Don’t you love those beautiful, solid wooden decor pieces in shapes of elephants, tigers, dogs, lighthouses and other images? They’re oh, so lovely, but also very expensive. Did you know you can make something similar? In fact, you can create solid wooden pieces that are unique, and so easy a child can do it! Although your designs won’t look exactly like those heavy, wood pieces they will impress everyone who sees them! If you don’t tell them you made the piece, though, they’ll never, ever guess your secret!
Take a trip to a nearby craft store and you’ll be in awe of the many flat, wooden shapes they sell. The cheap wood pieces are very thin, come in a huge variety of images, and are exactly what you need to make your own wooden decor pieces. You can purchase the shapes already painted but there isn’t a huge variety on the painted pieces. That is, if they have a cat shape, for example, they don’t feature that cat shape in many colors; that cat shape usually comes in only one color. If you purchase unpainted shapes you can paint them to the colors you want.
It’s easy to paint the flat, wooden shapes. Lay them out on some newspaper and spray them. Allow to dry, turn over, and paint the other side. Don’t worry about painting eyes, noses or other details for the moment. Make sure you’ve painted the narrow edge around the perimeter of the shape. If you prefer, when making thick, wooden designs, it’s not even necessary to paint all the shapes. In fact, you can paint two of them, and leave the others unpainted for now. Later, you can do some touch-up work that will give the finishing touches to the piece.
Say you’re going to make a solid wooden lion piece. Purchase several of the wooden lion shapes – all the same size and color. Some small, flat, wooden shapes can cost as little as a dime so you can afford to buy many shapes. At the store, stack up the shapes so you can see how many you will need to make the piece you want. The wooden shapes can be put together to make a really wide piece, or you can purchase less shapes, and make a piece that isn’t as quite as wide.
At home, glue one shape on top of the other. Use spray adhesives, or even wood glue, but not hot glue. Stack one shape after another, after another, until the animal or object is as large as you want it to be. Take the time to align each shape perfectly with the previous one. After the glue is dry you can stand up the object and do some things to improve the look. For example, if you’ve made an elephant you can now draw the eye on with a small paintbrush. Or, if you’ve painted only the front and back shapes, then glued them altogether, you’ll need to apply paint to any unpainted areas.
Try various finishes to create even more designs with the wooden shapes. Purchase metallic paint and you’ll create a piece that looks like hammered metal. Or, use faux stone finish to make a piece that looks like marble. You can also stain the wooden shapes to make them look like those heavy, wooden decor pieces you see in pricey catalogs. With the various sizes, shapes and colors, and with the assorted choices you have for faux finishes, you can create an endless number of designs that are great for showing off or giving as gifts.
You can even make craft kits from the wooden shapes. Supply a stack of the shapes, a bottle of glue, and small bottles of paint. Print out an instruction card which tells the recipient to glue the shapes together, paint them, then display. The person who gets this gift – child or adult – will absolutely love it! Include extras, like tiny fake jewels for the eyes of an animal or a pink bow to tie around a finished puppy.
There are other extras you can do to make this craft even more appealing. For instance, you can paint a thick piece of wood and mount the finished wooden shape to it. Now you can you glue other things to the new wooden base, like small seashells at the foot of a lighthouse wooden piece, or tiny silk flowers around the feet of a little girl wooden piece. Real elements you can incorporate into the new wooden decor piece include a bow, tiny buttons, beads, sequin for an animal collar, or even real sand. Any number of craft supplies can help you embellish the finished piece. Use Styrofoam to make a balloon for a wooden girl to hold or glue a mini butterfly onto a cat’s head. You’re only limited by your own imagination.
You’ll have a lot of fun making the solid wooden decor pieces for your home, but they are created so quickly, it leaves you aching to make another. Why don’t you? Create many, then give them away throughout the year, as birthday gifts, Christmas presents or small thank-you’s. Make one for each of your kids, one for your parents, grand parents, the teacher…