How to Make Wood Slice Art

modern rustic painted wood slices for diy wall art mountainmodernlife.com

How to Make Wood Slice Art

Do you have some fallen branches in your back yard? Check out how to transform fallen branches into wood slice art | MountainModernLife.com

It’s no secret that I love using elements of nature in our home, and today I’m sharing how to make wood slice art, which just so happens to be one of my favorite DIY art projects to date!

If you follow me on instagram you may remember this photo I shared a while back of a tree that fell in our backyard.

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Thanks to a little upcycling, this project was made using some of the fallen branches from that tree.  The tree that fell was actually from our neighbor’s yard so my husband had asked if we could keep some of the wood. We were not home when they were doing the clean up and repairing the fence so they only left  a few branches for us to use, but it was more than enough for the art project I’ve been wanting to finish for quite some time now.

If you’ve seen my fall home tour then you may have already seen this wood slice art up in our dining room.

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Some of you may already know this, but we are renting and our lease is up in a few months. I’ve always painted every apartment/home we rented but this time I decided just to keep them beige. In doing so I realized that the natural wood slices didn’t pop as much as I wanted and the wall would look a little to bleh for us. So instead I decided to incorporate some of the other colors in the dining room into the wood slices.

How to Make Wood Slice Art

I was able to create this framed wall art using leftover materials we had available, along with some fallen branches in our backyard. So depending on what you have available and the size you want to create, this could be a free or very low cost project! I mention the tools I used for this project, but you can also just use what you have available, and if you don’t have branches or a saw, you can purchase wood slices from craft stores, Etsy or Amazon.

You could also have your wood slices go over the edge of the wood and skip the frame if you want. I’ll list the general items I used, but of course you can customize the amount, size and colors to match your style and home :)

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How to Make Wood Slice Art Materials:

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Plywood

Wood Slices

Paint

Rubb’n Buff

Foam Brushes

220 Grit Sandpaper

Stain

Heavy Duty Glue

 Wood for Frame {I used 1 x 4’s}

Painters’ Tape

Heavy Duty Picture Hanging Hardware

Tools Used:

Ryobi Compound Miter Saw

Ryobi Aitstrike Nail Gun

Ryobi Drill

Kreg Jig

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I had some plywood leftover from my large DIY chalkboard and used that as the back of my wall art. You could use any size wood or canvas as your backdrop.

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I knew there would likely be some small gaps in between the wood slices, so I decided to stain the plywood so the background wouldn’t stand out as much. I just used some dark walnut stain:

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Once the plywood was stained I created a super simple frame made with 45 degree angles. This frame can easily be made using the Kreg Jig if you have one.

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I stained the frame using a mixture of American Walnut and Dark Walnut.

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Once the plywood and frame were stained I moved on to the wood slices…

The first thing I did was slice up some of the branches using our Ryobi compound miter saw, creating a variety of sizes. Afterwards I baked them in the oven on low for about 20-30 minutes. This kills any critters {eeeew} and dries them out.

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After that I quickly went over the tops of the wood slices with 220 grit sandpaper. This was just to smooth them out a bit and make the paint go on easier.

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I then picked out a few different paint colors and poured a little bit out on a plate covered with foil {for easy clean up}. I used navy, turquoise, white and yellow. The yellow actually didn’t have enough contrast so I didn’t use much of it, and later went over those painted sections with some gold rub in buff. I also used some green spray paint on some of the wood slices so that some of the wood slices would tie into our DIY Mason Jar Chandelier.

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Once I had my paint and foam brushes ready I started taping off sections of the wood slices and then painting the slices. I would place one or two pieces of tape on the slice to create geometric shapes and then painted in the empty spaces.

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Once the slices were dry {within 10 minutes} I would remove the tape and then tape off another section of the wood slices to add another section of paint.

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I continued to do this until I had a variety of colors and patterns on the slices.

Once my slices were all painted and dry I placed them on top of the plywood to figure out where I wanted each piece to go. Since I was adding a frame to the plywood I drew a border 1 inches from the edge that I would want my wood slices to stay within. This is because I wanted to use my nailgun to attach the frame to the plywood. You could always attach your frame and then glue the slices inside, but I decided to glue them down first. Before I glued them down I did place the frame on top to make sure everything lined up correctly though.

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As mentioned above, I later went over the yellow painted sections with gold Rub’n Buff and a small detail brush to add a little shimmer.

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When I had all of my wood slices laid out how I wanted, I then used my glue gun on the high setting and began gluing the slices down one at a time.

Tip: Don’t use a glue gun.

I admit that I used the glue gun because I was impatient and wanted instant gratification, but would recommend using something else like Liquid Nails or Super Glue so that you have a little more time to move them around if necessary, and they become more permanent once dry.

The glue gun did work really great initially, but a few slices eventually fell off and I had to super glue them back on.

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I then attached the frame using our Ryobi Airstrike and added some heavy duty picture hanging hardware with our drill.

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After it was all finished I took it outside and gave it a couple coats of clear acrylic sealer. By the way, if you use spray paint I highly recommend getting the Rust-Oleum spray can grip! It makes spray painting anything soooooooo much easier and sprays more evenly too. I <3 that thing!

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Here is my wood slice art all finished and hung up in our dining room:

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So what do you think?

I really love how simple and rustic it is and how it brings out some of the other colors in our dining room, like my painted rug and emerald chandelier.

Oh and of course the leftover painted wood slices are being used for coasters :)

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Here’s an updated photo of the wood slice art in the office nook of our bedroom:

Do you have some fallen branches in your back yard? Check out how to make wood slice art using those branches. | MountainModernLife.com

We hope How to Make Wood Slice Art, was inspirational and informative! Have you considering using branches from your yar for art? We would love to hear about it below.

Thanks for stopping by!

27 Comments
  • This is absolutely gorgeous Katie!! Now I wish I would have kept some limbs from a tree that we lost in the wind last year. So awesome, pinning!!

    xoxo

    November 3, 2014 at 10:29 pm
  • This is SERIOUSLY COOL!!! Such a brilliant idea and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the mix of rustic and modern!!! Brilliant Katie!!!

    November 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm
  • Oh my word!! I LOVE this!! I want to do it in my own home :) It will look great with the wooden candle sticks I just finished. I’ll be pinning this for later! Thanks for sharing!
    -Lindi @ http://www.lovecreatecelebrate.com

    November 4, 2014 at 4:42 pm
  • This is such an amazing piece, Katie. So pretty and graphic!!

    November 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm
  • This is incredible, katie!! Such a unique and special piece of art :)

    November 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm
  • Wow! That is all I can say. I am in love with this piece of art. Your dining-room is amazing!

    November 5, 2014 at 7:42 am
  • what a great fun look
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    November 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm
  • wow, that is awesome. i love how you incorporated the colors to give it even more interest.
    b

    November 7, 2014 at 11:30 am
  • How creative is this?!? Such a fun idea. It looks awesome in your room, too! Love it!

    November 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm
  • Oh, wow! You are seriously amazing! I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this project! I can’t wait to try some wood slice project myself! Hugs!

    November 9, 2014 at 7:27 am
  • Love this project – beautiful, natural and creative! Pinned it.

    <3 Christina @ I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original link party is open

    November 15, 2014 at 9:10 am
  • This wood slice art looks wonderful! I’ve been struggling with what to hang on my dining room walls but this is a great idea!

    November 22, 2014 at 6:51 am
  • Absolutely fantastic. Already I imagine how great it would be presented in my living room!

    May 4, 2015 at 10:14 am
  • Jule
    Reply

    Hey Katie, love your piece. Just wondered if you have thought about possible breaks in the wood when it will dry out. I just had to cut a nut tree and cut it into slices to make some wall art, too. But the guy who helped me cutting it said that i would have to dry it slowly, waiting up to 1 year until i could use them without problems of breaking. What do you think? Is your work keeping as you built it? How long is it on the wall now?
    Thanks for your suggestions!

    May 7, 2015 at 3:52 pm
  • This is really good, katie!! Such a unique and special piece of art :)

    Beautiful
    Natural
    Creative

    June 1, 2016 at 7:06 am
  • Maureen
    Reply

    It’s just superb!!

    Kudos

    June 5, 2016 at 6:20 pm

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