Faux Bois Ornaments

Faux Bois ornament

I think any crafter worth her salt keeps abreast of what Martha Stewart is up to, and if you keep even half an eye on her, you have to have seen faux bois. She seems to be on a one woman* campaign to bring this style to national prominence.

*One woman with many many minions, but still.

Faux Bois is basically a fake wood, and although it started as a specific kind of antique, it’s now used to refer to anything with a faux woodgrain pattern on it. You can find it on bathroom accessories, or carpets, and even entire blogs devoted to it. It’s kind of popular, is my point. And a perfect fit for my woodland tree.

At last years post Christmas sale, I snapped up a bunch of brown ball ornaments, knowing that the beginnings of this tree was percolating away in my brain somewhere. Then I picked up some of Martha Stewart’s flocking powder available at Michael’s. It’s great stuff and totally addictive. Imagine tiny little velvet fibers you can stick anywhere to make things fuzzy. Oh man, I think this may become just as much of a standby for me as the glitter is.

Before we start, a word for the panicked crafters. I do not draw. Yet. So don’t think that unless you have fine art skills or can pipe a pastry bag like a pro that you can’t do this craft. A woodgrain pattern is EASY! I promise! And even if you mess up, guess what, you just made it more authentic. Nature is messy. Instead of saying, “Mine looks messy.” Repeat after me. Say, “Mine looks *Organic*.”

Faux Bois ornament Step 1
With a decent craft glue, draw an elongated oval. This is the knot in the woodgrain. I put a dot in the middle because the knot pattern can get really tiny, and that was the way I decided to deal with that. I used Martha Stewart’s craft glue because hers has a really great thin applicator tip. I had to stop a couple of times to wash it out – it gets clogged somewhat easily – but I got a much thinner line than I would have any other way.

Faux Bois ornament Step 2
Draw more lines radiating out from the knot. You’ll notice how sloppy my glue application is. Bumpy, with lots of waves. When the glue dries clear and you’re just left with fuzziness, you won’t see any of that.

Faux Bois ornament Step 4
Add additional knot shapes, of varying sizes, to take up all the space around the first half of the ball.

Faux Bois ornament Step 3
There’s no wrong way to do this. A woodgrain pattern is just a series of concentric ovals, so draw straight lines, draw crooked lines, whatever, it will look like woodgrain if you just toss in the occasional knot, and they don’t even all have to have a dot inside. It’s ORGANIC, remember?

Faux Bois ornament Step 5
When you get half of the ball all glued up, shake the flocking powder over it, and shake off the excess. Make sure you shake it onto something you can use to gather it up. The flocking powder likes to clump, so I basically had to dump the whole bottle out every time I used it.

Let it dry, then repeat with the other side of the ball.