Compound-Cut Ornaments

eNews: Short Cuts / Winter Scrolling

Compound-Cut Ornaments

Combine fretwork snowflakes with wooden bulbs to make elegant ornaments

By Sue Mey

Cut by Leldon Maxcy

Download the Pattern

Compound-cut ornaments look great but are quick and easy to make. In fact, you can complete each one with just a few cuts. The snowflake accents are equally easy to cut. You could also fill the recessed space with a photo or initial to personalize the ornament.

Making the Ornaments

Cut the wood to size. Fold a pattern along the dotted line, apply adhesive to the back, align the fold with the corner of a blank, and press the pattern into place. Drill the hanging hole (if marked). Drill the blade entry holes for the inside cuts, and cut the inside frets on both sides. Cut the perimeter on one side, making a single continuous cut around the ornament. Secure the cutoff pieces with clear tape and cut the other profile. Remove the waste, and sand away any rough spots.

Adding the Inlay

Stack together several pieces of 1/4″ (6mm)-thick wood. I suggest using a color that contrasts with the ornaments. Drill blade-entry holes and cut the snowflake inlays. Separate the stacks and sand the snowflakes smooth. Use a 1 1/4″ (32mm)-diameter Forstner bit to drill a 3/8″ (1cm)-deep hole in each bulb ornament for the inlay. Smooth the edge of the drilled hole and glue the inlay in place using cyanoacrylate (CA) glue. Apply a clear spray finish.

Materials and Tools


  • Hardwood, 2″ (5.1cm) square: bulbs, assorted lengths
  • Contrasting hardwood, 1/4″ (6mm) thick: snowflakes, scraps at least 1 1/4″ (3.2cm) square
  • Adhesive: spray or glue stick
  • Tape: clear
  • Sandpaper
  • Glue: cyanoacrylate (CA)
  • Finish: clear spray


  • Scroll saw with blade: #9 skip-tooth
  • Drill with bits: assorted small, Forstner 1 1/4″ (32mm)
  • The author used these products for the project. Substitute your choice of brands, tools, and materials as desired.

Sue Mey lives in Pretoria, South Africa. To see more of her work, including a wide variety of patterns and pattern-making tutorials available for purchase, visit She can be contacted at Her pattern book, Lighted Scroll Saw Projects, is available from and other outlets.

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