accessories and layout for each wreath. 

Step 10: Step back and admire your work!

Here is a quick and easy way to make perfect circles every time:

  1. Grab a piece of scrap wood (I used a piece about 10" long, 1" wide and 3/4" thick). 
  2. Drill a hole at one end just larger than the thickness of the pencil. Wrap the end of the pencil just below the tip with a bit of masking tape and insert it snugly into the hole so that the point is protruding through the bottom of the wood. 
  3. After you've decided how big your wreath should be (I wanted a 17" diameter wreath which would have an 8.5" radius) measure out the radius length from the tip of the pencil and mark the end point at the other end of the wood.
  4. Now decide on the width you need for the backing on your wreath. The total width of the backing should be about half of the average diameter of your wood slices, so that the backing remains hidden behind them. (Ex: If your wood slices are ~4" diameter, make the backing a little over 2". My slices were smaller, so I made the backing about 1.5"). Measure in from your first mark the width you want the backing to be (in my case, 1.5")
  5. Get a small brad nail and drill a pilot hole on each mark the same size as your nail. 
  6. Insert the nail into the "outer" hole and you're ready to use your compass!

This project is the 12th “present” of the 13 Days of a Woodworker Christmas series! Not only do you get all these amazing projects to inspire you, but we’re also giving away some fabulous tools to help make building them easier. You can read all about the giveaway here.​

Since you made it this far, you’ve earned the secret hashtag code you’ll need for a bonus entry today! Just repost the Instagram photo of my Wood Slice Wreath and add #woodslicewreath to the description for an extra chance to win! You can find it in my Instagram feed here.​

  • 1/8" plywood. (I was able to make the backing for 3 wreaths from a 24"x48" sheet.) 
  • Caulking gun and adhesive caulking (or an adhesive of your choice) 
  • Staple gun
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire, Ribbon, and Accessories (Bows, wire, faux berries, pine cones, etc)​

At this point, you'll  have to decide for yourself the best way to decorate your wreath depending on what accessories you've chosen.

I used a staple gun to staple on the wired berries and pine cones, then covered up the stapled area with the bow, which had wire on the back to wrap around the stapled section. 

Finally, add a loop of wire around the plywood backing but behind your wood slices near the top of the wreath. Twist it tight and your wreath is ready to hang!

I wanted to maximize the space used on the 48"x24" 1/8" plywood that i had. i knew i could make 2 24" circles, but those would be too big and wouldn't look good on a door. I guessed that 3 circles would fit somehow, but i'm terrible at math and geometry (a woodworker's curse) so i cheated and used Someone way smarter than me already did the math, so all I had to do was submit the dimensions of my plywood, which gave me three 17" circles, each with an 8.5" radius (give or take). Since this is just a plywood backing that will be covered by wood slices, it doesn't have to be perfect or pretty. 

I used the 8.5" radius and 1.5" width measurements to make my DIY Compass (see step 5 above). To find the center point of where each circle should be on my plywood, i measured 8.5" in from the bottom  and sides  and made a mark, then 8.5" in from the top in the center of the board and made a mark.  

I drilled small pilot holes in the center point of each circle for the brad nail to rest in and traced the 8.5" radius for each circle using my DIY Compass.

Next, i moved my brad nail on the compass to the "inner circle" hole on the compass and traced each center circle in the same way. 

Questions or Comments? Email!  

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Step 4: Slice and Dice! (actually just slice)

Step 8: Optional: Seal your wood slices

Step 7: Cut out the Circles 

​If you make a wreath from this tutorial, show it off by posting a picture on

Instagram with the hashtag #woodslicewreath and tag me @thejawnshop,

I'd love to see your work!!

Have a Merry 13 Days of Woodworking Christmas!

After you have your branches and tools assembled, you'll want to trim any extraneous branches as close as you can to the bark. This way it will sit flush on the miter saw.  I used a reciprocating saw with a demo blade, which worked great. 

Step 6: Make some Circles 

Step 9: Lets Get Tacky!!

Wood Slice Wreath Tutorial

Step 2: Gather your tools!

You'll need about a 3 or 4 foot long tree branch that is about 3-4 inches in diameter. Don't worry if it's thinner at one end, that's what we want. Look for hardwoods like Oak, Maple or fruit trees, like cherry. Softwoods, such as pine, tend to have sap that could make a mess of your tools. 

Live, healthy branches are the best ones to collect. Look for neighbors pruning trees, or find downed branches after a storm. Store the branches indoors in a cool, dry place for 5-6 months. (I collected mine after a storm in the fall of 2015, but they were far too fresh to use, so I'm making my wreath this year). Steer clear of old branches found on the ground. Bugs love to hide in them and rotten wood will be no good for this project. 

TheJawnShop - Handcrafted wood products from the Southern New Jersey Area​ 


Step 3: Prepare your wood

Giveaway Time!! 

This is an optional step, so it's up to you to decide if you want to do it or not. Using live edge or found wood, there is always a chance that there may be bugs or whatever hidden inside, so i figured better safe than sorry. Just in case these wreaths hang indoors, i didn't want any hidden eggs hatching on Christmas morning. 

I used Olympic WaterGuard Multisurface sealer because it's what I had, and I knew it left a natural look (unlike polyurethane, which leaves a visible coating).

I filled a pan with the sealer and dipped each wood slice, then set it on a rack to dry overnight. 

Step 5: Make a DIY Compass for Perfect Circles Every Time

TheJawnShop is excited to share our first tutorial as a featured Maker in the #13daysofwoodworking Christmas Giveaway on Instagram! Follow along and make this fun and easy Wood Slice Wreath, just in time for the holidays!

Step 10: Accessorize!

Start by arranging your wood slices on the circular backing. You may need to shuffle them around a bit and swap out a few for smaller slices so that they all align nicely.

Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, open up your tube of caulk leaving a 3/16" hole at the tip. The idea is that you want to make a bead thinner than a tube of toothpaste so that you're using just enough adhesive without making a mess of the surface of your project.

Remove one piece at a time and apply some adhesive to the backing, then replace the wood slice the same way you found it, pressing firmly to set it in place. Repeat until all slices are adhered to the backing. 

Next, arrange some smaller diameter slices on the top of your base layer.