Use a Jigsaw to Create Your Own Wooden 3-D Pop Art Piece

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Show state pride with a DIY pop art piece

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.

Particle board is simple to cut and inexpensive to purchase

Use a Google map search to find your state silhouette and then trace it onto your board using a pencil

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!)

Always wear goggles when using a saw

Clamps will help to hold your particle board in place as you cut out your state

You can rotate the board as needed as you work your way around the state with your 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.

3-inch wooden dowels will act as braces to make your art sit out from the wall

Pre-drill recessed holes into the front of the state cut out to attach your dowels

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.

Attach hanging wire by finding the middle of your silhouette, adding tiny screws and wrapping the wire around each screw

Dowels help make the art sit out from the wall in a fun way

It doesn't matter if your state cut out isn't perfect—it's the thought that counts

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.

Prime your particle board first to avoid stains

Use one coat of primer and than two coats of your topcoat

It doesn't matter if your paint job is less than perfect since this side will be facing the wall anyway

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.

Pretty wrapping paper can stand in for wallpaper in a pinch

This starburst pattern makes for a fun pop

Flip your state silhouette on top of your upside-down paper of choice and trace the edges

Cut out your traced paper state silhouette

Lay the cut paper on top of your wooden state to make sure that the edges line up. Trim if necessary.

Tacky Glue will adhere the paper to the front of the state art

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!

Glue a wooden heart on top of your city to show your pride

This DIY state shaped pop art makes a bold statement

The dowel rods on the back bump the silhouette out from the wall in a fun way

Show your state pride with this easy DIY art piece

Carrie Waller is the writer, designer and stylist behind the blog Dream Green DIY. Photos courtesy of Carrie Waller.

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