May 22, 2013

DIY Disaster

Remember when I told you about the my disaster project a little while back?

Welp, I'm ready to talk about it.

I was helping Olive Oyl with Loriloo's baby shower. Olive Oyl picked a woodsy fox theme. For centerpieces, we thought wood slices would be delightful. With mason jars and flowers on top. I was in charge of centerpieces and the banner.

I priced the wood slices online...turns out they can be pretty pricey.

My little sister(who lives out of town) just so happened to have some tree stumps left over in her back yard. Dad was coming over anyway, so we asked him to bring his electric chain saw.

My dad is such as stud. After he sliced a few he asked "Do you want to try?" I was like "YES!!!"

So these chain saws are harder than you think.
And heavier.
You have to rock the bottom of the blade back and forth just so.
But with a little help from dad, victory was mine!

Gosh, I look SO happy. It's kind of sad, knowing what comes next...

Dad instructed me to oil these wood slices, lest they start splitting in the dry heat.
So the next day, I got right to work with the baby oil. The wood was already starting to split.

I tried to wipe some baby oil on with a rag...but the wood was too rough to soak it up. So I ended up squirting the oil directly onto the wood and then rubbing it around.

I'm actually a bit ashamed to admit that I ended up using an ENTIRE BOTTLE OF BABY OIL,  for just 8 wood slices. And after that, I still wasn't done and so finished the remaining logs with lemon furniture oil/polish. Ay yi yi. 

I laid the wood pieces out to dry on some trader joe bags.

The next day, I noticed that the bags were sopping with oil. I mean, duh. McFly used an entire bottle of baby oil.

I replaced the bags with clean ones and hoped for the best.

An hour later, the bags were completely dripping with oil. This was a HUGE problem. I didn't want my wood slices ruining anyone's table cloths!!!! STRESS!

So I spent the entire evening trying to soak my wood slices in buckets of water. Remember this picture? Yup, that's what I was doing.

I soaked and soaked them the next day as well, but the oil kept over flowing.

I was KICKING myself for using an entire bottle of baby oil. DOI!!!! How could I be so dumb?

{Reminded me of the time I was cooking a lemon chicken dinner for my sister and John's brother. When I pulled the chicken out of the oven, we were like "Where are the chicken pieces? Why are they so small?"

It was inedible.  John and his brother looked in the trash and found that I had used an entire bottle of lemon concentrate.  All that concentrated lemon juice had pretty much disintegrated my chicken. Whoops.}

Well same thing but now we are super saturated with oil. I pondered and wracked my brain for ideas on how to salvage these slices. The shower was approaching. Friends and family abounded with suggestions and advice.

We were actually going to paint the bottom with acrylic paint to seal the oil inside...but even so, my slices REEKED to high heaven from the furniture polish. I couldn't stand next to them for a second without getting a headache.

I was thisclose to forking over the dough and buying slices at Micheals. This was my worst DIY disaster yet. Oily smelly stumps that were splitting even more wildy, despite the oil.

But something in me refused to accept defeat. I hatched a plan to get new stumps from my sister's house: We could stop by her house on the way to mom's house on Mother's Day. We could bring them to my parent's house and John could cut them with dad's chainsaw.


Aren't they lovely?

This time NO OIL.

I fiercely guarded them in my bedroom til shower day, lol.

Knowing how much trouble these wood slices are makes me love them even more!

As for the didn't have too many problems. It always feels braggy showing stuff, but since I always love seeing things ya'll make, I thought I would show you as well:)

I used this banner from Etsy as my inspiration and tweaked it to my liking.

I used this fox from pinterest as my outline for the fox appliqué.

I used wonder-under to piece the fox together and attach it to the flag. It was actually quite simple. Wonder-under is my bff.

Flowers +Fox

And part of the banner hanging out in my house for a minute.

So there you have it: the behind-the-scenes scoop of how some projects bomb. Linking up with Hillary from Capturing Motherhood.


  1. Love those stumps! Great texture and thickness!

  2. The shower was adorable and I absolutely loved the banner. I'm glad you stuck it out and saw your vision through.

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE that bunting! The FOX is so adorable!

  4. everything turned out wonderful that is all that matters! So cute Davi!!!

  5. This turned out fantastic. I totally get DIY disasters- sadly they happen to me to much.. I'm not very good at paying attention to direction:)
    I was thinking about making one of these under a wedding cake sometimes- so in the end you didn't end up doing anything to them at all? Would love to learn from you so I don't make a silly mistake:)
    It turned out so well and I LOVE that banner! That's a keeper.

    1. i LOVE these under wedding cakes!!! i think they key thing is to make sure the tree you are chopping isn't completely dead. my sister had one tree that died a while back and one that they recently chopping. i'm thinking the ones that split worse were from the dead tree. and chop as close to the wedding date as possible.

      another option is to try lightly oiling the top with linseed oil with a paintbrush, but i was too scared to try. i looked online everywhere on how to treat the wood but could't really find anything. we need to figure this one out!

    2. Thanks so much for your help! Sounds like a thing ill have to try soon!

  6. OH> MY> WORD!!! Dying friend. You are tooooo much. too generous. too thoughtful. too sweet. and yes, maybe a bit oily? LOL. I can't get over this fuss over little old me. Love you to the moon.

  7. everything about this post is amazing. from the absolute disaster (i'm of the thinking that more is always better too... when clearly it's not always the case) to the absolutely delicious banner. ohmygoodnessgracious. thank you for linking up! xoxo.

  8. LOVE it Davi! I am really wanting to do some slices like that now! They would be adorable for the birthday party I'm throwing my husband next Friday. Maybe I can talk his dad into it.

  9. Thank you for all your help!!!