Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wall Decor

When my girlfriend and I lived in a small apartment in New York, we didn't need too much wall decor since our place was so small.  We also lived on the top floor of a cape, and the slanted walls made it hard to hang pictures from.

Now we live in a very large house in Arizona, and we have so much wall space, and not enough decor to fill it.

So instead of spending hundreds on paintings, posters and frames I decided to use some surplus material and make some of our own wall decor.

One of my favorite pieces came about simply by screwing a bunch of wood pieces together.

I had nothing in mind when I did this.  I figured I would think of something to put on it, besides stain.

After staining I sanded it to match everything else in my house.

My girlfriend and I thought of a good quote from a song we liked, so I measured the wood, and printed out templates of the quote.

The printouts fit... I began cutting out the letters...

...and then traced them onto the boards.

I used some white paint to fill in the letters.

And then I sanded the letters to make them look worn too.

I hung it on the wall and it looked good.

With the success of first piece of wall art, I went forward with a few more.  I used more scrap wood and my miter saw to make a series of frames.

I assembled each frame with pocket screws.

After a short time I had 3 frames.

It's rare when I actually get to use my small dremel router table!  So I decided to break it out and make some small bevels onto these frames.

I also made 3 plaques from particle board.

I used my large router to make some nice bevels for the plaques.

3 Frames and 3 Plaques.

The thickest frame was a little too thick, so I added more trim.

Next I masked off the frame of one piece...

...and painted on some blackboard paint.

I also painted blackboard aint onto 2 of the smaller plaques.

The larger plaque received some leftover purple paint.

And I stained the other frames.

The backs of each frame and plaque received a mount for attaching to the wall.

When the stain had dried, I sanded.

At this point 1 frame and 2 plaques are done.

I tested the chalkboards with some chalk.

I hung one up in our guest room.

The 2 smaller plaques were hung up in our living room.

I thought of a quote from one of my fav Beatles songs and printed up some templates to put on one of the frames.

I cut out the letters...

...and traced it on the frame.

Then I used some paint to color in the letters.

Then hung this on the wall as well.

For the other frame my girlfriend thought of a DMB song quote she liked, so I repeated the process.

She really liked how the letters looked when outlined, so we kept it this way.

And then hung that one up as well.

There was one more plaque left over - the purple one.

For this one I drew a graphic of holding hands and printed it out.

I used a soft-graphite pencil to coat the back of the print out.

I then flipped the print out over, and traced the graphic onto the plaque.

Then using a gold paint marker, I drew the hands.

And added another song quote.

And then hung it up!

And not all the wall art I made was for me.  Here's a little one I did for my girlfriend's parent's anniversary.  It started off as a piece of wood that I router and sanded nicely.

...followed by staining and weathering.

I printed out some flourishes and text that was provided to me.

I applied charcoal to the back and taped the printout to the piece of wood.  The charcoal acted like carbon paper as I traced the words and design onto the piece of wood.

Then I used a white paint marker to copy my tracings.

Not too long after I began, I was done with the marker.

I applied some satin polyurethane.

 And I added wall mounts to the back.

And a nice little anniversary plaque is done!

One more thing to show you was this shelf I made for my girlfriend's Game of Thrones figurines:

It started out being another box made out of scrap material.

Then I found some curved piece of leftover wood that were created from doors to a new dartboard cabinet I made.  These pieces looked cool...

so I played around with various other piece and thought this would make a cool looking shelf.

My girlfriend said that she would like a shelf for her many Game of Thrones figurines.

 So I began constructing it using pocket screws and glue.  I routed the edges to make everything look a lot nicer.

I added on the other curved pieces - other leftover pieces of wood, this time from my wall clock build.

Then I added a bottom shelf...

...and a top shelf.

Once the pieces dried, I filled in all the holes with wood filler.

Then I sanded it...

...applied stain...

...and when that dried, I attached wall mounts to the back.

Then I hung it up on the wall and let my girlfriend place her figures on it.

This shelf actually was too small to hold all her figures... I quickly began work on a second one.

This one was more-or-less the same in construction.

But this one was much bigger than the first.

Now all her figures fit on it!

Using more scrap material I whipped up some smaller, less complex shelves.

For the supports to these shelves, I used a lot of curved pieces that were leftover from previous projects.

I routed all the edges of the tops and supports.

And then I screwed all the pieces together.

Then came staining...

...followed by weathering.

The wall mounts that I had been using (the ones that look like teeth) were not working out with my GoT shelves.  Since the nails are so small on those mounts, they can't properly hold up all the weight.  So for these I used D-ring hooks - which I admit are not overly attractive...

...but once mounted to the wall, they can't easily be seen - especially when stuff is in front of them.

Making stuff for display is an ongoing thing.  Most recently I needed to both get rid of scrap wood, and take some of my 'toys' out of my crowded closet.  So I made several wall mounts for some of my stuff out of the scrap wood.

One mount was for my Red Rider BB gun.

Another was for my Air Soft Shot gun.

Of course, I didn't make all my wall decor.  I found this nifty piece in a store and just had to get it.

I still have a lot of wall space to fill up, so I'm sure I'll have some new pieces soon!
Thanks for reading!

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