Stained wood is a better medium for craft projects than unstained wood because wood stain helps to protect the wood from weather and wear. Stain can be applied to give the look of expensive wood to inexpensive alternatives. Wood can maintain its original color with the use of natural stain. It is best to stain wood before making crafts because it is easier to apply stain to flat wood than inside the corners of crafted pieces.
Stained wood box crafts are not only easy and fun to make, but the finished product can be used to keep items organized. A well-crafted, stained wooden box may last for years, becoming a treasured family heirloom. Craft a box with several slots and compartments to organize small objects such as jewelry, medals, pins or coins. Larger slots are ideal for toolboxes. Nail together the sides of the box using small nails, called brads. Biscuit or dovetail joints routed into the wood panels also fit the pieces together; add wood glue to the joints to secure them. Hinges and latch hardware for a stained box craft are sold at any hardware store.
Signs for all occasions can be crafted from stained wood. You can make a sign for a business, add a family name or create holiday signs; the stained wood has a more rustic appearance than solid-colored painted wood. Use a wood burner to apply the letters and pictures before staining the sign. Alternatively, you could paint the sign with oil-based acrylic enamel paint. Another option is to stain wood letters and attach them to the stained wood with wood glue. Use different wood stains to make the letters stand out from the background.
A walk through the aisles of any craft or hobby store will reveal a wide variety of wood cutouts that are ideal for making stained wood ornaments. Choose winter- or Christmas-themed cutouts, such as bears, trees, wreaths and snowmen, to create ornaments to hang on a Christmas tree. Choose and stain other ornaments to be hung on a door wreath for any season of the year. The craft project requires small paintbrushes and clean rags to apply the stain, a small drill bit to create the hole to hang the ornament and string to tie through the hole.
Use stained wood to make a birdhouse for functional outdoor use or to keep indoors for decoration. If the birdhouse will actually be used by birds, it must have six sides to create an enclosed structure. Decorative birdhouses can be two-dimensional, which requires much less work. Screw a pointed picket board into a wooden base and use wood glue to apply a gabled roof over the point of the picket. Both types of birdhouses will need to have a small hole through the front-facing board for bird entry. Stained wood birdhouses can be decorated with Spanish moss glued to the roof.