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DIY Wood Art

Updated: Mar 10

DIY modern wood art
DIY Modern Wood Art

Ok, so this isn’t rocket science or fancy fine art, but it does take time, patience, and the right tools.

Materials: Wood, wood glue, saw, plywood or alternative, stain/paint/both, French cleat

Base: Plywood (do not use thin plywood that will bow). You can basically use anything that you can glue onto that won’t bow. This is a heavy project, and needs sturdy materials. If you are doing a smaller piece, I wouldn’t worry as much.

Wood: really any decent wood will do: pine, fir, oak etc….. I wanted to use cedar, which is pricier than some, but my dad had a bunch leftover from some cedar siding he put on the house years ago, so. I jumped at the chance. The good thing about cedar is that is smells great and does well with moisture, so its great for bathrooms and even outdoor art. On top of that, cedar holds stains really really well, so you can get a great variation in colors.

Saw: I used a table saw, but use whatever tickles your fancy….

Stain: I used a variety of leftover stains I had laying around. Next time I will probably drop the blocks into the stain instead of painting it on. Many of my blocks I left the natural color because cedar has a lot of unique variations.

Paint: I painted the edge of the plywood greed for just a little pop of color. I also used watered down acrylic paint to make a grey and black wash for some of my blocks.

French cleat: This is a really sturdy way to hang larger, heavier objects from the wall. Here’s a link to one: French Cleat on Amazon.


Blocks: I cut my wood into 7 different depths to create enough variation to not look like a pattern. All blocks were cut to the same height and width. Some of the blocks I cut at an angle to create even more variation I also left as much texture and grain variation to my wood to keep it interesting to look at.

I pre-arranged my blocks on my board to ensure color, size and texture variation. Then I glued it all down using wood glue! I clamped down straight edges on perpendicular sides to make sure that I had a straight line to push against.

Even after I “finished” I went back and painted a few blocks because once I stood it up, I thought I needed more dark tones. So don’t be discouraged if it’s not how you want it when you expect it to be.

That’s it! Good luck!

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