Woodworking

DIY Pieced Wood Arrow Wall Art

This is one of those projects where, after you complete it, you realize you probably could have done it in 30 minutes instead of 3 hours if you’d only planned the process better. But, as often happens, I got an idea in my head and just ran with it rather than making a plan first. Lesson learned. Again. So I went ahead and made a second one with my learnings from Round 1 (and took better pics of the process!)
In case you’re wondering, here’s how the first one turned out:
Despite the fact that I had to make this arrow twice, I really do love it. There were several areas in the house where I considered hanging it, but for now it’s residing in the kids’ playroom (which is still not 100% done…grrrr. Finally done!!).
Directions
 
Cut List:
16 – 8 1/2 inch pieces
6 – 7 inch pieces, cut on 45 degree angle (see pic)
2 – 13 1/2 inch pieces, cut on 45 degree angle (see pic)
2 – 11 inch pieces, cut on 45 degree angle (see pic)
2 – 8 1/2 inch pieces, cut on 45 degree angle (see pic)
2 – 5 1/4 inch pieces, cut on 45 degree angle (see pic)
2 – 2 1/4 inch pieces, cut on 45 degree angle (these are essentially triangles – see pic)
1 – 32 1/2 inch piece (for assembly)
2 – 7 1/2 inch pieces (for assembly)
Here are my sketches. Again, not an artist.

 

For this project, I used lattice strips which can be found at both Home Depot and Lowe’s. They’re about 8-10 feet long and a little over an inch wide. Sometimes they sell them in packs of 10. If you’re efficient in your cutting, you’ll only need 4. When selecting your lattice strips, try to find some with some character (e.g. knots, interesting grain, etc.)
First, cut all of your pieces. Seriously, don’t just do a few at a time. It may seem like a lot of cuts, but just knock it out and get on with your project! I used a miter saw for this project, which is highly recommended.
Next, assemble your pieces into the arrow pattern, as shown. Make sure to put the side of the wood you like best face down, as you’ll be assembling from the back. As you can see from my pictures, my cuts weren’t super precise…that was somewhat intentional (and somewhat lazy), as I wanted it to look a little rustic.
Once you’ve got your pieces situated, lay the 32.5″ piece down the middle of the arrow. I made sure it was about 1/2 inch from each end of the arrow, as I didn’t want to risk seeing it. Use the other two 7.5″ pieces to affix the tail.  Using wood glue (no nails!), put glue on the long piece and a little bit also on the individual slats of wood, as shown. Do the same with the two tail pieces. Press it down and then put something heavy on it (e.g. books, weights, etc). Let it sit for 30-60 minutes.

 

 

As you can see from the pics, I glued on the tail end of the arrow after the first part was assembled. In retrospect, that really wasn’t necessary.
Once dry, it was on to the staining stage. I used the weathered gray stain, which we’ve used in several previous posts (here and here).
I knew I wanted the arrow to be yellow, but I wanted some dark spots to show through. Rub the stain on with a rag and let dry for a couple of hours. Finally, lightly paint on your desired paint color. I love to pick up those little sample colors that Valspar (and others) put out every so often. They’re usually fun and stylish colors and I don’t have to commit to a whole can.

 

Once your paint is dry, selectively sand different areas of the arrow to give it a more weathered look. (I will acknowledge that both Steph and I have an unnatural obsession with weathering and distressing wood).
For now, the arrow is resting on my kids’ desk, but I’ll use picture hanging hardware if/when I hang it on the wall.
Hope you love it as much as I do!

 

Mommy & Me DIY Wardrobe Racks

DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks

Ashleigh and fam paid a visit to Columbus over Memorial Day weekend. The trip had been planned since we visited her family on New Years and yet the entire week beforehand I found myself admittedly stressed about the visit. Ashleigh’s house is gorgeous and perfectly furnished. She and her husband are also excellent hosts. My house, though nice, is not fully furnished and is terrorized by three kids on the daily. My hosting skills? I spent the entire week cleaning the house top to bottom, went to the grocery store four times, and staged the house. I thought I did a good job preparing for their visit so I would seem to be a well-prepared host until we decided that we’d have an impromptu brunch at our house that Saturday of their visit, forcing Ashleigh to have to co-host the brunch. I kept finding her washing dishes and cleaning up my kitchen. Not so good hosting of me. (very good friend of her, yes.)

Anyway, we had lots of “business” plans for our visit. Most of those were quickly squashed by the five children that we now had running all over the place. Okay, the 2-month old can’t run, but she can be hard to keep up with in other ways. So with the children running the show, we only managed to finish half of a project. So like our first project, the wall art, we started together, this project is special in that we got to work on it together. It’s my first “mommy and me” project for my little McLaren. Of course she couldn’t actually partake in the project, but it’s something that she’ll be able to use for quite some time until dare I think this far into the future, she gets so tall that her dresses no longer fit on her rack. I won’t think about her growing up just yet though.

Of course you don’t have to actually make two racks, but if you make one for yourself and you have a little one, why would you not? It’s so darn cute. Just in case you don’t want to tackle two, the supplies can all be cut in half with the exception of the pipes – you’ll need three for the “mommy” version and two for the “mini” rack.

Oh, the other perk about this is that we made these on the cheap (because we had to make two, you know) and used PVC that we painted to look like steel. $2 vs $20ish a pipe (depending on the metal). You can easily swap the PVC for steel or copper piping and I believe most hardware stores will do the cutting for you. In addition to wanting to save a few bucks, we were curious to see if we could make the PVC look just as expensive. I think it was a success…

Supplies:

1 pc pine wood, 2″ x 12″ x 4′
1 pc pine wood, 2″ x 12″ x 3′
Five, 3/4″ x 5′ PVC pipes
Four 3/4″ elbow joints
Four 3/4″ adapters
Four flanges (these were only available in galvanized steel whereas the above pieces are PVC)
Eight casters
48 flat phillips screws #12 x 1″
Rust-oleum Hammered Black Spray paint
Wood Stain (we used one of my favorites, Minwax Dark Walnut)

DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks adapters DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks pipesTools:

Hand saw
Drill
Rags (for staining)
Sandpaper
Wood chisels
Tape measure

Instructions:

Chisel and sand the wood pieces to achieve a more rustic, authentic look. (This step can be skipped if you choose to leave the wood as is). (Refer to our previously posted tutorial on how to distress wood for some tips on how to achieve that authentic look!).

Apply two coats of stain using old, clean rags. Be sure to allow the stain to saturate into divots and cracks. Allow wood to dry thoroughly.

Measure and cut the PVC pipes into the following lengths:
*2 x 50″
*1 x 41″
*2 x 32″
*1 x 28.5″

Lightly sand and wipe down the pipes to allow the paint to better adhere. Make sure the pipes are free of dirt to avoid the paint chipping. In a well ventilated area (outside is recommended), spray paint each of the cut pipes ensuring full coverage. Spray the elbow joints, adapters, flanges, and 16 screws as well. (Tip: to easily paint the heads of the screws, stick each upright in a piece of cardboard as shown below). Allow each piece to dry thoroughly.

DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks

On the bottom of each board, measure and position the casters in each corner to they are 1″ from each edge. Drill screws into each of the 32 holes to secure the casters.

DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks

On the top side of the boards, measure and position the flanges so they are centered on the width of the board and 3/4″ from the edge. *Note that widths of boards can vary. Ours was labeled as 12″ wide however measures a bit narrow at 11 1/4″. Drill down the flanges using the 16 painted screws. Screw the adapters into the flanges.DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe RacksReferring to the below diagram for pipe placement, connect the pipes using the elbow joints. Insert into the adapters.

DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks

Hang some pretty little things on display.

DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks DIY Mommy & Me Wardrobe Racks