Do you want your house to look nice, but you’re working with a limited budget? Maybe you’re like me and have kids who break everything, so spending a lot of money on home decor isn’t an option. I have the answer to your problem. Create your own home decor for just a few dollars.
I recently created a piece of art for our mantle. I had dreamed up what I wanted it to look like and realized the easiest and most cost effective way to obtain this art was to create it myself.
To create a similar piece you will need:
Trim pieces (left over from a project, or purchased at the home improvement store) or scrap wood
Several coordinating shades of paint and a contrasting paint
I was lucky and didn’t have to buy the trim pieces that I used. The previous owners of our house left plenty of trim behind.
For the paint I used left over paint from our old house, from my parents and from our old neighbors. Each of the colors was a little dark originally, but I mixed each with some white that I already had in the garage.
We already had the wood glue and the screws, so the only thing we had to buy was the plywood. We had left over plywood, but nothing big enough for this project.
Before you run to the home improvement store check your house for supplies and ask family and friends if they can give you any of the supplies that you need. You would be surprised what people having lying around that they want to get rid of. You could even check Craigslist or a Facebook flea market group. The goal is to buy as few supplies as possible.
Once you have gathered your supplies you can get started.
First off paint your wood. I started with six pieces of doorway trim and had three of the kids paint it. I knew they would want to help and it would be hard for them to screw up.
Once the wood is dry cut it into different random lengths. Mike used a miter saw for this, but you could use a circular saw or even a hand saw. If you don’t have a saw ask a friend or family member for help with this part.
Once the wood is cut, rough up the edges with some sand paper. A course grit like 60 will make this part go quickly.
Once all the wood has been sanded, arrange the cut pieces on top of the plywood. This is sort of like putting a puzzle together. You’ll be creating a random pattern, but will find that certain pieces work better together than others.
After you have figured out the ideal arrangement, apply wood glue to the back of one piece of wood at a time and glue into place before applying glue to the next piece of wood. Work with one piece at a time. Let the glue dry.
Once the glue has dried flip the whole piece over carefully. With a straight edge and pencil mark a grid on the plywood and drill small holes at each intersection. align the grid with the thickest part of the trim pieces and make sure the screws are not going to punch through. Use a screw in each hole to secure each piece of wood to the plywood.
Flip the project over. You can cut the edges off the make the sides straight or leave the edges uneven like I did.
Once your piece is assembled you are ready to paint your letter on it. If you have nice handwriting you can use your own handwriting or use Pinterest for inspiration which is what I did. I found a letter R in a font that I liked and I copied it. You could also make a stencil if you aren’t confident in your ability to recreate the font of your dreams.
Using a piece of chalk draw your letter or letters onto your project. Erase as necessary until you get it just right.
Then take a small paint brush and a contrasting color to start painting your letter. Follow the chalk outline to help you. Paint the outline and then fill in as necessary. It may require more than one coat.
Once the paint is dry brush off any remaining chalk. Take a step back and admire your handiwork.
You have a unique piece of home decor that may have only cost you a few dollars or if you’re lucky it was free!