Decorative inlays inlay kits
Purchase your own Rudolph Ornament kit
Seven different types of wood are used to build the Rudolph Christmas Ornament. The base material is Yellow Heart. Walnut was used for the face, Bocote for the antlers, Wenge for the eyes pupil, pine for the outer eye, Brazilian Cherry for the muzzle, and Red Heart for the inner ear and nose.
It's recommended that you place all the woods together so you can see how well they compare and contrast with each other. One thing to always keep in mind when building an inlay is how much contrast is there between the woods used in the design. I the woods are similar in color and grain pattern the inlays tend to blur a bit.
For the base of the ornament pick a color of wood that provides good contrast for the wood you chose to build Rudolph's face out of. A lighter color wood tends to work best because the lighter the base material the more Rudolph's nose sticks out.
Place the Ornament Cutout template on the base material where you want to build the inlay. Trace out the outline of the ornament and make the two circular alignment marks!!!
The Alignment Marks are critical!!! You're going to be using the alignment marks to position each layer of the inlay so make them dark!
Cut the inlays for Layers 1 and 2 from the same material. If you look closely at the lower right hand corner of the Walnut you'll see the Layer 1 shape drawn out. Notice the direction of the grain pattern, it flows from left to right.
Now look at the Layer 2 shape, the face, and notice how the grain pattern flows. When the ear and face pieces get inlaid together the grain directions will clash. This gives you the contrast needed to show the ear is a different piece of wood than the rest of the face.
You'll also notice the contrast between the Yellow Heart and Walnut is pretty pronounced too. This inlay is going to look good!
Layer 3 builds four inlays at once, the pieces being inlaid on this layer are the outer eye, muzzle, inner ear, and the left antler.
For the outer eye select a white colored wood with as little grain pattern as possible. For this build Pine was used. Notice there isn't much grain pattern being shown in the area where the eye will be cut from.
Brazilian Cherry was used to build the muzzle. The thing to keep in mind when selecting the muzzle material is grain direction. In order for the inlay to look as natural as possible the grain pattern has to flow like it would in nature. In this case the grain pattern will flow from left to right because it looks more natural. After all have you ever seen a muzzle where the hair flows from the eye to the neck? Of course not, the hair follows the face and that should be reflected in the grain pattern.
The same rule of grain direction applies to the inner ear and antler. Make sure the grain direction flows from the top to the bottom for both pieces. Look closely at the Red Heart and you'll notice in the center theres a bit of a dark spot. I thought that would add depth to the ear so I centered the inlay piece around that feature in the wood.
For the antlers make sure the grain direction flows from the top to the bottom. Also chose a color that will contrast with the face and base material. In this case the Bocote contrast great with the Walnut. There isn't as much contrast with the Yellow Heart but there's just a small section of the antler inlaid directly in to the Yellow Heart and theres enough contrast for that small area.
Layer 4 builds two inlays at once, the pieces being inlaid on this layer are the inner eye, right antler and the all important nose!
For the inner ear select a dark colored wood with as little grain patterns as possible. I chose Wenge for the eye because it's a real dark wood with areas that have minimal grain patterns. It's best if the grain pattern, regardless of how minimal it is, flows from left to right.
The antler has the same considerations as the antler on Layer 3.
For the nose Red Heart was used. For a more pronounced nose you can fill the void with acrylic and red glitter. In this case I selected an area of Red Heart that is vibrant and has little color changes or grain patterns. What little grain pattern there is runs from left to right.