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How to Create DIY Wood Art

Updated: Dec 13, 2021



Can you believe that these two pieces of art were the first time I used the table saw without Casey's help? I really should've started off with something smaller haha, but I can be super stubborn and wanted to make these while Casey was busy on another project.


After we finished the DIY Wood Slat Wall on the opposite wall I knew I wanted to fill this large space with artwork. I had saved quite a few designs on our Pinterest account, but I ultimately decided to create my own shape and design! Don't ask me how I came up with the diamond shape or the horizontal lines...I simply sketched it up and that was that.


my original sketch and use of painters tape to decide on the size of the artwork


MATERIALS


TOOLS


STEP 1: BUILDING THE ARTWORK


1. Draw out the diamond shape on a piece of 1/2in plywood. This will be your base. The easiest way to draw a diamond is to use a straight edge and draw the vertical line first. Mark the middle point of that vertical line and then use that middle point to draw your horizontal line. The outcome will be a cross shape. From there you can connect the 4 end points of the line using a straight edge. My art dimensions: 40in H x 30in W


2. Cut out the shape using a table saw (which is what I did). You could also use a circular saw with a guide, jigsaw, or bandsaw.


3. Trace the base shape onto an uncut piece of 1/4in plywood. I chose birch because of the minimal grain.


4. Draw a vertical line down the middle of the 1/4in plywood diamond and use the table saw or circular saw to cut it in half. You only need one half of the diamond 1/4in plywood to serve as the front of the wood art. If you are making two (like I did) then you can save the other half for the second piece of artwork!


5. Take a couple of scrap 1/2in plywood pieces and use wood glue and 3/4in nails to secure the scraps to one vertical half of the diamond. These scraps will serve as spacers to raise the height of the 1/4in plywood that sits on top.


6. Now attach the 1/4in plywood that is half the shape of the diamond onto the scraps that you just adhered. The total height of this half of the diamond should be 1 and 1/4in (1/2in plywood + 1/2in plywood + 1/4in plywood).


7. On the other half of the diamond used wood glue and 1.25in nails to secure the 1x2s to the board. I used a 1x2 on its side as a spacer between the horizontal pieces. I started with my 1x2 directly in the center of the diamond and worked up and down from the middle.


8. Allow everything to dry over night. I did not bother cutting my 1x2 pieces to the exact size of the diamond because once everything was dry we used the circular saw to cut off the overhang of each 1x2. It was actually much easier this way than individually cutting each 1x2 prior to application.


before and after cutting the overhang


9. Next up is sanding. Use 150 and then 220 grit over the entire piece of artwork. Don't forget to wipe down with a tack cloth when finished.


10. Use a rag or stain applicator to apply wood conditioner and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.

Use the foam brush and apply the white wash. I allowed it to dry and then applied a second coat.


11. Once all of the stain is dry you can begin building the frame.


12. The easiest way to get the right angles of the diamond is to simply hold up a 1x2 on its side along one edge of the diamond and allow for overhang at both angles of the diamond. Then draw a line on the 1x2 from the point of the diamond. Now you have your angles for the mitered edges and can simply trace these angles onto 4 other pieces of 1x2s.



13. Always dry fit the frame before securing it to make sure they all fit together. We had to sand down one or two sides to make sure they fit.


14. Before installing the frames go ahead and stain them first to make sure you don't get any dark stain on the diamond. I used wood conditioner, then Early American and then white wash before allowing the Early American to completely dry.


15. Use wood glue and 1.25in nails to secure the frame pieces to the diamond art. We bought a band clamp that could match the shape of the diamond to ensure a really tight fit of the frame.


16. Allow to dry overnight.


STEP 2: INSTALLING THE ARTWORK


1. Because the artwork is super heavy we decided to use a french cleat to hang the art. You can buy metal versions of these on Amazon, but we used scrap wood!


2. To make a french cleat you need a long piece of scrap wood. We used a piece of 3/4in plywood we had left over from another project. To make it easy, we used a board that was wide enough to create both side of the cleat (about 8in).


3. Rip a 45 degree cut along the length of the scrap board DOWN THE MIDDLE. We used a table saw. The cut should create two pieces with 45 degree cuts that fit into each other.


4. Secure 1 of the pieces to the back of the diamond closer to the top. The 45 degree angle should be facing down and in (picture for reference). We used wood glue and 1.25in nails. Allow to dry.



5. The other cleat will be secured to the wall with the mitered edge facing up and out (picture for reference). We used 2 screws in the stud and then 4 dry wall anchors on either side into the drywall. Ideally you could hit two studs and not have to use additional drywall anchors, but our art was not wide enough, so we only hit 1 stud and opted to use an additional 4 drywall anchors.


6. It is easier if you drill pilot holes in the cleat and the wall before you attach it, but it is not necessary. When installing drywall anchors you have to drill a pilot hole in the wall first and then insert the anchor.



7. Hang the piece of art so that the two angled pieces of wood fit and you're done!


check out sources and more tutorials for our guest bedroom here


Check out our Instagram for more highlights of the building and install process! And as always, feel free to reach out with any questions.