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Things you can make out of old wood scraps

Updated May 10, 2017

After building a larger project, you may find that you have a good deal of smaller wood scraps. These pieces are too small to build decently sized projects, such as small shelves, but they shouldn't go to waste or to the recycle bin just yet. Use these old scraps for smaller projects that will get your creative juices flowing. From small sculptures to game pieces, challenge yourself with a creative --- and free --- small-scale wood project.

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Knick Knacks

Wooden knick knacks are versatile; you can design them using any subject matter you want and create them as in depth as you'd like. You can also use a variety of carving methods to create them. For instance, if you'd like to delineate faces, hair and other features on a flat wood scrap, use a variety of small or large chisels to make the carvings. If you'd like a three-dimensional feel and have a thicker piece of wood, use the lathe and gently place your chisels onto the wood for the desired shape and look. If you'd like to leave the tools out, go for some acrylic paints and paint brushes and paint a scene or figure on the wood.

Clock Base

You can buy clock faces that already have the inner workings and a battery; they require nothing but adhesion to a clock base. Therefore, try making a clock base out of your old wood. Use machinery, or chisels for a more traditional method, to carve out the small area where the clock will sit. This area is relatively shallow and small circumference-wise, so no extraneous work is needed. Attach the clock into the clock base following the instructions provided on its packaging. Clock faces run the gamut in price, look and size, so choose one that fits the size of your wood piece.

Christmas Tree Ornaments

If you know some friends or family who collect or enjoy many Christmas tree ornaments, use your old wood to make them. Just like knick knacks, these can be flat or three-dimensional and can span a range of themes. You can also use a variety of paints for simple decoration, or you can use wood stains in a variety of red, brown and green hues. Some ornament ideas include Santa Claus, Reindeer, trees, stars or snowflakes. While some of these can be painted on the wood or chiselled out, more complicated ones like snowflakes and stars might require a band saw to produce the shape. Soften any cut edges with a sander or sandpaper to prevent injury.

Small Picture Frames

If you have several short pieces of wood that are thicker in nature, make a frame. Simply nail these pieces together at the corners after sawing the ends into 45-degree angles. Next, attach a border using small pieces of wood trim you've made or purchased. This border should be wider so that it creates a lip on the inside of the frame for your picture and picture backing to sit on top of. This border will be flush against the outer edges of the frame; its edges will, too, be cut at 45-degree angles. You can choose whether to incorporate a piece of glass to guard the picture. After doing so, cut out a piece of cardboard to place behind the picture. Use whatever method you'd like to keep the picture and cardboard in place.

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About the Author

Sarah Thompson has been a writer since 2006. She has contributed to Ohio-based publications such as "CityScene" and "Dublin Life" magazines, as well as Columbus' top alternative weekly, "The Other Paper." Thompson has also written for several online outlets, including Smashing Magazine and Web Designer Depot. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, sexuality studies and visual communication design from Ohio State University.

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