Art from Scraps

Today’s DIY Art is really the easiest and cheapest things I have ever made for my walls. It isn’t really art, though…..I mean, I think it is…..I love it and it is just what I needed to bring a little colour to a corner in my living room. It just wasn’t “intended” to be art (you know the thing you just make on a whim that turns out more awesome than you expected….happens everyday, right!?).

I makeover furniture a lot and in the process I have lots of “scraps” – bits of wood, mirrors & broken bits…a lot of it just gets thrown out or donated…..but sometimes there is a piece that speaks to me. These two bits of wood just did that! They use to hold a mirror in place in the back of a dresser, they were all battered and covered in rusty nails and I instantly LOVED them! At first I thought I could make a cute sign out of them. but, then I remembered my corner and an idea was born.

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

I have to admit, I didn’t plan a design out…..I just winged it! At first I thought of doing random diagonal stripes but then I remembered I loved the current arrow trend and thought it would be fun to bring a little “whimsy” with arrow inspired elements.


Basic Supplies:

  • Bits of wood (you could do this with newer pieces just stain them first)
  • Paint – I used Milk Paint – Miss Mustard Seed: Kitchen Scale, Ironstone, Typewriter & Apron Strings plus Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Marigold Yellow (I just happen to have all of these on hand – you can use acrylic paint)
  • Masking Tape
  • Stanley Knife
  • D-Rings for Hanging

Art from Scraps | Colour Saturated Life -

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

Using your Masking Tape make a cross over your wood.

Art from Scraps | Colour Saturated Life -

Using your Stanley Knife cut along the top edge to cut excess Masking Tape (follow the line of the masking tape beneath) so you just have an arrow left. Then repeat to create more arrows (the gaps are where your paint will go).

Art from Scraps | Colour Saturated Life -

Paint your gaps.

Art from Scraps | Colour Saturated Life -

Remove tape, wait for paint to dry and repeat!

Art from Scraps | Colour Saturated Life -

I created this design in 3 sections on each piece of wood….. I planned to hang these in a staggered way so I lay them down how I wanted them hung.

I began with the arrows on top – be random in your spacing and arrow size (it’s all about looking like you aren’t trying hard….when really you are trying hard not to try hard!) – it looks more organic somehow.

I didn’t want any colour to really stand out anymore than the rest so I used them randomly also…..I always try for balance and then chuck in one unexpectedly….

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

Once one piece was done I designed the second to fit with it so that the colours balance well and the patterns were not too matchy-matchy.

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

This piece is really all about going with the flow…..though there is method in my madness! But, I want to emphasis that the great thing about this type of piece is if you make mistakes….it is okay….we do not want perfection….flaws are a good thing!

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

See those gorgeous nails!

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

Art Class: Cool Stick Thingies | Colour Saturated Life -

As you can see I left a lot of the wood exposed….and that overall each piece is divided in three sections (arrows on top, diagonal lines with side arrows in the middle, then more diagonal lines on the bottom). This was a conscious decision, when it comes to design, generally speaking, I use odd numbers, they just feel more balanced…..don’t ask me why, it is just how my brain works! I even use odd numbered arrangements in styling…again it’s a balance thing!

These took me about 30mins to create and cost me absolutely nothing! The best art is always free! (don’t you think?) The other great thing about creating this kind of Art is that when you get sick of it (this is always bound to happen with me), you can just get rid of it, guilt free!  (I prefer living guilt-free, it is better for my digestion!)

So… it is your turn, get out there and create people! AND…. be fearless and never take art too seriously!


 You may find me linking up to:

| House of Hipsters | Classy Clutter | AKA Design & Life | Live Laugh Rowe | Beyond the Picket Fence

|Living Well Spending Less | Ginger Snap Crafts |Home Made by Carmona | Her Organized Chaos

| Snap Creativity | The DIY Dreamer | This Silly Girl’s Life | Tip Junkie | The DIY Mommy

 | Home Stories A to Z | Sugar Bee Crafts | Lil Mrs Tori | Someday Crafts | Miss Mustard Seed

| Becoming Martha | I Should be Mopping the Floor | Huckleberry Love | Sand & Sisal | Mum Takes Five

  • Eliza - February 24, 2015 - 8:33 pm

    What a lovely simple little tutorial! I love a DIY project that is quick, simple and anyone can make!

    Thanks for contributing to The Sunday Brunch Magazine!

    All the best,

    Eliza & Bel.ReplyCancel

  • Kyla @HouseOfHipsters - February 4, 2015 - 3:47 am

    These are gorgeous! I think I’ve seen you post images of these before. I had no idea they were a DIY. You’re such a talented lady!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - February 4, 2015 - 9:30 pm

      Yes, they were in my post on how I display photography in my home 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Wood Projects Anyone Can Make | Inspiration² Link Party | My Fabuless Life - January 30, 2015 - 12:25 am

    […]  Art From Scraps | Colour Saturated Life Antique Drawer Side Table | Live Randomly Simple Organization Board | This Silly Girl’s Life Gold Sequin Wood Letters | The Rustic Willow Rustic Wood Centerpiece | Blooming Homestead DIY Wooden Braclet Holders | Toolbox Divas […]ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - January 27, 2015 - 12:34 pm

    I love this! I love the colors against the wood! I’m going to share this. Thanks for linking this up at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week. It goes live tonight at 9pm CST. Can’t wait to see what else you have to share! Hope to see you there!


  • Christine - January 27, 2015 - 1:13 am

    Oh Gilly!! I just love it all!!! Absolutely beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - January 27, 2015 - 5:39 pm

      Thanks Christine, glad you like it 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - January 25, 2015 - 12:44 pm

    Saw your link in Weekend Retreat and was immediately drawn in. Great design, thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Erica - January 24, 2015 - 4:50 am

    Oooh, I LOVE these. Beautiful and so easy to make. Pinning! Found you at Weekend Retreat!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - January 27, 2015 - 5:40 pm

      Thanks Erica! And thanks for pinning!ReplyCancel

  • Tania - January 23, 2015 - 1:27 pm

    I love these! What a great idea to use those scraps and I love the way you chose to paint them!


    • Gilly - January 23, 2015 - 5:30 pm

      Thanks Tania!ReplyCancel

  • LZ Cathcart - January 23, 2015 - 10:25 am

    I don’t like to throw away anything! I always enjoy seeing the way others re-purpose things!! Great ideas!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - January 23, 2015 - 5:30 pm

      I am so glad I am not alone in seeing potential in junk!ReplyCancel

  • jessica - January 22, 2015 - 11:45 pm

    OMG I love LOVE LOVE these! I have to make a set for my home STAT! I hope you hop over to my blog and link up! I would be honored to have you!! 🙂

    • Gilly - January 23, 2015 - 5:31 pm

      Let me know if you do make some, I would love to see it!ReplyCancel

  • Carissa Rasmussen - January 21, 2015 - 11:12 am

    super cute!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - January 21, 2015 - 2:52 pm

      Thanks Carissa!ReplyCancel

  • Heather {Woods of Bell Trees} - January 20, 2015 - 7:07 pm

    I love this Gilly!ReplyCancel

  • Laura Irion // Avery Street Design - January 20, 2015 - 10:43 am

    Great project!! Thanks for sharing at Found & Foraged. Love it.ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - January 20, 2015 - 1:35 pm

      Thanks Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Cherry Powell - January 18, 2015 - 12:45 pm

    The mark of a true artist is to take something so ordinary, see its potential and turn it into art.ReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - January 16, 2015 - 6:03 am

    This is so cute! Pinning!ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - January 16, 2015 - 4:48 pm

      Thanks Ashley!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - January 15, 2015 - 11:15 pm

    This is so pretty! I just love how it turned out! Who knew scraps had so much potential?!?ReplyCancel

    • Gilly - January 15, 2015 - 11:29 pm

      Thanks Katie! I just wish I had more scraps now!ReplyCancel

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