Monday, October 26, 2015

DIY Dinosaur Plank Art and How to Paint Letters on Wood

 Happy Monday!  This week I'll be sharing more tutorials of the DIY items in Tristan's big boy room, and should hopefully wrap them up later next week before sharing the big reveal! 
I had a big empty wall that I needed to fill, which of course isn't easy on a tight budget.  So I tried to think of the most affordable way to create a big piece of art and what came to mind was plank art!
I started by purchasing a 2' x 4' sheet of 1/4" birch plywood at Lowes (about $10) and the hubby cut it into 3" strips.  I didn't use all of the strips, just enough to make the size that I wanted. I think I had like 4 or 5 left over.  I then laid them out as evenly spaced as possible.

Next, I applied a smear of liquid nails to the ends of each.

I had more 1/4" plywood in my scrap pile that I cut down to fit the length of my planks and pressed it on to the liquid nails. 

I left it overnight to dry and the next morning I gave the front a whitewash look. To do this, I mixed a small amount of paint with some water and applied two coats (let the first coat dry before applying the second).

I found a font that I liked in Microsoft Word and printed out a cute phrase that I saw online. The dinosaur was a clip art and the stars and moon were created using shapes in Microsoft Word.

I used a ball point pen to firmly trace each letter.  This created a nice indentation of the letters in the wood.

This next step was tricky, and you can definitely tell that this was my first time doing this!  Using a small paintbrush I first flattened it, then dipped the edge in the paint.

I then carefully filled in my outlined letters.

It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be!  I think I needed a smaller brush.  To clean my edges up I ended up using a silver paint pen to outline everything once the paint dried.  I'm now thinking that it would have been a lot easier to just use paint pens on the entire thing!
After half a day working on this (literally!)  this is what I was left with.  After I stood back I realized that it was waaaay off centered!!

Luckily I've become pretty good at fixing mistakes and making them look like they were meant to be.  In this case, I made random brushstrokes with white paint on the left side.  And guess what?  I actually ended up liking this better than my original idea! 

If you look up close you can definitely see my flaws, but I don't think my 2 year old really cares!

The silver paint pen ended up being another one of those fixes that I ended up liking better than my original plan.  It really makes the letters pop!

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and I'm going to make something similar for the new baby.  I only spent about  $12 on this project since I only needed the plywood and the hanging hardware.  Not bad for art this big, right?
Here is a breakdown of the supplies that I used:
  • 2' x 4' 1/4" plywood sheet
  • Saw tooth hangers for the back (I attached them to the vertical planks that hold the horizontal ones together)
  • Printed letters and/or pictures
  • Acrylic paint (already had)
  • Paint pen (already had)
  • Liquid nails (already had)
I hope you all have a great start to the week, I'll be back on Wednesday! :)

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  1. What a cute project! I love the saying. Great job.

    1. Thank you very much! I think the saying fits perfectly in a toddler dinosaur room :)

  2. This is adorable! I love how it turned out.

  3. Super cute again- love the wood look!

    1. Thank you Kelsie, it's amazing how much the wood look has grown on me in the past year!

  4. So cute. My great nephew is 4, and loves dinosaurs. Your blog is so creative.

  5. What font is this?!

    1. I'm so sorry I wish I could remember! It's been so many years, I just remember that I found it on Microsoft Word


I appreciate all of your wonderful comments :)