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Y’all.  This one might be my most favorite-est project to date.  Just maybe.  Maybe it’ll only rank top for a week or so, but until then, it can boast it’s blue ribbon proudly in my book.

It’s no small secret that I love leather, wood and silhouettes.   Love. Even our wedding invitations incorporated a few of my favorites — I actually really wanted to somehow use leather cut out like lace, too…..but Andy vetoed that.

Mark my words, however, I will come up with a reason to create that idea at some point!

Kacia and Andy Wedding Invite

There are many other things I love, and one of those things is teaching and training.  I love being challenged by the words, “I can’t do it.” or “that’s too difficult.” to help me show someone that it can be done!  Andy and I create a lot using an expensive machine, and I honestly was frustrated that I couldn’t inspire you to create on your own using machines and tools within your reach!  It always felt like a bit of a tease sharing our projects that we created using an industrial machine, knowing that it would be next to impossible to explain how to replicate it on your own or in your home.

It’s because of this love for teaching and inspiring that gets me absolutely giddy about all that the ScanNCut can do.  After I began creating with it, the ideas haven’t stopped.  I told a few people at the recent Quilt Market that it really is a blank canvas — a stage ready for thousands of performances.  As your first project is scanning in or being cut out, you will already be dreaming about what you could do next! And you’d better believe I did a few high kicks and a happy dance when I successfully cut wood veneer using my ScanNCut!  It didn’t just cut basic shapes out of wood veneer, it cut a 1.5″ tall silhouette.

I know.  More happy dances. 

tiny Ethan wood veneer Silhouette

So today, I want to share with you all my tips, tricks and settings for successfully cutting wood veneer using your Brother ScanNCut!  I’ll be walking you through my creation of these custom hooks, but you can use these tips to cut out wood veneer for any project!   Warning: kind of like yesterday…. this post has so many photos!  I’m not sorry about it :) but I’m just warning you about it.


This project came out of the need for something to be done to this pathetic little nook in our kitchen.  It’s at the top of the stairs to the basement and probably the most walked through space in our home.  I knew that even though it was a small and easily forgotten about space, I could do something to make it functional!  Today’s project is the first of many that I’ll be sharing for what I’m calling our mudroom. <–I know it’s not a mudroom in the least, but I need it to be that sort of backdoor-drop-organize-mail-grab-and-go space.

Ironically, almost every piece and project I have planned involves the ScanNCut somehow, and that wasn’t planned!  I made a list of things I would like to see in that space, made a few thrift and craft store stops, and then realized that I could do almost all I needed to create a completely custom space using my ScanNCut.  I’m excited to share those projects with you guys and reveal how it’s all coming along as I go!   I also promised myself that I would take a photo of the “before” of this space, and then I got so excited about starting on the white wash planked wall in the back that I completely forgot!  So you get a sort-of-before shot instead.  Just imagine no wood planks and a beautiful calendar still on April because it just was not in the right space to be well utilized!  The space with the ladder is across the kitchen from the mudroom — just outside the pantry and by the access to our deck.

I’ll do a house tour one of these days…..




First a few notes about supplies!  Wood veneer, if you are not familiar with it, is a thin sheet of wood.  It can be purchased at craft stores or specialty wood stores, or even online.  If you google wood veneer, I’m sure you’ll find a lot of ways to get your hands on it!

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1|| Begin by prepping the wood plaques that will function as the base for your silhouette hook.  Mine are basic pine plaques that are about 9″x12″ with decorative edging.  I didn’t like the edging, so I opted to actually use the backs as the fronts for my hooks.  I used a primer/paint in one as my primer.


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2|| Decide the design you want to paint.  Have fun!  You can use painters tape and layers to create some really beautiful designs using paint or spray paint!  I…um….changed my mind about 100 times during the creation of these hooks, which you will see very shortly.

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3|| While those dry, we will prep the silhouette or shape to be cut from your wood veneer!  If you want to use a silhouette, you can follow my tutorial here to get you

from photo to ScanNCut cut file in a matter of minutes.  (Or watch the video here!)

If you want to use an image, I’ve created a quick video on using the Image Trace tool found on the ScanNCutCanvas software.  {You can watch the video here if you are unable to see it below.}



4|| Once you have your files ready, we can prep our machine for cutting!

Once again, I’ve created a short video with all of my tips for cutting wood veneer!  I tend to be a read-it-and-see-the-photos type of learner, but being married to a guy to runs to YouTube when he needs to learn about something has taught me a thing or two about how different we all are in our learning styles.

{Click to see my Wood Veneer Cutting Tips and Tricks Video if unable to view below.}  I know this post is getting long, hang in there!


Begin by setting your blade depth and blade pressure.  I use my standard blade, but always check it for any chips or debris.  I would begin testing your veneer with you blade at a depth of 8.  Set your pressure to 2.   If your wood is cracking or splitting, lessen your pressure.  I always recommend only making small changes each time to one variable, that way you know what is causing the problem or success.   My magic combination for almost all wood veneer has been a blade depth between 9.5 and 10 and a pressure of 2.


I purchased veneer that came in 6″ x 12″ sheets.  When I first tried cutting veneer, I would cut down close to the size of the object I wished to cut, but I quickly found that the opposite works best.  Keeping the veneer long allows you to hold it in place as your object cuts.  You see this more clearly in the video.


Cutting veneer is fun, but also finicky.  I have found that there is a very small window of too-tacky and not-tacky-enough for the wood.  If you are cutting an intricate design using a brand new mat, you will need to be extremely careful when removing the design from your mat.  If you are using an older mat, you may find that the inflexibility of the veneer makes it shift as soon as it begins to cut.   Painter’s tape works wonderfully if you are having a difficult time getting the veneer to stay put!


This last tip is the one I have found to be most crucial!  Because of the direction of the blade and how it cuts, it is imperative that you place your veneer on the mat with the grains going perpendicular into the ScanNCut.  Cuts along the grain will always cut easier than the cuts going against the grain, so you may find that you need to allow more blade depth to compensate for that difference.

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5|| Test! Test! Test! Test your settings, and then have fun cutting out your silhouette for your custom hook.  You can see in both Harlow’s silhouette and the leash of the puppy that delicate detail that you can achieve with the wood veneer!   I will show you how to take an image to a cut outline using the Image Trace feature on ScanNCut Canvas in the video.



6|| Determine the layout for your hook.  If you don’t like it – go paint it again!  As you probably quickly noticed, I changed mine a few times!  I also ended up enlarging the size of the silhouette as well.


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7||  Using an adhesive, attach the silhouette to your wooden plaque.  I used a polycrylic and then went over the entire piece with the polycylic as well.  I wanted the wood veneer to still stand out, but for it so also have a unified texture as well.   Drill holes according to the types of hooks you’ve purchased.


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8|| Hang them up, stand back, and admire your work!


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(Link to step by step video.)

Have fun! I cannot wait to see what you create — I’d love to see!  And also let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you for having so much fun with us and loving on my Harlow yesterday! She had an absolute blast of a day — including showing this mama a tiny peek of the threenager stage I’ve heard so much about! — and so many memories were made.  I thought her 1st and 2nd birthdays were fun, but this year totally marked the start of awesome.  It all just because so different and real when she became aware of what the day meant!  Ah! Emotions and hormones.  I need to stop typing.

Happy Thursday, y’all!  Thanks for joining me in this little space and letting me ramble and bamble.  I’m giving you all fist bumps and hugs.

Lots of them. 



Disclosure: I was provided a ScanNCut for the creation of this compensated tutorial.  All opinions and ideas are my own.

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