Wooden Puzzles – our new adventure with the scroll saw!

Last week we were browsing around (our extensive library of books) and the internet looking for inspiration for new things to add to our skill set (and the shop!). We found a little pot of gold called “scroll saw puzzles.” 🙂 What set of little hands doesn’t love the weight and feel of a piece of wood? Not to mention the fact that puzzles are great for growing minds … and keeping the wood natural means it’s a completely safe, non-toxic toy! Win, win, and win some more.

There are a number of FREE puzzle patterns available to get you started! The cutest one we found was this T-Rex. (This link takes you to a wonderful page with instructions and other designs, as well! Scroll down for the T-Rex.)  We copied him at 100% and used double-sided carpet tape to adhere the design to a scrap piece of 3/4″ pine. Clear pine is great because it’s knot-free, but it’s also a LOT more expensive. Depending on the details in your puzzle, most books recommend plywood for strength. You can use your discretion. For large pieces that don’t have a lot of detail, solid wood should be fine.

Want to find more free puzzle designs for the scroll saw? Check out my board on Pinterest right here! I will be adding more as we find them … 🙂

Ready to see the finished work? Here are a few that we’ve put together this week!

wooden owl puzzle scotty dog puzzle

There are many more to share with you … so consider this post To Be Continued… on Thursday!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife


A Tray is a Tray? One Style, Three Ways

Well, two styles. Anyway, the point is that I want to show you how one simple tray “style” can become three totally different things when finished! Trays can be a blank canvas (of wood) and be completely personalized. We like to build our trays … (and both of these are our designs!) but you could just as easily transform one that you purchased at the craft store (if you HAVE to …). 🙂 🙂

This first one is just for fun .. I had some reclaimed cedar fence boards left over from making a panel (for a friend) and the scraps were just the right size for a “serving” tray. I used quotations there because, let’s be honest – you can’t actually serve anything on a tray without sides. This tray is just for the table top – just for pretty things that you find make you smile when you walk by. Including, but not limited to, Mason jars, flowers, candles, shiny objects of any size … you get the idea. 🙂 barnwood tray 15barnwood tray close up

This tray is SO PRETTY, and it was a custom order we did for Christmas last year. The monogram really makes this classy and personal at the same time. I’m contemplating adding one to the tray above, as well … maybe for a wedding gift? The Red distressed look is very classic, in a way, and easy to achieve using three coats of a good quality paint, a hard sanding, and then a coat of stain (apply and wipe off) on the top. For extra durability, you should finish it with a coat of poly (over the monogram as well). Quintero Tray

And this one’s for the Huskers. Obviously. One coat of Minwax “Early American” stain, paint the logo, then finish with three coats of water-based poly. I used Matte finish poly on this one just because it’s a more rustic style overall. We have cut the handles instead of installing them on the sides, they are rounded off with the router too for a more comfortable grip. Perfectly practical with sides and everything. Perfect. husker serving tray ruler tray 2015I’ve saved the best for last. This one is the exact same build as the two above! Look how different it looks! 🙂 I simply left the body of the tray natural (it’s reclaimed cedar again, just with the age planed off of it) and used an assortment of antique rulers to fill the bottom. I stained a few of them dark to add color variation. They were simply cut and glued down with (gel) super glue. I weighted them down for a few hours afterwards to help the glue set and keep things in place. LOVE how it turned out.

One basic tray can be so many beautiful things, and so practical, too. 🙂 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

My First “Brag Post” on Ana-White.com!

Okay, I know this seems kind of silly, but I’m stoked right now — I just joined Ana-White’s website (officially) and posted my first brag post! 🙂 Yesss!! Go check it out right here! It might not be anything spectacular, but it feels like a milestone in the journey of this blog. The more we build, the more we appreciate the community of builders. Sharing plans and inspiration is priceless!

More new posts will be coming here soon .. I have two more fantastic projects I want to share with you (also built and modified versions from Ana-White plans).

Stay tuned – and in the meantime, get some woodworking inspiration by checking out my brag! 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

3-D Icicle Ornaments

The Holidays may be over, but I am still excited about these little things. 3-D ornaments cut on the scroll saw? Awesome! My Woodworker tried this out for the first time after seeing some inspiration in a magazine. We often pour over the magazines in the bookstore (coffee in hand, of course!) and find loads of inspiration. This time it was too good to leave for “someday,” and we went home to figure it out. And so, these were born!

A few more beauties for you to look at - the middle one was cut from Walnut. When they hang on the tree, we poke a Christmas light through the cage on the top of them and they sparkle!

A few more beauties for you to look at – the middle one was cut from Walnut. When they hang on the tree, we poke a Christmas light through the cage on the top of them and they sparkle!

Two of my personal favorites. These are cut from cottonwood, and have yet to be "finished," with either paint or tung oil. Aren't the details beautiful?

Two of my personal favorites. These are cut from cottonwood, and have yet to be “finished,” with either paint or tung oil. Aren’t the details beautiful?


We have recently finished a project that I am very excited about sharing with you – hopefully later this week! It was one of those late-night things… spur of the moment… and they always end up being my favorites. 🙂

~ The Woodworker’s Wife