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Inexpensive room decor in 8 simple steps!

Anyone who knows me, knows that this post is a testament to how in love I am…
This year for Father’s Day the kids and I put together a gift featuring daddy’s favorite team (and my least favorite) – The University of Utah. I think we put something together that even I can appreciate (except when my team is playing).
Finished 2
We featured a sports team, but I think this might look really fantastic with family photos, black and white travel shots, etc.
Since I think it has so many applications, I thought I would share a little how to here. This is the first time I have put together a “how to” and you’ll notice I am missing photos of a few steps :)

Fathers Day Supplies

Step 1 – Supplies: These are the supplies used to create this piece (not pictured: red craft paint, paper photos and tools). All of the items were things I already had on hand at the house, making this a very inexpensive piece of home decor.
Blank Board
Step 2 – Cuts and Sanding: Start out with a plain board. This one is a 1X6 cut in half with the chop saw – it’s about 48” long. You can purchase it at the hardware store for about $6 if you don’t have anything on hand.
I also cut a piece of trim to 2.5X3 squares. The trim runs about $3 at the hardware store if you don’t have anything useable on hand. You could probably also find precut squares at the craft store…
I took the wood out into the garage and sanded it thoroughly. I chose to round all of the edges.Stain
Step 3 – Stain: Once I had sanded the board, I applied two coats of stain with a foam brush. I also stained the outer edge of each of the small wooden squares.
I think that stain runs $5-8 for a small can like the one I used.
Stain little boards
Step 4 – Protective Coat: After the stain dried, I also applied to coats of polyurethane with the foam brush – that’s what seals the wood and shines it up.
I am pretty sure polyurethane also runs about $5 at the hardware store.
After the polyurethane is applied, it must be sanded with superfine sand paper to smooth it out.

This is the part where I neglected to take any photos :)

Step 5- Photos: The kids and I selected several photos from our personal files and from the web for this piece. I simply resized the photos to 2.5×3 and then printed them out on my color printer.
Once they were printed and cut, I used Mod Podge to adhere the photos to the wood squares. A coat on the wood to glue the photo down and a coat on top of the photo to protect it. (Be prepared. Some printer ink doesn’t hold up very well once it is dampened with Mod Podge.)
Once the Mod Podge was dry, I sanded the paper edges and applied distressing ink so that the photos blended well with the wood.
Step 6 – Assembly: I used wood glue to fasten the small wooden plaques to the larger board.
Step 7 – Painting: Once I had assembled the piece, I decided it needed a little something more. I decided to add the name of the University in paint on the bottom right. I had some red craft paint on hand from previous projects.
I referenced a font online, but you can probably tell I decided to free hand it. I think that this would probably look great done in vinyl.
Step 8 – Hanging hardware: I installed two picture hanging saw tooth hooks on the back of either end of the piece.
Here it is again finished!

UPDATE: Daddy loved our artwork. He kept rubbing the photos and asking how we printed them on to the wood…hahaha…Mod Podge, but Ill never tell. It’s more fun to simply have “amazing skill.”
I am linking up here:

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9 Responses to " Inexpensive room decor in 8 simple steps! "

  1. Beth says:

    Really cute idea! Would look great with family photos, thanks for sharing (saw you at penny pinchers party)!

  2. madiganmade says:

    This is adorable! Great idea.

  3. Emily @ Finding My Aloha says:

    I love this!

  4. Et @ Judy Cat Crafts says:

    Great idea. I love how it came out.

  5. Emily says:

    Awesome idea. I can picture it with black and white photos looking gorgeous, as well. Gorgeous work!
    -Emily @MarthaShmartha

  6. Emily @ Finding My Aloha says:

    Hi again! I keep thinking about your project and I would like to feature it on my blog. Just using a few pics, raving about it, and linking it back to your blog. What do you think? I couldnt find a contact email for you. You can write me at emily_csu(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Very cute!

  8. Bobbi Janay says:

    I love it and it looks even better in person then the pictures.

  9. ★All Thingz Related★ says:

    Love it!
    Thanks for sharing @ Anything Related!

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