I am thrilled to bring you the next installment of the “Art Fix” series! Today we are going to have a little fun together because we are going to get our craftswoman on and build our art! Yes, I just said BUILD! I actually really love working with all sorts of tools, but I know it can be intimidating, especially if is not really your thing! But really, this is a simple DIY! I have called today’s art a “Typography Art Block” and what is really great about the art block is that you can use the wood base for lots of different pieces of art (and I will be bringing some of these ideas to the blog in the near future). I based my design around one of my favourite quotes by artist Henri Matisse……..
Don’t you just love the quote?!…it is very true….I hope to inspire you to be courageous! I designed this in Photoshop but you don’t have to do that part because if you keep reading you can download it for FREE! This is the first thing I have made for my office…..
You will need: A length of Pine (I bought 2.4m which was 410 x 170mm thick), 7 mm thick Plywood Panel (I bought a sheet 400 x 1200mm) You don’t need this much wood to make just one, I made two at the same time and had a lot of plywood left over (but I know I will use it) You will also need wood glue, wood stain, Mod Podge, masking tape & Your Printed Design (on cardstock not paper and don’t print with an ink printer use laser or toner).
Tools Required: Saw, Mitre Box, G-Clamps, Jig-Saw, Sander, Hard Roller, Ruler & Pencil
We are now going to build a box the same size as our printed design (mine was A4 which is 210 x 297mm, but you can make it any size!). First we want to cut a 45° angle on one end of your length of pine using your mitre box. Now for those of you not familiar with a mitre box it is the weird yellow thing in the above picture, it has 3 slots (one straight and two 45° slots) you put your saw through these slots and cut (see picture below, here I have my saw at a 45° angle). I like to clamp my wood while cutting, just so it doesn’t move.
Below is the first cut with a 45° angle, next we need to make our first measurement (297mm) you need to start at the longest point on your angle and then cut another 45° angle that is opposite to the last (see second below picture).
You will have one length like above, you need to cut another 297mm length repeating the same steps, then two more at 210mm repeating the same steps. We then place all our 4 pieces together to make a box frame like below. All you need to do now is glue the corners together, as this is not load bearing and we will be gluing a plywood top to it you won’t need more than glue. I just placed mine on newspaper and squeezed the corners together and left it to dry. (the newspaper may stick to your wood but we will cover that with our plywood so don’t worry about it)
While your corners are drying we need to cut our plywood panel the same size as our printed design (297 x 210mm). I just laid a piece of A4 paper on my plywood and used my ruler to draw lines around it. Next you need to use your jig-saw to cut the shape out. Cut outside the lines you have drawn not on them, give yourself a little room (it is okay if it is slightly bigger, but we don’t want it to be smaller….trust me, I learnt the hard way!).
Now you have the top for your art block, we need to glue that onto the frame we made (that is now glued together and dry). Place glue all around the frame, like below. (use plenty of glue…don’t be skimpy!)
Clamp your plywood top on over the glue and wipe away an excess glue. (I also placed some heavy books over the middle just to give it extra pressure)
Once your glue is dried we need to sand our rough edges. You can see the rough edges below, plus I had a little overhang I sanded back.
You want nice smooth edges that are flush with your pine, like below.
Now you don’t have to do this next step especially if you prefer the raw timber but I want to show you how I stained just my edges. Using masking tape, I taped off the top and burnished the edges of the tape to prevent bleed through. I then stained and varnished the edges of my art block.
How pretty does the stained timber look?!!! This is the stain I plan to use through my office so it will look perfect with all my other dark timber.
Now we are going to apply our printed design to the plywood top. You will be using Mod Podge (I prefer Matte but that is personal taste) and a hard roller to apply our design.
Apply a THIN layer of your Mod Podge to your plywood top. You want to make sure you go to all the edges and not to apply too much Mod Podge!
Now place your design onto the Mod Podge and using a scrap piece of paper to prevent marks, roll over your design with your hard roller and go to all the edges making certain your cardstock is stuck completely to the plywood and make sure it is smooth with no air bubbles. Leave it to dry COMPLETELY! (now you are probably wondering why I keep yelling at you! Well if you don’t follow these instructions when working with the Mod Podge you will get wrinkles in your paper and that will just suck and you will blame me! So trust me on this…..follow these directions!)
Once it is dried completely you want to cover the design in a THICK layer of Mod Podge and then leave it to dry. Then apply a second coat, leave to dry.
Once it is dry you have this beautiful free standing piece of art you made yourself!
Don’t you just love that wood grain (don’t mind me as I wipe up the drool!).
Now I know this is way more complicated than colouring-in which was our first project but really once you embrace your inner craftswoman you can totally rock this. Plus, I have made it a little easier for you as I am giving you a free printable of my design! Yey me!
And if you are feeling completely overwhelmed print this out and buy a frame…..and call it done…..I promise I won’t judge 🙂
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