Boy does it feel good to cross a project off the list when it’s been there for a year! I mean really, it wasn’t even hard, but it just kept getting pushed back.
I planned this last November when I made my faux fireplace surround (check out the plans for that here) and needed to do something with the “hearth”. I toyed with the idea of wood slices to mimic the look of stacked wood, but then I saw this picture and I knew I had to have it! I even purchased my wood a year ago, and it sat in the garage…. and sat, and sat.
I finally told myself that I wanted to get it done for this Christmas, so I started planning. I loved the way her pallet wood gave the piece a reclaimed wood feel. I didn’t reclaimed wood so I just had to go with what I could buy at the store. I had purchased 2 x 1/2 x 24″ craft boards last year. I decided to do 7 3/4″ lengths. It’s not a magic number, but I knew I could maximize my 24″ length boards.
Of course, once I created my layout, I realized I needed more craft boards. But that’s when I made my happy mistake… I purchased boards that were thinner and of a different species. Because I didn’t want to procrastinate any more, I just went with it. Thankfully, I loved the result!
Craft boards in desired width
Glue – I love Gorilla Glue!
stain or finish as desired
- Determine layout – I mocked up the layout in Microsoft Word. I created a rectangle the size of my hearth area, but moved the decimal point over one. For example, instead of 32″, I put it in as 3.2″. I then created a rectangle sized at .2″ x .775″, to represent a 2″ x 7.75″ block, and rotated it 45 degrees. I continued creating rectangles, rotating them 45 degrees and -45 degrees, and butted them against each other until I could make a row. I then grouped the row and copied and pasted until my hearth was filled in. I counted how many full boards I needed, then grossed it up a bit to fill in the edges.
If you don’t want to be so technical, you can cut some paper rectangles and lay them out in the pattern to estimate how much wood you would need.
- Quickly sand the boards if desired. The craft boards are already quite smooth, so you may find this unnecessary.
- Stain the boards – I used Minwax special walnut.
- Cut all of the boards into 7 3/4″ pieces or to the length you need. I used a wood block to create a stop on my miter saw and cut a couple boards at a time to make this go super quickly.
- Mark your center – Using a pencil, mark a vertical line at the center of your piece.
- On the end of your first board, mark the center. (see pic below)
- Place a speedsquare along the bottom of your workpiece, and lay your first board against the square at a 45 degree angle. Slide the board and speedsquare along the bottom of the workpiece until the center of the board lines up with the center of the workpiece. The bottom corner of the board should be at the very edge of the workpiece. Glue and clamp the board.
- Your second piece should be perpendicular to the first, with the long edge of the new piece flush with the end of the first piece. Glue down.
- Continue working your way up the board until you’ve laid your last full piece.
- Continue filling out the sides until you can lay no more full pieces.
- Fill in the sides, top and bottom by cutting pieces to fit. This is the fun part! Because you are cutting only 45 degree angles, it makes it much easier than it may seem.
By the time I was done, I was so thrilled with the way my mistake turned out! The varied wood species and thickness of the boards gave it the look of reclaimed wood and made it feel more natural.
Now I’m ready to hang my stockings!
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