Despite the fact that we live in a small, relatively quiet Southern town, we harbor a great deal of state pride in this family. We are constantly out and about, exploring the beauty that Virginia has to offer, so I decided to honor that love with a wooden, wallpapered DIY pop art piece. Read on to learn how to create your own.
First, you’ll need a piece of wood. I bought an inexpensive sheet of particle board from our local hardware store for less than $10. Back at home, I ran a Google map search on my laptop to use as reference and traced the pattern by sight onto my wood with a pencil. After that, I braced my wood against a solid work table using clamps, grabbed my jigsaw and got to work slowly cutting out my state silhouette. (Safety first! Always wear goggles when using a saw!)
The most defining aspect of this piece of DIY art wasn’t the shape, though, as much as it was the 3-D effect that I planned to create. My idea was to create the illusion of the art popping out from the wall using three rods across the back. To make this vision a reality, I bought a 1-inch-thick wooden dowel rod from the hardware store and had my dad saw it down into three 3-inch pieces while he was nearby working on his own woodworking project.
With my dowel rods cut to size, we used a drill bit to create recessed holes in the front of the wooden state silhouette. We attached the dowels to the back by screwing the rods in from the front with flat-head screws. During this phase, we also attached a bit of hanging wire on the back of the state. To do so, we measured to find the middle of the piece and added two more tiny screws that we later wrapped the wire around.
The final phase of this project involved the finish. For the back, I chose to prime and then paint the particle board a crisp white color. I didn’t end up putting too much effort into this paint job because the back would be facing the wall, but I made sure to fully cover the dowel rods in white because they would potentially be viewed when anyone stood beside the artwork.
The photo above shows one coat—I ultimately did one coat of primer and two topcoats of white. Next, I flipped the artwork over and began to consider my top finish. I thought about painting it a solid color but in the end went with a favorite roll of patterned wrapping paper instead.
With the wrapping paper laid out upside down on a flat surface, I flipped my state art upside down on top of the paper. A pen helped me to trace the edges so that I could cut out the paper exactly to size. After checking that the silhouette paper cut out matched the wooden one, I painted on a liberal amount of Tacky Glue and gently laid my paper in place on top. A tiny white heart purchased from the craft store and glued on top of our little Central Virginia town finished the piece nicely!
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