ECO Friendly Teachers' Gifts From My Wood Pile


My son has 5 teachers this year - that's a lot of end of the year gifts to purchase on a budget. I Tole painted them name plates for Christmas so what to do in June? Personalized pencil holders out of cedar logs. Hope this will inspire you!
I had to re-arrange my wood pile to find some nice round cedar logs that hadn't been split.
My husband cut them for me. I'm sure someone must know an easier way to remove the bark. I used chisels. It wasn't too difficult. Makes a real mess though!
I got this awesome drill bit for Christmas from Lee Valley Tools. My handyman hubby drilled about 9 holes in each log. He used the vice on his workbench to secure the logs when drilling. You can put a little masking tape to ensure that all holes are drilled to the same depth. Lots of sanding with the random orbital sander afterwards.
Each log was dusted with a tack cloth, then sprayed with a sealer. I used Varathane. It dries quickly. You can gently go over with steel wool between coats for a smoother finish. I had to go shopping while the varnish dried. Found these beautiful pencils at Michael's. My favourite is "I love big books and I cannot lie."
The last step. I bought twine from the Dollar Store and found some cute letters at Michael's and tied them with a bow. I didn't finish them - left them plain pine. You could paint or stain them. I'm going to work on something similar for our bathroom at the cottage.

Suggested materials:

  • Cedar logs  (Back yard)
  • Twine  (Dollar Store)
  • Aerosol Varathane  (Home Depot)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Mike Williamson
    on Jun 27, 2016

    How will the freezer help?

    • 4554290
      on Jul 20, 2016

      Thank you for the feedback. I made a few more of these. I put them on a cookie sheet for 2 hours at 275'. It smelled lovely in the kitchen. No more issues with unwanted guests.

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2 of 34 comments
  • Jessy
    on Jul 15, 2016

    this is very nice. i would definitely try to find something similar...in the Philippines,it's a tad difficult looking for a nice 'round' cedar :) :) but i am definitely going to try this...my youngest son just attended school, and he lovesssss his teachers and asst teacher. :) thank you for sharing

  • Cathy
    on Aug 22, 2016

    Love this! What an original and cool idea--for more than just teachers! Grad gift for someone going to college, congrats on your new job gift...love it!

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