How to Decorate Wood Crafts

Wooden Heart

When I was a little girl, my bedroom was decorated with Disney’s Bambi characters. Each wooden plaque was painted in full color and beautifully detailed. Before falling asleep at night, I would sit and admire each one, imagining they came to life before my very eyes. You can create wall art (and memories) for your home.

Wood cutouts and plaques can be a fun, inexpensive project. When barbecue season rolls around, why not set up a craft table with a take-home gift for guests of all ages. The project described below has ocean animals, however, many themes are available, including sports, nature, and holidays. Decorating can be done with magic markers, acrylic paints, fabric paints (for 3-D effect), stickers, and self-stick gems. These techniques can be used for larger wood crafts as well. Items to be hung outdoors will require waterproof paints, and you will want to consider the fading effects of sun exposure prior to hanging your treasure.

With the addition of a ribbon, yarn, a picture hanger or a magnet, the finished items can be used as wall art, Christmas ornaments, wreath décor, place cards, window charms, and refrigerator magnets.

Seahorses:

Wood Seahorse

Turquoise Seahorse Paints

Turquoise Seahorse

Purple Seahorse Paints

Wood Purple Seahorse After

Seahorses – Step By Step Process: Apply base coat of acrylic paint over the surface. If you plan to create a 3D effect, be sure to paint over all the dark brown edges. When it’s dry, you may want to draw details to define your design. Photos of seahorses will provide inspiration. Choose accent paints and begin working across the body, being careful not to smear the fresh paint as you go. Allow the piece to dry for several hours. Check the manufacturer’s drying time recommendations. Look over the design and decide if you want to make any changes or additions. You could add more layers of paint to create texture. A paintbrush was dabbed in undiluted acrylic paint to create the bumpy effect on the seahorses body. Lastly, the blue dimensional fabric paint was applied to form spikes. After the paint thoroughly dries, reevaluate, and make adjustments as needed. Tip: A metallic paint was selected for the center of the body to give it an iridescent finish.

Update: For a more three dimensional look, please click here to see a more advanced version of these seahorses.

Dolphin:

Wood Dolphin

Dolphin Paints

Black, Silver & White Dolphin

Dolphin – Step By Step Process: Search for dolphin photos for inspiration. Choose dimensional fabric paints and begin working across the body, being careful not to smear the fresh paint as you go. Be sure to cover all the dark brown edges. Paint is applied in thick layers to give the dolphin’s body depth. Allow the piece to dry over night. Check the manufacturer’s drying time recommendations. Look over the design and decide if you want to make any changes or additions. It may require several paint applications to achieve the look you desire. Tips: Shiny paints were selected for a wet look. As you squeeze the fabric bottle, apply the paint using long “strokes.” Afterward, a damp paintbrush can be used to level the surface. Don’t worry about getting a perfectly smooth paint finish. The irregularities look like water rippling across his skin as he swims through the ocean. Be sure to wash brush with soap and water to remove fabric paint, which tends to adhere to the bristles.

Sea Turtle:

Wood Turtle

Turtle Paints

Green Sea Turtle

Turtle – Step By Step Process: Look at photos of turtles for inspiration. Choose dimensional fabric paints and begin working on the flippers, head, and shell, being careful not to smear the fresh paint as you go. Paint is applied in thick layers to give the turtle’s body depth. Allow the piece to dry over night. Check the manufacturer’s drying time recommendations. Repeat this process several times to achieve desired thickness and domed shell shape. Tips: As you squeeze the fabric bottle, apply the paint using long circular “strokes” starting at the shell perimeter, and working toward the center. The final step is applying the detailed scales on the head and flippers, and the pattern on the turtle’s shell using acrylic paint and a fine paintbrush.

All supplies for this project are available at AC Moore.

Happy Crafting!