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!
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!)
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.
I did like it. 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.
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.
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, as pictured to the right.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
Now for the final photos!
Check out that awesome end grain design showing through on those pieces! ❤
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!
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 Art, Reclaimed barn wood + first project, DIY ‘Give Thanks’ wood sign, DIY Reclaimed Barn Wood Clock