Numerical Carvings

Initially, I wasn’t very excited about making table numbers.  I figured I would print out the numbers in a cute font, throw them in a frame, and call it a day.  If only they were that easy. Ultimately making the table numbers turned into quite the project and I am so exited to see them on our feasting tables.  The tables will be full of twinkling candlelight and bright flowers, so I wanted the tables numbers to balance out some of the natural aspects of our wedding.  Well folks, you can’t really get any more natural than this:


A log from my parent’s backyard. [It was chosen for its barky goodness.]

When I was visiting my parents over the holidays, my dad and I had a few dates in his wood shop…aka the garage. My dad has always loved woodworking and has built some pretty awesome things over the years (lots of furniture, playsets, and a screened-in-porch). This past year he hasn’t had much time for his wood shop so it was fun to pull his tools out. Growing up it seemed like he was always getting the latest and greatest tools every birthday and Christmas, so I was a little surprised when he said he wanted to use this old guy:


This band saw is older than I am. It has traveled across the United States during family moves and obviously still has a warm place in my father’s heart. So, armed with our safety googles and gloves, we got to work.

Completely focused.
My awesome dad helping out!

We slowly sectioned the wood—and remember this is a 25+ year old saw so when I say slow, I mean tragically slow. It took a little rolling, pushing, and quite a bit of coercing to crank these babies out. Fortunately, we had a tag team thing going so it wasn’t too bad.

We ended up with 18 log slices:


Nothing too grand, but just wait for it. [On a side note, these wood slices cost $15 each at my local Michaels. Insane. I’m sure there are cheaper options online, but after my great review I am sure everyone is searching Craigslist for a used band saw. Not.]

When I got back home, my “thriftiness” again caused me to go for the cheap purchase. This is an electric woodcarving pen. Basically you plug it in and it gets very hot [950 degrees] so you can burn into wood.

Image via Amazon

I purchased this from Amazon for just over $14. Seemed like a great deal at the time. It has interchangeable tips and a little stand. It heats up very quickly, but if I had to do it again, I would spend $30 and not get the “value” version. (Sadly, it is indeed called the Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner Value Pen) It was very slow going carving the wood and because I was pushing so hard, the tip quickly was completely bent.

Before I even starting burning, I used my Cricut (a recent Christmas present!) to cut out the numbers so I could have a template.


I first used the sharp tip to go around the boarder of the number so I would get a solid line. Then, I randomly interchanged the other tips so I could “burn out” the number in a way that would create texture. I didn’t want it to look like the numbers were only painted on with brown paint.

I have the first half finished so far, but plan to finish the rest this week. Also, consider this fair warning, if you attempt wood burning you will smell like a campfire for the rest of the day 🙂

Overall, I am really pleased with how they are turning out. Each piece of wood is different and has cracks and imperfections. We had briefly tossed around the idea of staining them, but I think I like them in their natural glory.



And a final emo shot


This is an easy way to add detail and dimension to a traditional wedding project. I wish my electric pen was better or else I would use this for all sorts of signs as well.

Now I just need to decide on what to use to prop the numbers up on the table. I was thinking maybe cheap plate stands…any other ideas out there?


Mrs. Squirrel

Tampa, FL
Wedding Date:
May 2013
A Fair Bride
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Ginny, Guest @ 10:35 am

    Maybe 2 nails driven slightly into bottom, back, that the numbers lean back onto a bit…depending on how rustic you are willing to go… stands would def be more elegant, but nails (substantial straight, not cheap flat head) are definitely budget friendly)

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    sandra, Guest @ 2:28 pm

    You are right the bark on your log slices look great, very good choice! I have used log slices for risers (or chargers) on buffet tables as well, this would continue the earthy accent into other area’s.

  3. Member
    kimy 1164 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:39 am

    These look awesome!!!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Mardee, Guest @ 5:56 am

    These are gorgeous! And I love the pics of you and your dad wood-working! I cannot wait for this wedding!

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