DIY Wooden State Art

Last week I posted about a DIY Wedding Guest Book Alternative (here), and this week I’m following up with a little DIY gift I made the bride and groom… but it’s totally something you could just make for yourself and frankly I probably will make one for myself because it’s freaking awesome.

I used cut and stained plywood as well as a painted canvas to make a very cute piece of art:

DIY plywood state art- rhode island

I don’t have a ton of in process pictures because I had no idea if I could successfully make those cuts, but let me break it down for you…

Create your state:

  • I googled “Rhode Island outline” and then brought the image I chose into my Silhouette Cameo and cut the shape out onto paper to create my template. (You could also just print and cut out the design yourself if you don’t have a Silhouette)
  • Trace the template onto your plywood with a pencil, then use a Jigsaw or Skillsaw to cut it out. Holy cow is tough- but you will feel like a superhero once you’ve succeeded. I used a jigsaw and very slowly and very carefully cut this out in sections. Please be careful not to cut your fingers off and also wear safety goggles. I am literally the worst at safety precautions but you need to be careful when a power saw is inches from your precious fingers.

Note: I did not use a “scrolling” blade because it kept bending, the plywood was too thick for it. I used the “10 TPI smooth” blade with my saw set to “curved” and that worked much better. There are different blades to switch in and out of your jigsaw to help you cut different materials and achieve different edges.Jig Saw settings- black and decker

  • Once you’ve cut it cut out, sand down all your edges and wipe it with a damp cloth
  • Stain with your desired color! Pictured is Minwax Special Walnut, one heavy coat.

Paint your canvas:

  • As you can probably tell, I am not an artist (sorry, lower right section of the canvas), but I thought the ombre look would be perfect for this. I used a test size of Behr’s Smokey Blue and feathered it on with a bristle brush, mixing in a little bit of pure white paint at each layer.
  • For some reason I added a little water to the paint because I thought it would be too thick, and that was a bad idea. So, if you use wall paint instead of actual painting-a-canvas-paint, don’t water it down. It’s fine.
  • Let it dry completely!

Once your canvas and stained wood are dry, it’s time to bring them together! I used Gorilla super glue to adhere the state to the canvas… and this is trickier then it sounds because you want to press the wood and canvas together while it dries. Your canvas is wrapped around a frame, which means when you place the canvas down the edges sit on your surfaced and the middle is suspended… so toss a book under there, then glue your state where you want it, and then put a weight or another big heavy book over the state to sandwich it together while it dries. Perhaps this doesn’t make sense? Let me know if you have questions!

Anyway! Voila!wood and painted canvas state art

This piece isn’t perfectly sanded smooth, but I kind of like that because the edges of the state aren’t perfectly smooth either, you know? Also, it’s hard to sand in those little grooves and the wedding was like 12 hours from when I started this project so I was kind of in a time crunch. 🙂

personalized state art gift- a DIY project from Sandpaper And Glue


DIY Stretched Fabric Canvas (with a shower curtain!)

I am slowlyyyy working on updating my living room to be a bit lighter, brighter, and (gulp) more colorful. It started with  painting over my Sharpie Stencil Wall, which was a little painful to do but necessary for the vision I’ve got for my living room. Even though that wall took a lot of hours to complete, it cost under $5 so it wasn’t too big of a hit.

For reference, here’s a semi-recent picture of my living room:

neutral gray living roomI painted over the faux stencil wall with one coat of primer, then 2 coats of Behr’s White Truffle- which is the same color as our entryway, stairway, and split level landing. That black bench is gone now due to a little puppy rambunctiousness that was totally adorable and worth it. (RIP bench, gone but not forgotten.)

Once the wall was painted, it came time to make some GIGANTIC art to cover that new blank wall with! I order THIS shower curtain and it is awesome. I washed (cold water!) and dried it, then ironed it forever.

Next was the fun part- I laid the shower curtain out on the floor and measured out a frame of 1×2’s. Since this piece is so big, I used my Kreg Jig pocket hole maker to make a square frame with several braces in the middle. Here’s what it looked like while I was dry fitting it all together:

sry fit the 1x2 frame for a DIY canvas

And in case you’re nervous about making pocket holes, here’s a quick one handed video I shot of me using it. It’s a piece of cake!! I used a little wood glue at the joints as well, just in case.

After the frame was built, I stretched the fabric over it and stapled it in place. I put two staples on each side just to hold it in place, then my husband pulled from one side while I stretched and stapled the other (having two people just helps make sure everything stays center and also really tight).

A million staples later and it was done. And, because it’s just some 1×2’s and a shower curtain it’s super lightweight- I used one anchor screw to hang it and that’s it.

Here’s a view from the back once it was built and the fabric was stapled on:

add support pieces into your DIY large scale frame

Once on the wall it looked great, but not me yet. It needed some BAZAM. Which in my world, means it needed some gold. I’m not patient enough to go to the store and get fabric medium, so I just grabbed some gold craft paint, mixed it with a little water to thin it out, then painted in the top of the curtain and a few other spots. Much better!

tutorial on extra large DIY art from a shower curtain

The shower curtain was about $50 and the 1×2’s were about $10, so for $60 I have a really cool piece of art that’s bigger than me! For reference, I am 5 feet tall. 🙂

home made stretched canvas art

To orient a bit in the house, this is a shared freestanding wall for the kitchen and living room. You can enter the living room from both the left and right sides of it, as well as from the stairs that lead to our second level.

In real life, this area looks like this:

how to turn a large cotton shower curtain into DIY wall art

Hellooooo eye sore cat tree! I’ve accepted you in my life, but I’m not happy about it.

As of today, the living room is looking like this:

unique living room wall decor ideas

I think I’m going to be painting the chairs white, but I kind of like the zebra pattern against the wave pattern so I may not reupholster them. I’m also going to redo the black coffee table and its’ two matching end tables…. wait till you see what I have in mind!

DIY stretched fabric canvas wall art from a cotton shower curtain


Interested in making custom art? Here’s some more ideas you might like:
wood shim wall art pennant

DIY Glazed Sunburst Mirror

minwax frog tape wall art DIY

DIY Wood Stain Wall Art

My Dad is the director of the senior center in my hometown, which is about 5 minutes outside out of Boston. So it totally makes sense that he has a southwestern themed office… right? Right! Anyway, I’m obviously always down for decorating anything so I told him I’d make some large scale art for him.

Enter: 3ft x 2ft wood stained and burned wall art:

wood stain large wall art diy

I bought 2 pine boards at Home Depot and had them cut in half (about $16 total). When I got home I used Gorilla Glue to initially attached the boards, and later screwed 2 1×2’s to the back for extra security (and added some D-rings for hanging).

After I let the glue dry I lightly sanded the boards and marked them up for stain:

frog tape outline on wall art

I used the chevron Frog Tape along the edges (in yellow) and 1 inch Frog Tape (in green) to mark the first round of stain. After the first round of staining, I pulled the tape off (while the stain was still wet) and let it dry for a day. Then I taped the next area I wanted taped off for round two.

There was a little bleeding here and there, but that was mostly my fault for loading on too much stain and actually I really like that it came out a little imperfect- looks more rustic that way. I used a lot of different colors and 3 types of stain (just 1 coat of each- painted it on with a foam brush then wiped it off with a rag):

minwax stain types

The color stain was awesome and goes on just as regular liquid wood stain does, the finishing cloths were great for really controlling exactly where the stain went (I used them in round 2 of staining), and the express color was sort of a gel consistency- probably my least favorite, but the most vibrant for sure.

After all the stain was dried, I used a wood burning pen to outline the center designs a bit more. This side by side shows the wood burning in the middle and how crisp the lines are between each color:

wood burn up closeOverall, this thing came out freaking awesome and I can’t wait to give it to my dad when I see him this weekend. For now, here’s how it looks staged in my office:

wood stain wall art large DIY

It’s baller. Also, it can be hung tall ways (as seen above) or long ways (with 2 screws and the D-rings already on back). I wish it matched the style of my house so I could make 900 more and plaster my walls with them. But for now, I guess I’ll just have my dad text me a picture of it in his space.

how to make wood stain art

What do you think? Are you loving the color? Or the wood burned detail? I personally love the green diamonds the most.

minwax frog tape wall art DIY

Minwax provided some of the stain for this project, but it was after I pitched this idea to them so all opinions and reviews are 100% mine. All day every day.

DIY Wood Shim Frame

Three years ago when we moved into this house there was some drywall that needed to be patched in the basement, and for some reason we bought a giant bundle of 3-4ft long wood shims to help with the repair… at the time I didn’t know you could buy neat little packages of 4 inch wood shims. And it’s a good thing too, because I’ve used them for a ton of stuff around the house (like this sunburst mirror).

A few days ago Brave New Home posted about her DIY Faux Pull Down Map and it re-inspired me to get cracking on my long forgotten giant wall map. It had been hanging in the guest room with push pins, but was so heavy it fell down, at which point it got shoved in the back of a closet (for about a year, whoops) until I could think of a plan.

Well- the plan has been thought of and executed:

DIY wood shim frame how to

It’s a little crude, but it works. Basically, I took 4 of my leftover wood shims and cut them down to size (just used a miter block for this since they’re so thin, it took about 10 minutes). Once cut I stained them to match the top of my cloffice desk. Then came the tough part, attaching the map. Here’s some tips:

  • Use painters tape to secure the map how and where you want it, then flip it over slowlyyyyy
  • Check that your staples aren’t too long, and if they are you can try hot glue instead (that’s what Brave New Home used and hers held up fine)
  • Make sure to smooth it out constantly as you’re stapling so it sits tight on the shims

Once I stapled the map to the 4 individual shims, the corners needed a bit more support so I used some teeny, tiny nails to secure wood scraps along the edges and to the top center. The sawtooth hanger on there is from a pack of about 10 that I got for $2 at Michael’s, they’re one of those things I always keep in my hoard.


wood shim frame diy easy


I think it looks great against the gray walls and really helps to warm up the room a bit.

easy DIY frame

The edges butt up against each other almost perfectly but unless you’re really picking it apart you can’t really tell where it’s imperfect. And I kind of like the imperfectness anyways, it looks a little rustic.

DIY framed wall map

Dutch is a big fan. He’s already planning some wordly travels.

DIY large frame

And here’s your pinnable image. 😉


I think I want to do something similar with the “You Can Go Your Own Way” art that’s next to it but um, I sort of spilled the rest of the stain on my sunroom floor and it was a discontinued color soooooo I need to hunt down something close. Whoops.

What do you think? Any questions?

DIY Headboard Necklace?

One day I’d love to eat at the kitchen table without having to clear all my craft projects off it first. Matt would like that day to be 2.5 years ago… so we’ve decided to convert the guest room into a half guest room/half office space for me. The office part is going to be built into the closet (when the weather is warmer so I can cut and stain wood outside), but the rest of the room really needed a face lift. Here’s where we last left the room:

I painted the room orange when we moved in because I wanted at least one room to be a bright color. This is Cantelope by Behr.

I painted the room orange when we moved in because I wanted at least one room to be a bright color. This is Cantaloupe by Behr.

I actually did love the orange color, but I wanted a more neutral palate to be creative in and I want to sort of even out all the color scheme of the house. I had leftover Partridge Gray from the striped sunroom  so after a coat of primer (2 coats cutting in) and 1.5 coats of Partridge Gray (Better Homes & Garden, color matched to Behr), the room is looking like this:

Still lots to be done, but it's a start

Still lots to be done, but it’s a start

I feel like I can breathe when I walk in there now.

So at this point you’re probably wondering…. what the heck is a head board necklace?

IMG_2921That giant beige thing behind the bed is actually a huge face-in-a-hole cut out made by a friend for our backyard wedding reception (you can see it in action here) covered up with a $10 painting drop cloth. There’s nowhere “away” to store it, so I decided to use it as sort of a headboard in this room- it needs to be easily covered and uncovered (so we can use it!) and work with the room.


  • I watched this YouTube video to learn how to make a tassel- 4 are yarn and 2 are baker’s twine.
  • Then I braided the yarn and bakers twine into the “necklace”.
  • The wood slice is from Michaels (about $8, but use a 40% off coupon!), and the text was cut out with my silhouette cameo and painstakingly placed on. Once the text was on, I painted it with a clear coat of poly.
  • The drop cloth and necklace are both held on with clear thumb tacks
I like to call this font "Tim Burton Calligraphy" because it's all stringy and scrolly- I had to stretch it around a lot to get it to fit how I wanted it to.

 The original art for the quote  it can be found here, I just adjusted it when I got it into the Silhouette Cameo software.

If you noticed in the reveal picture there was also a map with some text on it. Also with my Silhouette Cameo, I cut out a Stevie Nicks quote to go on the map and hung it on up with tape:

The map is from an old atlas, one day it will get a frame or mount.

The map is from an old atlas, one day it will get a frame or mount.

Still to do:

  • Swap out the chunky white nightstand with some short, slim wooden nightstands (update: done! HERE!)
  • DIY a roman blind?
  • Build my office space! (update: done! HERE!)
  • Update the bedding? It’s really old

Featuring: Broke Ass Home’s Giant Clock

Usually I don’t post on Thursdays, but I just had to make an exception to feature my friend Emma’s super awesome DIY wall clock.

clock title

When I saw this post my immediate reaction was WOAH. That is one impressive giant clock. Even if the shape or color isn’t your thing, it’s a pretty awesome idea to make your own XL wall clock for under $50. Because there’s no way you’re going to find one in a store that cheap.

If you want to do this project, here is what you need:

  • Plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Paint
  • Clock Kit
  • Hanging Kit
All the colors on this clock pop up somewhere else in  the Broke Ass Home- which is sort of my favorite part.

All the colors on this clock pop up somewhere else in the Broke Ass Home- which is sort of my favorite part.

Hop on over to Broke Ass Home to see how it’s done!!

Oh, and speaking of giant plywood creations, have you seen Boxy Colonial‘s whale?! Holy moly I’m in love.

nursery whale 2


So if an extra large splat shaped clock isn’t your thing, maybe a ginormous sea creature shaped one is?  Personally, I think I’m going to need to make myself a giant plywood dog….


Spray Paint Projects

I’ve formally declared December the month I get things done, and have thus decided that includes blog organization as well as home organization. The “Project Central” page in my header has just been a lazy link to Pinterest for about a year now and it’s time I made it an actual comprehensive list. I thought that since I’ve gained so many new followers that instead of just moving everything over there, I’d divide it up into categories and post about it as well so you can all check out anything you’ve missed that you might have wanted to see.

Today I’m gathering my spray paint projects (in no particular order):

  1. DIY Sunburst Mirror
  2. Dresser redo
  3. Spray painted and glazed accent chest
  4. Spray painted and reupholstered chair
  5. Spray painted shutters
  6. Spray painting a metal mirror

spray paint collage