How to Make Wood Cut Outs at Home

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Things You'll Need

  • Pattern

  • Charcoal

  • Transfer paper

  • 3/8-inch plywood

  • RotoZip

  • Sabrecut bit

  • Sandpaper

  • Wood putty

  • Cloth

  • Tung oil

  • Brush

  • 0000 steel wool

Wood cutouts can be used as hanging ornaments, decorations on a shelf, coasters, hot plates or bookends. There are many patterns for cutouts made of wood for various occasions, or you can create your own original ideas. You will need a work space and all the equipment to start and complete your project without interruption. Visualize your cutout project from transferring the pattern to the finished product. Seeing it this way ensures you know what is required to work from scratch, and that you understand what must be accomplished in each step.


Step 1

Decide on an object you will cut out, what size it will be, and then outline the pattern in charcoal. Turn the charcoal tracing down onto the plywood and tape or tack it in place. Trace over the pattern, transferring the charcoal shape to the plywood.

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Step 2

Attach the Sabrecut bit to the RotoZip tool. Slowly follow the lines as you carefully cut out the pattern.


Step 3

Check for chatter marks or chips in the cutout. Sand the wood smooth with sandpaper and patch any holes with quick-drying wood spackling or Bondo.

Step 4

Choose whether to round the edges, leave them straight or router a beveled border. Sand your cutout to a soft and smooth surface. Wipe the residual dust from your wooden cutout with a cloth.


Step 5

Finish your wood cutout project naturally by applying tung oil with a brush. Allow it to soak in for 10 minutes. If the wood is not shiny, apply another coat, but wipe off the excess right away with a cloth. Let it dry for 24 hours.

Step 6

Rub the oiled surface with the steel wool to smooth any rough areas. Reapply tung oil until you have achieved a beautiful protective shine.


Sand and use steel wool smoothing techniques going with the wood grain.

Wood finishing tools can make impressive rounded over, cove or chamfered decorative edges; or recessed and sandblasted faces. You can also make cutout designs in your cutouts.

Stain or paint may be preferable options.

There are many wood cutout patterns you can purchase online.


Follow the user guidelines when operating power tools.

Open windows and use a fan to ensure good ventilation when using paint or stain.

Wear a mask when exposed to sawdust or when sanding.

Make sure the cutout is cut with the grain in the wood.

Apply with the grain running the same direction as any wooden background you are attaching it to.


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