Using Scrap Wood to Make Art Piece

Here is my latest project! I needed a big piece of art for a blank wall and was able to make one up for the awesome price of $0.

So my husband’s family brand is a W with the middle turned into an A. The boys for generations have been named Alex and the brand has been passed down with it. Well it’s just a cool coincidence that my name is also an A, so my initials are AW as well. I had been wanting to do something cool with the brand for a while now but just couldn’t figure out how I wanted to go about it. I was really leaning towards cutting it out of metal, but then I was flipping through Family Handyman magazine and this Craftsman AD caught my attention.

See that R he made? Way. Too. Cool. After seeing this, the brand’s fate was decided and I started towards my shop…

1) First thing I did was drag out my projector, hook my computer up then pulled up a Word document. I typed a W and found a font I liked for this project then projected it on my wall in the spot I wanted to hang it so that I could get an idea of how big I wanted the thing.

Note: I know what you’re thinking….getting rid of that paneling is next on my list of things to do, so please just ignore it.

So there’s my W, and about how big I want it.

2) I grab my big roll of brown paper (found in the mailing supply section of Home Depot), and taped up enough paper to cover the entire image.

3) Next I traced.

4) After getting the W on the brown paper, I pulled up the A in the same font and size so that I could get the horizontal member just right.

5) Now I pulled the paper down and cut it out with an exacto knife.

Hm, I guess I didn’t snap a photo of the finished stencil…..sorry bout that

6) Then I put my giant stencil on a piece of 1/4 plywood and traced it onto the wood.

7) Then cut it out using a jigsaw

Wilkerdon’t: So I used 1/4″ in order to cut down on some of the weight, but if I had to do it over again I would use 1/2″. The 1/4″ is just too flimsy.

8) I gathered up all my small scrap 3/4″ pine pieces and just started laying them down. I started at the top and worked from left to right. I would vary the direction, but I tried not to put too much thought into it because I really wanted it to look random. I would lay about 3 or 4 pieces down then use my brad nailer to nail them in place.

After getting the left leg finished, I wasn’t sure this was going in a good direction. So I skipped to the next step without finishing. Hey, if I was going to hate it, then I didn’t want to waste anymore time. ; )

9) So I flipped the W on it’s face and used my jigsaw to trim up the scraps. Note: I wasn’t trying to get the top material flush with the stencil just yet. I just wanted to cut away most of the material in order to get a visual on whether this project was going to be a bust.

10) It looked good, so I flipped it back over and kept going with the rest.

11) After the entire AW was covered, I flipped it over and used my jigsaw to cut away most of the material.

Once I had all the pieces on there, I started seeing some I didn’t like. So I would just pry them up and put a new piece down.

12) Now with most of the extra material cut off, I went back with my router, using a flush trim bit, to make those sides perfect with the stencil beneath it. If you don’t have a router, then just take your time with the jigsaw and use a sanding block to finish it.

Now I need to decide how I want to finish it. I’m thinking I will just put some poly on it, but I might decide to go with a light stain. I won’t hang it up until I re-do the wall it’s going on, so I’ll add an update later to show off the finished product.**Update**
I was finally able to work on that wall and hang the AW up. Instead of using just poly, I ended up using a greywash stain so that it would still stand out but not as much as leaving it bare.For step by step instructions on how I updated the wall click here.

Then! My parents bought me a scroll saw for my birthday so I was able to add a little somethin somethin to jazz it up even more…
I first made a stencil for the Est. 2006, then cut it out with an exacto knife, then traced it on 3/4 pine scrap wood. Next I cut it out using my awesome new Dremel Moto-Saw then used my brad nailer to stick each letter to the wall. Tip: Use a small torpedo level to keep your letters even.

Total Time: 4 hours
Total Cost: $0