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Christmas Ornament with Inlay

Eric Lindberg

Project by

Eric Lindberg
Hartland, Michigan

General Information

This is a Christmas ornament that uses a technique called inlay to create a picture in a piece of wood. By using two contrasting woods, I used maple and walnut, I was able to get a very crisp image on my ornament. This is a nice little project that you can hang on your Christmas tree for all to see!

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Material Description Price
Hard Maple

Hard Maple

6" × 12" × 1/2" Hard Maple


Solid Carbide Upcut Fish Tail Spiral Bits

Solid Carbide Upcut Fish Tail Spiral Bits

1/16" Upcut Fish Tail Carving Bit




6" × 12" × 1/8" Walnut


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from Inventables

File Description Unit Price

Reindeer Outline.svg


Download Zip

from Inventables


YouTube Video

Here is my YouTube video that shows how I made my ornament or you may feel free to read the instructions below for a written explanation.


Selecting/Setting up Material

For this project, you’ll need two separate project files in Easel.
1. 6″×12″ maple that’s 1/2" thick
2. 6″×12″ walnut that’s 1/8" thick.


Select the Shape of the Ornament

You can select one of the shapes Inventables has or you can import your own. From here, click on the shape and select Outline>Outside. You’ll need to set the depth as well, I set the depth to 1/2" for the maple piece.


Downloading/Importing the Design

For the reindeer, you’ll need to download the “Flying Reindeer” design and import the SVG into Easel. In order to import, simply go to File>Import SVG. You may adjust the size of the reindeer to your liking, but you’ll need to make sure you select a bit that can accurately cut out the design. This will most likely be a fish tail bit with a 1/16" or 1/32" cutting diameter.


Prepping for Inlay

Once you have the reindeer design and the shape of your ornament selected, you have to prepare the reindeer for inlay. For this, go to App Library>Inlay Generator and change the bit size to the proper size. You can adjust the Tolerance setting to a specific tolerance or you can leave it at the default .01. I left mine at .01, but feel free to change it to allow for a smaller or larger margin of error. When the bit and tolerance are set, you can select import. This will give you two different shapes: the solid shape is for the female part and the outlined shape is for the male part.


Delegating the two Inlay Pieces

For the solid colored shape, you want this to go on your thicker material, in my case, the 1/2" piece of maple. For the outlined shape, you’ll want to copy and paste this on a different Easel Project. Doing this will allow you to set the inside piece to a different thickness and specie of wood. My first material, 1/2" maple, is for the outside piece and my second material, 1/8" walnut is for the inside piece. This will create a lot of contrast between the two woods.


Setting the Depth and Carving

The first piece (the ornament shape and the accepting reindeer) is 1/2" maple and I want to set the depth of the reindeer to an 1/8" deep. The second piece (the inside reindeer that fits into the accepting piece) is 1/8’ walnut and the reindeer needs to be cut completely through. Once you have the depth set, you need to carve out both pieces.



Once the pieces are cut out, you need to glue the walnut reindeer into the maple reindeer. That can be done with wood glue or any other glue that bonds wood. Once the glue dries, sand the piece lightly and put your favorite type of finish on the wood. Adding an eye hook to the top will allow you to hang the ornament on your tree.

Jeff Talbot
Nice ornament! Can you include the Easel project link in this project so that it can be opened directly in Easel?
Jeff Talbot
Eric Lindberg
From what I understand, I can only add one project file, but you need two different project files to create the ornament. If you know how to link both, I would be happy to link the project with easel.
Eric Lindberg