Forest Leaf Wildlife Ornaments

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Project by Keith Fenton posted 10-20-2012 02:27 PM 3035 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our “Forest Leaf” wildlife plaques have been around for quite a while. They were among Sheila’s earliest scroll saw pattern creations (some as part of a concerted effort with designer Bob Vallee), they have stood the test of time, and remain popular even today. The third picture here shows an example of these original Forest Leaves.

I am not sure why it took us so long to come up with the idea of ornament-sized versions. Sometime the obvious escapes us, but here we are.

It is quite challenging to make such a small project with enough detail to look nice, but without being a nightmare to cut or turning out too delicate to be useable. These actually turned out to be fairly easy to cut, but are still a little delicate. The maple I used had some hidden cracks that I missed and as a result, I had to do a couple minor repairs after cutting. They certainly require a solid piece of tight-grained wood. While we often use 1/8” thick material for ornaments, it would be best if we would have cut these out of something slightly thicker. 3/16” thick would be ideal but even 1/4” would still turn out nice.

When cutting thin material with small detail work in it such as this, I usually stack cut two sets at once since even the tiny 2/0 sized blades benefits from the added resistance of another layer. Even with woods as hard as hard maple which we often use, anything thinner than 1/4” starts getting more difficult to cut detail in, . I just stacked a piece of scrap 1/8” plywood with my hardwood as I often do since I only really want one finished set.

-- Scroll saw patterns @

8 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3810 days

#1 posted 10-20-2012 03:44 PM

these are quite beautiful, can you tell us please what is on the back side that you have the color for a background …i would love to attempt something like these for some future holiday gifts….... im at this point talking of the eagle..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

328 posts in 3426 days

#2 posted 10-20-2012 03:55 PM

The larger plaques just have a painted plywood backer. You can stack cut the backer when you cut the perimeter of the plaque so that you get a perfect match.

You could use a nice figured veneer if you like, but you have to prepare the veneer by sealing it. (Both sides simultaneously so that it doesn’t curl much. I use a spray varnish and do simultaneous light coats on both sides and let it dry on a peg board.) If you don’t seal it completely beforehand, the veneer will get curly and messy when you wet it with glue and will also be more likely to twist the whole plaque down the road.

-- Scroll saw patterns @

View Ivan's profile


15055 posts in 3374 days

#3 posted 10-20-2012 06:37 PM

Beautifull ornaments.They are real inspiration.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18671 posts in 4182 days

#4 posted 10-21-2012 02:15 AM

Very nice Keith!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2798 days

#5 posted 10-21-2012 03:10 AM

These are really cool!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

328 posts in 3426 days

#6 posted 10-21-2012 03:41 AM

Thanks you guys.

They were fun to make and easier to cut than most of what I have been making lately. A pleasant change of pace.

-- Scroll saw patterns @

View Rick13403's profile


270 posts in 4011 days

#7 posted 10-21-2012 01:16 PM

Great idea Keith! We still sell a lot of the original ones and now I just ordered both of these to offer our customers more options. Thanks for all of your work and designs Keith & Sheila

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Celticscroller's profile


1284 posts in 2579 days

#8 posted 10-21-2012 04:55 PM

These are beautiful Keith. You and Sheila do awesome work. Love it!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

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