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DIY: Tree Wall Art

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Wanna see the very first project I did, and probably still my favorite to date?

Like I have already said in a previous post, I love trees. I find them very peaceful and beautiful, so when my husband and I first moved into our house and I got a look at our 14 foot walls in the living room, I instantly thought of putting a tree on it.
Note: I think it speaks volume of how supportive my husband is that when I first asked (having no previous experience with making things) “Hey, would it be ok if I put a giant tree here?” that he instantly said “yeah, that would be cool” and let me get on my way with it. Yep, I am blessed. : )

Ok ok, enough praises for him…down to business. Here is the finished product….

It clocks in at just over 14 feet high and is four pieces, not including the birds. If you are interested, here are step by steps.1) With my imagination over reaching my drawing skills (meaning even my stick figures turn out looking like a lamp post wearing a hat) I went online and found a tree that would work for the space here.

2) Next I went to home depot and bought two sheets of oak plywood, which come in 4 feet by 8 feet sheets, and with the help of my husband, I was able to screw the sheets into place so that I could take the tree I found online and project it up on the wall. Once I positioned it just right, I took out a mechanical pencil and went to town tracing it.

Note: don’t worry too much about getting the lines just right, especially with something like a tree, because once you get it on the wood you are able to go back and correct anything you don’t like. I spent probably two hours going over every single branch making sure I liked the width and the length and the curve and everything else. I just erased anything that looked a little funky and made it the way I wanted.

3) Now I took the oak sheets off the wall and hauled them out to the garage to start the cutting process.

Here is a Wilker Don’t: I waited until June to take on this project which might not be a problem for you but I live in Texas. The summer days were about 100-102 and I was sweating like crazy working out in my stuffy garage. Turning on fans would only blow sawdust in my face, and it was just a mess. So, if you plan this out, I would plan for a cooler part of the year to start.

4) The next step was to just start cutting! I used a jigsaw and really there isn’t special trick, this project just required a lot of patience. I couldn’t go too fast or the wood would start splintering off, and I would still have to stop every few mins and cool off the blade: I would damp a small throw away cloth and when the blade would heat up too much, I would stop cutting and use the damp cloth to cool it down. I started from one side and just continued on with it.

I grabbed a paint brush as something to quickly brush away the saw dust so I could see the lines I was cutting and just kept on keepin on.

Finally, after all that hard work a tree limb appeared!

..… aaaannnnd then I got started on the next one…. : 0

Hours later…

Once this second piece was finished, that competed the canopy. Next I cut out the trunk which was made up of two separate pieces, because in order for the grain to keep it’s consistency and all run the same way (I picked horizontal), I had to cut the plywood and lay it horizontal instead of vertical. If you plan to paint your project instead of staining it then you don’t need to worry about which direction the grain is running.

5) I made sure everything fit the way it should then gave it a light sand job to just smooth out some of the rough edges. Then I picked out some pretty stain and went to town again. Note: I used the color Red Oak

After letting the front stain dry, I went along the sides and stained them too. As you can see in the below photo, this really darken the overall color so be careful when you are choosing your stain.

 

6) Next I grab my nail gun and portable air compressor and with the help of my husband (again) and two of our best friends, I started hanging the sucker! I still need to go back and fix the switches we moved to make room for the tree, but after all that work I was ready sit down.
Note: I used liquid nail on top of 2″ nails because I did not have many limbs that fell on a stud. So I figured between the two, it should be plenty supported.

Total Time: 5 days, with very little sleep
Total Cost: $75

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