It's that time of the year again where we reflect on our past year and make goals for the next year. See our ideas for DIY new year resolutions.

New Year Resolutions for the DIYer

It’s that time of the year again, the time to make New Year Resolutions. We tend to look at our New Year resolutions as goals. What do we want to accomplish by the end of the year? Answering that question helps us come up with our resolutions for the year.

New Year resolutions are overwhelming at first, so we broke up them into one every month. These activities aren’t specific to carpenters or builders. They can apply to anyone who likes to make something new and expand their skill set.

It's that time of the year again where we reflect on our past year and make goals for the next year. See our ideas for DIY new year resolutions.

Continue reading “New Year Resolutions for the DIYer”

Handmade Christmas ornaments are a perfect gift because each one is as unique as the person who gifts it. Learn how to make ornaments with a scroll saw!

Scroll Saw Projects: Handmade Christmas Ornaments

Handmade Christmas ornaments are a perfect Christmas gift. Our family as collected a wide variety of Christmas ornaments, but each one has a story and is as unique as the person who gave it to us. In the past we’ve repurposed old ornaments, but this year, we’ve decided to make our own with scrap wood. This piece of scrap wood was leftover from an old display. It was thin, so it made the perfect ornament medium.

Handmade Christmas ornaments are a perfect gift because each one is as unique as the person who gifts it. Learn how to make ornaments with a scroll saw!

Step One. Find a Scroll Saw Pattern for Handmade Christmas Ornaments.

We got our Christmas ornament patterns free from Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts. You can make one-dimensional or three-dimensional pieces.

Step Two. Find a Piece of Wood.

For these handmade Christmas ornaments, you’ll want to find thin pieces of wood. You’ll want to leave enough wood around the edge of the Christmas ornaments to have something to hold on to as you cut.

Step Three. Attach Scroll Saw Pattern to Wood.

We just gave each ornament pattern a rough cut and used spray adhesive to keep it in place as we cut. Cut down the wood to an approximate size. You’ll want to keep enough room around the outline, so you can press down the piece properly as you cut.

Step Three. Attach Scroll Saw Pattern to Wood. We just gave each ornament pattern a rough cut and used spray adhesive to keep it in place as we cut. Cut down the wood to an approximate size. You'll want to keep enough room around the outline, so you can press down the piece properly as you cut.

Step Four. Drill Holes.

With the patterns we used, it had many holes within the pattern. We didn’t want to cut into the ornament, so in the corner of each of the holes, we drilled drill a hole just big enough to put the blade in.

Step Four. Pre-drilling. If you have super small spaces that you need to cut in, use a drill bit the size of your saw and drill holes in those spots inaccessible through a continuous cut.

Thread the blade through the pre-drilled holes.

Step Five. Set up the Scroll Saw.

Remember to adjust your scroll saw speed depending on what kind of wood you’re using. Learn more about how to use a scroll saw here.

Step Six. Start Cutting Along the lines.

We started with inner lines of the handmade Christmas ornaments first, so we would have plenty to hold onto as we cut.

Step Five. Cut the Inside. Once you have the outside cut out, use the drill holes to start drilling the inner cut lines.

Gently guide the scroll saw puzzle onto the blade, using both hands. As you start to cut the handmade Christmas present, press it down firmly with your forefingers of both hands and thumb letting the saw do the work. If you piece is jumping around or you have jagged cuts, you need to press down more firmly.

Once you have the inside design cut out, move to the outer lines.

Remove the excess wood as you move along. Keep turning the Christmas ornament, so the next line is in front of the scroll blade. If you need to start over in a new part, gently back the blade out of the cut and turn the piece again for the next line.

Step Seven. Enjoy!

Completed handmade Christmas Ornaments

Here are our completed handmade Christmas ornaments. You can take this tutorial and apply it to any design. Be sure to show us your completed Christmas ornaments, so we display them on our bragging right’s page!

Scroll Saw Handmade Christmas Ornaments Video

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Handmade Christmas ornaments are a perfect gift because each one is as unique as the person who gifts it. Learn how to make ornaments with a scroll saw!

Looking for a handmade Christmas gift? A scroll saw puzzle is is a great way to learn basic scroll saw skills and make a gift for someone on your list.

Scroll Saw Projects: Scroll Saw Puzzle

How to Make a Scroll Saw Puzzle

This basic scroll saw puzzle is a great gift for young children. They get some basic motor and problem solving skills from putting the puzzle together. You can decorate the puzzles with Amy Howard One-Step Paint because it has no VOCs or methanol.

We decided to share these scroll saw basic tips and techniques, so you can learn a new skill. We also wanted to give you some easy Christmas gift ideas, while also getting your feet wet with this new skill.

So let’s get started: how do you actually make a scroll saw puzzle?

Looking for a handmade Christmas gift? A scroll saw puzzle is is a great way to learn basic scroll saw skills and make a gift for someone on your list.

Step One. Find a Scroll Saw Puzzle Pattern.

We got our puzzle patterns free and we just used printable paper puzzles as our template. Find the squirrel scroll saw puzzles here. When making this puzzle for young children, make sure you big pieces rather than small ones that a child will choke on.

Step Two. Find a Piece of Wood.

If you’re making this scroll saw puzzle for very young children, make sure you get wood with no splinters or doesn’t break apart easily.

Step Three. Attach to Wood.

We just gave it a rough cut and used spray adhesive to keep it in place as we cut. Cut down the wood to an approximate size. You’ll want to keep enough room around the outline, so you can press down the piece properly as you cut.

Step One. Find a Scroll Saw Puzzle Pattern. We got our puzzle patterns free and we just used printable paper puzzles as our template. Find the squirrel scroll saw puzzles here.

Step Four. Set up the Scroll Saw.

Remember to adjust your scroll saw speed depending on what kind of wood you’re using. Learn more about how to use a scroll saw here.

The sawdust blower keeps a clean line for you to follow.

Step Five. Cut.

Once you’ve made all the proper adjustments it’s time to start the cutting. If you have a bit of extra trim, then aim toward the line you need to cut on.

Gently guide the scroll saw puzzle onto the blade, using both hands. As you start to cut the puzzle, press it down firmly with your forefingers of both hands and thumb letting the saw do the work. If you piece is jumping around or you have jagged cuts, you need to press down more firmly.

Remove the excess wood as you move along. Keep turning the puzzle, so the next line is in front of the scroll blade. If you need to start over in a new part, gently back the blade out of the cut and turn the piece again for the next line.

Once you cut the puzzle outline, start following the lines to cut out each of the puzzle pieces.

Gently guide the wood onto the blade, using both hands. As you start to cut the wood, press it down firmly with your forefingers of both hands and thumb letting the saw do the work.

Step Six. Sand.

Once you have your scroll saw projects completed, sand down the edges. Then paint it or decorate it however you want.
Looking for a handmade Christmas gift? A scroll saw puzzle is is a great way to learn basic woodworking and make a gift for someone on your list.

Scroll Saw Puzzle Patterns

We got our puzzle patterns free and we just used printable paper puzzles as our template. Just give it a rough cut and use spray adhesive to keep it in place as you cut. Find the squirrel scroll saw puzzles here.

We used simple scroll saw puzzle patterns because we wanted to use it for this tutorial, but there are more complicated ones available to accommodate any skill set. You can also make your own on a design program.

Scroll Saw Puzzle Video

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Looking for a handmade Christmas gift? A scroll saw puzzle is is a great way to learn basic woodworking and make a gift for someone on your list.

Christmas is literally right around the corner and to help you get ready, we've prepared these advent calendar activities. What's on your list?

25 Advent Calendar Activities for Handmade Holidays

Christmas is literally right around the corner and to help you get ready, we’ve prepared these advent calendar activities.

We have a soft spot for the DIYers of the world. The ones that take joy in making their holidays unique and personal. We’ve put together these 25 advent calendar activities just for them.

Leave a comment and let us know your favorite and check out our advent calendar tutorial below!

Christmas is literally right around the corner and to help you get ready, we've prepared these advent calendar activities. What's on your list?

Continue reading “25 Advent Calendar Activities for Handmade Holidays”

Ever wanted to make a intricate design in wood? Today we're going to show how to use a scroll saw and accomplish those detailed cuts!

How to Use a Scroll Saw

What is a Scroll Saw used for?

A scroll saw is typically used for small intricate designs. It’s a small machine with a fine blade, so it’s easier to get all those nooks and crannies. Scroll saws are usually either parallel arm or C-arm, types.  Scroll saws are used to freehand cut intricate wood patterns, also called fretwork. Common scroll saw projects are name tags, miniature furniture, clocks, and many other designs.

Ever wanted to make a intricate design in wood? Today we're going to show how to use a scroll saw and accomplish those detailed cuts!

Scroll Saw Tips and Techniques

Step One. Set up Your Scroll Saw.

Reduce tension before setting up a new blade.

Slide the blade through the throat plate and the table lock knob below will keep it in place. The blade will come up through the throat plate and lock into the drop foot lock knob.

Scroll Saw Table Lock Knob

When setting up you saw, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

Blade Tension

Before starting any project, you need to get the right tension on the blade.

With nearly all scroll saws, 5 inch plain end blades are most often used. Blades are more often to break from low-tension, which causes an arch and causes a break. Rough material handling will also snap blades.

Increase the tension until you hear a high-pitched ping when it’s plucked. The blade will hit a certain note as heard in the video, when it’s has the right tension. Each blade has a slightly different note when plucked. You can also see feel some resistance on the back of the blade. Practice and analysis over time will help you perfect it.

Square the Blade

For most scroll saws,  just move the table to adapt to 90 degrees or any other angle. Make sure the insert needs to square with the table. On the older saws, where the inserts are chewed up this is difficult. You can make your own using the original as a template.   The strongest requirement here is the need to have a piece of material exactly as thick as the original insert so that the top is absolutely level with the table top.

There are many options for inserts, such as phenolic, softer aluminum alloys, tempered hardboard, solid wood, plywood, or even clear (or colored if you like that) acrylic and polycarbonate plastics work well.

Extras

Scroll saws are all about the smooth cuts. Using the hold-down and the sawdust blower are essential for that.  Hold-downs are lightweight and if set correctly to barely touch the work surface, they shouldn’t impede the progress of the wood. It helps keep the work piece from catching a tooth on some quirky grain and jumping off line as you cut. The sawdust blower keeps a clean line for you to follow.

The sawdust blower keeps a clean line for you to follow.

As you go on, it’s important to check belt tight tightness, lubrication and other needs.

And that about takes care of standard scroll saw preparation. You can, over time, get into checking belt tightness, lubrication and other needs, but right now, let’s go cut something.

Step Two. Cut Your Wood Down to Size.

Because the scroll saw is for more intricate work, so having a bunch of extra wood is hard to work with. Start your scroll saw projects with a piece of wood the right size for the project. Cut the wood down to size with another saw or with your scroll saw.

Step Three. Find the Right Speed.

Find the right speed for your scroll saw projects. For hard wood, you’ll want to use a slower speed. For soft woods, you can use faster speeds. If you use a variable-speed model, adjust the speed of the blade to get the best results.

Adjust speed depending on your skill and type of wood.

Step Four. Pre-drilling.

If you have super small spaces that you need to cut in, use a drill bit the size of your saw and drill holes in those spots inaccessible through a continuous cut. Drill a hole right on the line, so you can start cutting from that point. This will give you access to those other areas. We’ll go over this more in the scroll saw projects below.

Step Four. Pre-drilling. If you have super small spaces that you need to cut in, use a drill bit the size of your saw and drill holes in those spots inaccessible through a continuous cut.

Step Four. Start Scrolling!

Once you’ve made all the proper adjustments it’s time to start the cutting. If you have a bit of extra trim, then aim toward the link you need to cut on.

Gently guide the wood onto the blade, using both hands. As you start to cut the wood, press it down firmly with your forefingers of both hands and thumb letting the saw do the work. You’ll want to start with a larger piece, so you have plenty of room for your hands to hold the wood properly. If you piece is jumping around or you have jagged cuts, you need to press down more firmly.

Gently guide the wood onto the blade, using both hands. As you start to cut the wood, press it down firmly with your forefingers of both hands and thumb letting the saw do the work.

Remove the excess wood as you move along. Keep turning the wood, so the next line is in front of the scroll blade. If you need to start over in a new part, gently back the blade out of the cut and turn the piece again for the next line.

Step Five. Cut the Inside.

Once you have the outside cut out, use the drill holes to start drilling the inner cut lines.Step Five. Cut the Inside. Once you have the outside cut out, use the drill holes to start drilling the inner cut lines.

To cut the inside lines, untighten the blade and thread it through one of the holes you drilled. Tighten the blade as you did before.

Thread the blade through the pre-drilled holes.

Step Six. Sand.

Once you have your scroll saw projects completed, sand down the edges. Then paint it or decorate it however you want.

Scroll Saw Projects

Christmas is coming up, so we decided we’d give a couple of scroll saw projects that would make great Christmas gifts. These scroll saw projects are great ways to practice and also give unique, handmade Christmas gifts. If you subscribe to our blog, you will get free access to our full scroll saw project videos about how to make a puzzle and Christmas ornaments.

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How to Use a Scroll Saw Video

 

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This DIY Reversible Holiday Sign is perfect for this time of year. Save money, time and space with this two-sided sign for Fall and Christmas decorations!

DIY Reversible Holiday Sign with Scrap Wood

Two for One

This DIY Reversible Holiday Sign is perfect for this time of year. You get 2-sides for the price of one! You not only save money, but you can save space. You don’t need to buy or store two decorations. Sounds great right? The best part is, they’re super easy to make yourself.

The stencils we used to make our reversible holiday sign are available in our booth at the Market at Walnut Creek in Tulsa, OK or you can purchase them from our online store. As the season progresses, we’ll add more options.

This DIY Reversible Holiday Sign is perfect for this time of year. Save money, time and space with this two-sided sign for Fall and Christmas decorations!

Continue reading “DIY Reversible Holiday Sign with Scrap Wood”

High Performance Spray Lacquer is the key to turning any flat, lifeless piece of furniture into a bright statement piece you are proud to have in your home.

What You Need to Know About High Performance Spray Lacquer

High Performance Spray Lacquer is one Amy Howard’s coolest products. You can turn any flat, lifeless piece of furniture into a bright, statement piece that you can be proud to have in your home.

High Performance Spray Lacquer is the key to turning any flat, lifeless piece of furniture into a bright statement piece you are proud to have in your home.

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Save time and money making your own holiday decorations. These Halloween candle holders are the perfect addition to any Halloween set-up.

How to Make Webbed Halloween Candle Holders with Spray Lacquer

These Halloween candle holders are the perfect addition to any Halloween set-up.

The year end holidays can get expensive quick. It’s difficult to stay on budget when you have to buy candy, decorations, costumes then one month later your family of 20 is coming over and you must feed them all, then somehow buy them presents and decorate for a completely different holiday just a month later! It’s too much!

There are so many benefits to making your own decorations. One is you can use the same materials and supplies over and over again. The other is if you get creative, you can make the decorations you see at the store for a fraction of the cost.

Not only are these Halloween candlesticks budget friendly, but it’s easy and quick, so you can do it in a time crunch.

Save time and money making your own holiday decorations. These Halloween candle holders are the perfect addition to any Halloween set-up.

Continue reading “How to Make Webbed Halloween Candle Holders with Spray Lacquer”

This DIY Pumpkin Display is perfect for fall porch displays. If you'd like to give out trick or treats, you can also use this to hold your candy.

DIY Pumpkin Display with Galvanized Buckets

Getting Ready for Fall

This DIY Pumpkin Display is perfect for fall porch displays. If you’d like to give out trick or treats, but have other things to attend to, you can also use this to hold your candy.

When you have a home decor store, fall is one of the most important times of the year. The colors are beautiful and serve as great inspiration for home decorations. It’s also the start of a very busy season.

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting fall decoration ideas together for our booths at the Market at Walnut Creek in Tulsa, OK and River City Trading Post in Jenks, OK. We’ve linked to their Facebook pages, so you can check out their fall decor and get inspiration for your home.

To showcase different ways to use Amy Howard Products, we decided to make this Pumpkin Display with Galvanized Bucket. We’re using the top bucket to serve as a candy holder for customers coming our booth at the Market at Walnut Creek.

This DIY Pumpkin Display is perfect for fall porch displays. If you'd like to give out trick or treats, you can also use this to hold your candy.

Continue reading “DIY Pumpkin Display with Galvanized Buckets”

If you're looking for a cute DIY project for the kiddos look no further than these easy painted pumpkin monsters. They're easy to make and customize!

Quick and Easy Painted Pumpkin Monsters

Pumpkin Monster Tutorial

If you’re looking for a cute DIY project for the kiddos look no further than these easy painted pumpkin monsters or trolls. These painted pumpkin monsters or trolls come any color you like and is easy to customize with any materials you have at home.

If you're looking for a cute DIY project for the kiddos look no further than these easy painted pumpkin monsters. They're easy to make and customize!

Continue reading “Quick and Easy Painted Pumpkin Monsters”