DIYdiy projects

DIY Log Slice Display Dome

by Grace Bonney

log jar display
i just want to say that i envy all of you out there with a working fireplace. i have very fond memories of sitting around a crackling fire in maine, and watching my dad place freshly chopped firewood in a huge pile outside. that being said (anyone else watch curb your enthusiasm?), i am glad i can bring wood projects into my home on a smaller scale while i enjoy the mild california winter. the month of december will feature wood projects for decorating and gift giving, and they are all fairly easy projects requiring few tools. this first project is very special to me because i have always loved miniatures, and now i have a nice homemade display jar for all of my little treasures. these would make a charming hostess gift, or great holiday table decor; i can see a cluster of them with fresh pinecones and sprigs of winter greens tucked inside. all you need is a saw, and you could even skip the wood-burned indentation ring if you were in a hurry, but i think it adds a nice touch. plus that way i get the brief nostalgic experience of smelling burning wood! have fun! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. wooden log (if you want to skip the sawing wood step, you can buy wood coasters at various places. i found these simple ones online)

2. saw (chop saw or a regular tooth saw and mitre box)

3. pencil

4. stemless wine glass, drinking glass, or a clean glass jar (this is depending on what shape you want your jar to be. i found stemless wine glasses had a nice domed shape, but a jar would also look nice. if you want to size these up, i recommend using mason or other food container jars or simple glass vases as cheap options)

5. wood burning tool (these are sold at craft and hobby stores, and range in price from $12 up to $30 or so. you need one with a medium rounded tip, or you can purchase the tip separately)


stemless wine glasses: $3 for two at crate and barrel
wood logs: free (cut from logs in my backyard)
wood burning tool: $15


2 hours

log jar display process


1. cut your log slice. it can be anywhere from 1″ – 3″ thick, but make sure both sides are flat so it sits level.

2. flip your glass over and center it in your log slice. trace around the rim with a pencil to leave a ring template on your log.

3. turn on your burning tool and let it heat up. working very slowly and carefully, burn the ring into the wood so it is is indented by about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. when you are tracing the ring with the burner, work on the inside of the line because the line you traces sits directly outside the actual rim, and you want the rim to fit into the groove you are burning. stop every few minutes to place the glass in the ring to see if your shape is right. i recommend not trying to draw the entire ring at once with the burner, but instead burn tiny dots one right next to each other and then run over them again and again to connect them into a continuous shape.

4. switch off your burning tool and let it cool down. brush off the top of your wood and place you glass upside down. the rim of the glass should fit into the burned ring, preventing the glass form slipping around.

note: you do not need the indentation ring, but it does help keep the glass positioned and the burned wood pattern is actually quite lovely. but the glass can also simply sit atop the log if the log is level.


log display small closeup
log display jar open

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