We ordered these wood slabs after posting in our local classifieds requesting wood disks, slabs, slices. I paid about $5 each. Which was still cheaper than anything I saw online or at craft stores. They were cut from a sweet gum tree. Since it came from a live tree, the slabs were moist still. I was instructed to stack them in three’s and let them dry on my back porch. After a day, it was still moist. So I laid them out one by one in the sun for 2 hours and then flipped them to the other side for another 2 hours. They were finally dry after 2 days! Some were still a little moist so we put them in the microwave for a few seconds! Totally worked! Super dry! If you don’t dry your wood slabs let me show you, what can happen…
If this happens, no worries… it’s an easy fix! Get some bleach and a paintbrush and brush the mold. then let dry in the sun to clean it!
So after brushing some bleach on it and letting it sun dry, its like nothing happened! The mold slowly faded. Yay! Of course, something always goes wrong in a DIY, right!
So now that we had good dry clean wood slabs, we sanded the slabs down! I didn’t completely sand them down because we loved the look of the chainsaw imprints! And it made them lighter in appearance.
Finally I cleaned them off with a rag to remove the wood dust from sanding them down, and started the sealing process. Since we bought these 10 or so months before the wedding, we wanted to seal them so they wouldn’t crack. If your wedding is in a month or so, I wouldn’t worry about sealing them if you like the look! We used polyurethane to seal them but you can also use polycrylic so that it won’t turn yellow like ours did. it helps to keep that lighter white color after it’s sanded. We were fine with how it made it look darker. We added two coats of Poly to each side and then sealed the rims where the bark is with spray can Poly just because it was faster and I was tired of brushing. My husband played a big role in helping make these and I highly recommend asking people to help with sealing the slabs if you decide to do so.
After researching the internet a bit on my new DIY, I realized treating the wood with lacquer will give it a clear finish that’s not as noticeable as using polyurethane. Polyurethane is still clear but it makes wood appear a little darker. Like ours. Cracking occurs in the woods natural drying process. small cracks are going to happen! but it added character to our slabs. We loved them.
We then stored them in our attic where the temperature is dry and consistent. Too much of a drastic change in temperature can cause the wood to expand and crack. 10 months later we took them down and only 3 were cracked. and those 3 were still absolutely beautiful!
This is the end result! We put lanterns on them with greenery on the lanterns 😀 I will update this post once I get my wedding photography. I hope this post helps! If you live in houston and want me to provide you with more information about where I purchased these please contact me through my contact page.