Scrap Wood Art


If you have ever had the pleasure of coming to my house you would soon discover my home is basically a gallery of all my art and love for the color green. I refuse to buy paintings and wall art as I tend to convince myself why buy it when I can custom paint something GREEN to match my decor! LOL! So as you can imagine I have a lot of "to do" projects always piling up. Anyhoo, today I am excited to share with you my most recent creation!

I regret the lighting in my house isn't great.
I cannot take credit for this creation as my own idea. I discovered this off of a friends craft page. She shares links to others crafts, ideas, and tutorials. There you can find pages of things to keep you busy! If you are interested in seeing her page go to: Keep Calm Craft On. The original creator to this amazing creation is from a blog called Salvage Love. There you can see a more step by step tutorial. However I will share with you what it took me to create mine and my experience.

  • 1 large sheet of plywood (Make yours to desired size. Mine is about 3.5'x6.5' and about 3/4" thick.
  • Approximately 100 pieces of wood of various sizes and depths.
  • Paint (I mixed my own acrylic blends making about 6 or 7 colors) 
  • A couple styrofoam sponge rollers (those are so much better than sponge, no splatter messes!)
  • Sandpaper
  • Liquid Nails (this stuff is pretty amazing)
  • Table Saw (or if you are me a jig saw, YES I am a mean chick with a jig saw!)
  • Safety Goggles
  • Clamps (Optional but really useful for pieces of wood that are warped and need reshaping)

Let me start by saying this is no quick afternoon craft. This was a very time consuming project! If you are an in decisive person like me, this will take days! LOL!

1. Start by picking a spot to do your project where it won't be disturbed if you take breaks. Lay down newspaper or something to protect your surface.

2. Before hand paint your back board and all sides a neutral color. I did mine black. This is to avoid showing raw wood through any cracks that your layers just couldn't cover. Set aside to dry. This shouldn't take long. And by no means does this need to be heavily coated!!! Only the sides should be well painted.

3. Depending on the length of your back board start cutting your first layer of wood to all be the same length. For me that was about 3.5'. I did not put much thought as to what would go where at this point. I just randomly picked pieces to cut making sure I had an even amount of each various width or depth.

4. After all my first layer pieces were cut (enough to cover the back board) I put the jig saw down for a while and focused on sanding the ends and any rough edges. I did not sand the whole thing! I only sanded the ends where I cut, rough spots and along the points to smooth things out. Dust each piece of wood off with a clean rag after you are done sanding to help your paint go on more smoothly.

5. Now comes more painting! Mix your chosen colors well. Be prepared with a we rag for messes. With a painting tray or even a plastic plate pour out one paint ( just a little at a time) color at a time. Then paint away! Don't bother painting the back side of each board. Leave it unpainted to help the glue bond better.

6. After I finished painting all my pieces I allowed them about 30 min to dry. ( I was impatient) Then I added a second coat to really bring out my colors. Allow to dry for another 1-2hrs. or if you are like me...impatient... you can start arranging your pieces. This is a lot like a puzzle so play around till it all fits. DO NOT GLUE ANYTHING till you find a nice arrangement that works for you, I look for color and balance.

7. Now the woman who first did this cut most of her wood in the beginning. But since I didn't know what I wanted I waited till my first layer was on before I started another... So I went back to the jig saw (hopefully this is not in the same area as your wet paint!) and started randomly cutting wood into smaller pieces to fill in my puzzle.

8. Repeat the earlier steps, sand, paint, dry, glue. Use your clamps on DRY painted wood (with a cloth or paper between wood and clamp to avoid damage) to help with any stubborn pieces that are warped.

9. Once I finally was at a finishing point I drilled two heavy duty screws into the back of my art work in places that were especially thick with wood. Then I used a heavy weight gauge wire to wrap around from one screw to the other to hang. Surprisingly this wasn't as heavy as I expected it to be. That is not to say it is not heavy just not nearly what I thought it would be. All the same it is being held nicely in place with just one of those Hercules hooks. It was that simple!

10. Later I do plan to coat this in a protective satin wood coating to help prolong it's vibrant color. I am using a painted wood odorless water-based varnish that is also washable. This will also dry faster than the alternate oil based coating that will come with a strong odor.

Total for me this project probably cost about $60. Most of the supplies I already had including a saw, paint, backboard, sandpaper, and some of the scrap wood.

Don't have scrap wood? Check out craigslist. I often find people giving it away for free. Alternately you can go to Lowes or HomeDepot and but it new or check out their scrap wood section. Often you can get large pieces for $0.25 each!

Have questions? Feel free to ask and if you do this project share with us your finished masterpiece!

Future crafts to share: Handmade pillows! With a new wall piece we need new pillows!!! Stay tuned!

Take Care & Enjoy!


  1. You did an awesome job! It looks so great in your home:)

    1. Thank you Elena! I'm quite in love with it! It really fills the room!

  2. Very awesome Heather! I'm really really impressed - You did a beautiful job!


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