Inside: North Carolina Wall Decal - 7 Step Guide to DIY!
3/4" plywood sheet
Salvaged wood strips of various texture, length, color, etc.
Hand Sander with ultra-fine grit sand paper
Band Saw with thin blade
Nail Gun with various sized nails
Mineral Oil (optional)
Hardware for Hanging
- The first step is to use a projector to display the state outline is onto 3/4" plywood. Once I've got the size sorted out, I trace the projection, making sure to arrange the shape in a way where I can utilize as much wood from the plywood sheet as possible.
- Next I use saw horses to lay the sheet of wood flat. With a jigsaw I cut along the traced outline. This step takes time and patience for all the curves and I use clamps and a guide for any long straight sections.
- Once the entire outline is cut, I use a sander with an ultra fine grain sand paper to smooth out the edges. For any small nooks I roll or fold the sand paper and gently soften the edges to avoid any rough patches.
- After the plywood base is projected, cut, and sanded, I collect my salvaged barn wood and test out composition with the strips. Once I've found a selection that works, I place them on the cutout, angle them, and trace each strip along the edge of the North Carolina cutout.
- This next step is the most precision-based in the entire project. One-by-one, each salvaged barn wood strip is meticulously cut at both traced ends, the band saw blade. The requires a fairly thin blade for the band saw to allow weaving sharp curves to fit perfectly on top of the plywood base. For any straight pieces I use the chop saw's angle feature to create a flawless cut to fit to the shape.
- With each piece cut to perfection I use a nail gun to secure the salvaged wood onto the plywood base. For this step you need a range of nail lengths to accommodate for the varying sizes of reclaimed wood strips. For each piece the nail must be able to reach the base, but not exceed its depth.
- Lastly, once all the pieces are assembled, I use a sander once more to smooth the edges. An optional finishing touch is to apply a coat of mineral oil to enhance the richness of the wood strips and colors.
I like to use “sawtooth” hangers for the smaller wall hangings and wire hangers for the larger ones. The proper hardware always depends on the size and weight of the finished product, so be sure to refer to weight limits and warning labels before choosing the hardware for hanging.