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Holiday Mantel Ornament Art



This project was inspired by those overly large ornaments that hang in department stores and various other places. I wanted to create something ornament shaped and large, so I let some half-formed ideas rattle around in my brain for a while and this is what came out.

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      First, cut two squares of 1/4 in plywood to measure 16x16”. They will be the front and back of the shadow box.

    2. Step: 2

      Next, cut a large ornament shape from paper and trace it onto the center of one of the squares.

    3. Step: 3

      Cut some scrap wood strips to measure 14.5” in length. They will be glued to the other square of plywood to create the back wall of the piece.

    4. Step: 4

      Next, glue the pieces onto the plywood backing, using heavy objects to clamp the wood strips down. Leave 3/4 in of space all the way around so the frame can be “sandwiched” between the front and back pieces of plywood.

    5. Step: 5

      When glue has dried, lay out your frame around the scrap wood strips.

    6. Step: 6

      Glue / nail the frame together at the corners.

    7. Step: 7

      Flip everything over, and attach the backing to the frame.

    8. Step: 8

      Front panel cut out: I used a table saw to ensure a perfectly straight line for the ornament “string”.

    9. Step: 9

      Cut out along the traced line with the scroll saw.

    10. Step: 10

      Sand any rough edges.

    11. Step: 11

      Attach front panel cutout piece to the frame.

    12. Step: 12

      For added effect, install some battery operated Christmas lights to the back of the front panel. (I used painter’s tape because it’s easy to remove.)

    13. Step: 13

      …and there you have it! A unique holiday mantel display for the love of overly-large ornaments. Thanks for reading! *This tutorial was sponsored by RYOBI Power Tools. All opinions are my own and they are real, made so by my own real life experience. Thank you. :)

Comments (12)



  • Very original and a nice change from the usual mantle decorations. I might need to invest in a scroll saw.
    By MOgreen, on December 5, 2016
    • They are the best :) You should invest in one.
      By My Altered State, on December 9, 2016

  • I definitely want a Ryobi scroll saw. My jigsaw just doesn't cut that clean! Love, love it, I have many scraps I can use!!!!!
    By thepauls4_63389, on December 5, 2016
    • I would love to see what you make with your scraps :)
      By My Altered State, on December 9, 2016

  • I am very jealous of your scroll saw!
    By ColeenB, on December 5, 2016

  • This is a really cool project! I jave been meaning to get back into woodworking
    By Kenlor, on December 13, 2016

  • Great job & great idea! But what did you end up doing with the ornaments that were cut out?
    By Gigi 16, on December 16, 2016

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Holiday Mantel Ornament Art

by My Altered State
Nov 20, 2016

This project was inspired by those overly large ornaments that hang in department stores and various other places. I wanted to create something ornament shaped and large, so I let some half-formed ideas rattle around in my brain for a while and this is what came out.

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1

    First, cut two squares of 1/4 in plywood to measure 16x16”. They will be the front and back of the shadow box.

  2. Step: 2

    Next, cut a large ornament shape from paper and trace it onto the center of one of the squares.

  3. Step: 3

    Cut some scrap wood strips to measure 14.5” in length. They will be glued to the other square of plywood to create the back wall of the piece.

  4. Step: 4

    Next, glue the pieces onto the plywood backing, using heavy objects to clamp the wood strips down. Leave 3/4 in of space all the way around so the frame can be “sandwiched” between the front and back pieces of plywood.

  5. Step: 5

    When glue has dried, lay out your frame around the scrap wood strips.

  6. Step: 6

    Glue / nail the frame together at the corners.

  7. Step: 7

    Flip everything over, and attach the backing to the frame.

  8. Step: 8

    Front panel cut out: I used a table saw to ensure a perfectly straight line for the ornament “string”.

  9. Step: 9

    Cut out along the traced line with the scroll saw.

  10. Step: 10

    Sand any rough edges.

  11. Step: 11

    Attach front panel cutout piece to the frame.

  12. Step: 12

    For added effect, install some battery operated Christmas lights to the back of the front panel. (I used painter’s tape because it’s easy to remove.)

  13. Step: 13

    …and there you have it! A unique holiday mantel display for the love of overly-large ornaments. Thanks for reading! *This tutorial was sponsored by RYOBI Power Tools. All opinions are my own and they are real, made so by my own real life experience. Thank you. :)