Rustic (Balsa) Wood DIY Art Project

I've been lusting after all the wood-pallet DIY projects that are all over Pinterest (speaking of, do you follow me on Pinterest? Cause you totally should). But, I didn't have any wood pallets sitting around and although I could "steal" one from the back of Home Depot, I'm terrified of doing that.

So, I went to the craft store (this time it was JoAnn Fabric) and noticed they had some unfinished wood pallets I could buy but they were already assembled AND over $20. I'm currently poor, so that was not within my budgetary constraints. Instead, I opted for buying 8 random sizes of balsa wood ($.89 a pop people!). The issue with balsa wood, is that it is extremely thin, so you can't exactly use nails or anything to put it together (not an issue for me, hot-glue gun lover over here! Holla!). Here's all my pieces of balsa wood ready for me to get to work!
The first thing I did was paint all the pieces of wood with acrylic paint. I was going for a nautical inspired look, so I used varying shades of blue (I already had these in my art supply arsenal so the cost was right!). 
After a few coats (2 total on each piece of wood) I let it dry. Once dried, of course I couldn't just leave them looking new and fresh (if you've been reading my blog, then you know I hate newly looking things, I want everything to appear as though it's been around awhile and has an awesome story to tell). So, I used some Folk-Art Antiquing Medium by Plaid (they make Mod Podge, so you know I'm loyal) brand antique gel and painted over the pieces of wood. Quickly wipe off the antique gel with an old cloth and let dry. 
Once the pieces of wood are dry go ahead and use a hot glue gun to glue all the pieces together.  

Once the piece is all together, start thinking about the design you want to place on it. At first, I was going to do a stencil of a sailboat and just the word "lake" (since we live on a tiny lake). BUT, finding a sailboat stencil that was the right size was impossible, so I went on to plan B. Which meant selecting adorable letter stickers to spell out the entire name of our lake (Little Hourglass Lake). I spaced out the letters until I was happy with them. 
Once I was happy with the layout of the letters, I used my beloved Mod Podge and glued the letters onto the pieces of wood. 
Because I'm in love with Mod Podge, I actually used it to seal the entire piece (even though plenty of places didn't have letters on it). I figured this way, the entire piece would have the same "matte" appearance.

After the Mod Podge dried, I did a quick stencil of some arrows pointing in the direction of the actual lake (based on where I knew I was going to hang this up). 
And that's it! 
Next, I went about trying to hang this puppy up on the wall. Which was super easy because it's balsa wood, which weighs next to nothing, so I just placed Command Strips on the back of it and BAM - done (I didn't even need to ask Matt to help - big bonus points for me)!
What do you think of it?

1 comment

  1. Great ideas! I've had some old fence wood stored in my garage and was going to try making a sign or something out of it, but haven't decided quite yet. I love how this turned out, and I think the arrow stencil really finished it off!