Wooden Heart Decor

Wooden Heart Decor

Happy February, my friends!

We’re starting this month with a fun collaboration called the “Makers Heart Attack”!

I teamed up with a few other bloggers wanting to help spread some love in this crazy world by making some heart projects and sharing them all over the internet with you! If you’re on social media and want to be a part of sharing the love, post your project and include #makersheartattack so it links up with all of the other hearts!

Here are the links to the other amazing bloggers’ projects. These people are incredibly talented, so check out their hearts, and follow their blogs/social media accounts, you won’t regret it!

Mindi @mylove2create  – Link to project: Wooden Triangle Heart
Cara @buildcraftlove  – Link to project: DIY Wooden Heart
Matt @keddiewoodshop  – Link to project: Heart Attack 

makers heart attack collaboration graphic

Alright, so on with my project!

First off, always know that when I embark on a project that I’m trying to create, it doesn’t always work out on the first try. I had a lot of trial and error with this project, and am still not convinced I got it to exactly where I envisioned, but I am pretty happy with it. It’s just important to remember that while bloggers post our final pictures and everything looks perfect, the creative process and execution are sometimes less than perfect, just like for you. (Unless that doesn’t happen to you, in which case, I’m quite jealous!)

Making Wooden Heart pieces:

Alright, so I started out with some 2×4 boards. Actually, I just used some scrap pieces I had lying around the shop. I chopped them down to small pieces with my miter saw, being totally random and not measuring anything. I wanted end grain, but I didn’t want it to all be even and flush. I then laid them out in the heart shape to be sure I liked it.

wooden heart decor - choosing layout


I did like it at this point. But I wanted more COLOR. It’s Valentine’s Day after all, right?

I love this trick. I took some acrylic paints (these are my favorite Liquitex BASICS Acrylic Paint 48-Piece Set (affiliate link) of seven different shades of red and purple, put some on a paper plate and watered them each down slightly. I then painted three pieces of each color, making 21 total. Watering down the paint helps it to soak quicker into the wood and also allows the grain to show through, similar to a stain.

wooden heart decor painting end grain pieces

Alright, so all painted up. Next I distressed the edges. I had some random sticky sandpaper refills that actually don’t work for my newest sander, so instead, I stuck them onto a wood block and used it to lightly distress the edges.

wooden heart decor, adhesive sandpaper stuck to wooden blockWooden heart decor, sanding distressing edges     wooden heart decor - distressed edges on end grain pieces wooden heart decor, end grain pieces all painted


Next we need to make the backing and frame. I don’t have photos of the frame, but it’s just a simple frame made by 1×2’s with each corner mitered at 45 degrees. I then glued the corners together, clamped them tight, let the glue dry, then stapled across the back of each joint.

wooden heart decor back of frame

Once your frame is made, measure it and cut out the backing material. For my project I used thin underlayment, but you could always make it out of thicker plywood. MDF gets pretty heavy but would work too. Glue down the frame to the backing. If you use thicker material, it might be wise to also use a nailer to secure it all together.

wooden heart decor - gluing frame back wooden heart decor - clamping frame to backing wooden heart decor - frame finished


Now stain it! If you’re staining the frame and backing different colors, you want to do the staining before gluing the frame to the backing. My plan was to stain the same, so I glued first. I chose to go with the Minwax Wood Stain, 1/2 pint, Classic Gray (affiliate link).

wooden heart decor staining gray

wooden heart decor dry fit, stained gray

So, here’s a trial and error moment. As you can see I tried out the colored pieces on the gray and didn’t love it. Like, at all. My answer was to then take another white stain I have and do a 2nd coat. I will never regret it, it looks SO much better. I used the Rust-Oleum Fast Dry Wood Stain, Antique White (affiliate link) You’ll see the difference in the pictures below.

wooden heart decor - staining white to fix it

Gluing Wooden Heart:

Final step is to glue down the pieces where you want them. I had tried so many different configurations of the blocks, but finally decided to do solid color stripes, as you’ll see. It’s all personal preference.

Alright, so you have to arrange them where you want them since there are so many pieces, then glue them down. I started with the middle row, glued those down then moved out to each side. After gluing, push all the pieces together taking care that they don’t move out of place, then add weights to keep them secure while the glue dries.

wooden heart decor
wooden heart decor

Once all the glue is dried and the whole thing is ready to go, throw on a coat of polycrylic to seal everything up and ensure it doesn’t get damaged! This is my absolute favorite finish Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finishes, 1/2 Pint, Satin (affiliate link). It comes in semi-gloss and glossy too, but I prefer the satin look, personally.

All Finished:

Now for the final photos!

wooden heart decor finished

Check out that awesome end grain design showing through on those pieces! ❤

wooden heart decor finished

It’s perfectly displayed on my Balustrade Console Table that I built a couple weeks ago in collaboration with Jen Woodhouse. Check that tutorial out, too!

wooden heart decor finished on display

Hope you like the project! It’s so versatile you really could just take the general idea and do so many different things with it! If you do so, please share!

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day!

Check out some of my other wood decor projects, most of them use reclaimed wood! Reclaimed Barn Wood ArtReclaimed barn wood + first projectDIY ‘Give Thanks’ wood signDIY Reclaimed Barn Wood Clock

Thanks friends!


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