Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to: Wooden Arrow Wall Decor

Rob and I wanted Baby Rebhan's nursery to be perfect. We looked at lots of pictures and decided on certain elements we liked. We chose to make whatever we could instead of buying. It was fun to create items from simply looking at a picture and we saved lots of money doing it that way! 

One of my favorite elements in the nursery is the wooden arrow decal above our son's crib. It was a simple project that we finished in one day and it makes a big statement! 

Here is a step by step of how we completed this simple project!! 

1. GETTING SUPPLIES: We went to Home Depot to buy the wood, metal plates, screws, and brackets to hang our finished product.
For three arrows:
   - Wood: 2 Poplar 1x5 boards (6 feet each)
   - 3 L-shaped Metal Plates
   - 1inch screws
   - 3 picture hanging toothed brackets 

2. MAKING THE CUTS: We cut each board into 6 individual sections. We saved wood by making angled cuts instead of later trimming rectangles. The first cut should start at the bottom corner of the board while it's laying flat on your saw; cut a 45 degree angle off the end. You'll end up with a small triangle falling off the full board. The rest of the cuts should be measured from the bottom of the board, we chose to use 10 inch increments. The image below is a representation of the first segment only, imagine the board extending to the right (another small triangle will fall off the far end too). 

3. SANDING: After cutting the boards (see all the extra triangles in the photo below!), we sanded them so there were no rough edges from the cutting. We didn't spend a lot of time making the boards perfect because no one would ever touch them. We just made sure there were no frayed ends!

4. STAINING: After wiping any remaining sanding dust off the boards, I used old rags to apply Minwax Wood Stain in Special Walnut 224. Fortunately, we had this stain lying around the house (I had bought it for a previous project but ended up using another color). I like to use rags because the stain goes on in a thin layer verses using foam brushes and having to wipe off the access later. I also like it because you can see the result immediately. I ended up using two coats, I thought about three but figured it would be too dark compared to the other wooden elements in the nursery. We chose not to seal the arrows because, again, no one was going to be touching them and they wouldn't ever be exposed to high amounts of moisture (read water rings). 


5. ASSEMBLY: After all the boards were dry I matched them up in groups of four that fit best together. Even though they are all cut the same, there is always some human error. Once they were matched, I was able to pick which side of each board I liked the best. Because some have knots and some don't the stain is a little different on each piece. After I decided what pieces went best together, I laid the arrow face down and lined up the metal plate. I decided to put the screws in with a screwdriver instead of an electric drill with just a little (wo)man power! I was worried that the electric drill would split the wood and I didn't want to have to start over! Once the arrows were whole, I attached my hooks. I found that the "center" of the arrow was above the top corner of the metal bracket and that's where I nailed in the hooks (not pictured).  

6. HANG IT UP! It's as simple as that, hang on desired wall and enjoy!! 

I hope this can inspire you to create your own version of something you found online! It can be fun to create without guidelines but if you need them, here they are! Please let us know if you have any questions by commenting here or emailing us. As always, ENJOY and show us what you come up with!!