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Mountain Wall Art- DIY

Since the day we decided we were going to do Porter's nursery with a mountain theme and use pictures of our travels in it I wanted a wooden piece to hang over his crib. As you probably know about me by now, I am about as cheap as they come. While I love the look of them and could only imagine the hard work put into each piece by many of the small businesses or Etsy shops that sell them, I knew I could make one for pretty inexpensive. I have been on and off looking at doing this project since our P man was born (yes, its been 1 year and a half)! And to be honest I bought one from At Home last summer only to find out it was sold out.

That was the last push to really set me in motion. Okay so I didn't jump to it last summer but nearly a year later I have completed this project. All you need is a few supplies and a miter saw. You also will need to be comfortable using a miter saw or find a hubby or friend who is. Luckily I got to work on another project about a month go using the miter saw and felt like I could tackle this one myself.

First things first.. Supplies.

  • Framed finished or unfinished plaque of your preferred size (here or here)

    • NOTES: I got mine from Hobby Lobby when it was 40% off. It was a finished white painted backing with a light neutral stained frame in the size 28in x 20in and I am unable to link it. Above I linked some similar options from Michael's. If you can't find the dimensions or coloration you like though this would be easy to create as well with some hardboard cut down to the size you want and 1x2 or similar cut down and stained to the color you like.

  • Wood shims

  • Stain- colors as you choose I used Briarsmoke and American Chestnut

  • Wood glue

  • Miter saw

  • Clamps (if you do not have any heavy items will work too)

You will want to think about placement of where you want to layout the mountains. I wanted one big one in the middle and two smaller equal sized ones on either side. I started with the large one in the middle by marking the center of the backing. I knew I wanted my peak there so I began there. NOTE that shims are tapered pieces so you may or may not want all of them going the same way. I liked the dimension that it gave to the piece alternating which way the tapered side laid. I laid out all of the first mountain to begin.

Then its time to cut. Nearly every single cut on this project is a 45 degree angle. Each of the mountain peaks are created from 45 degree angle cuts joining together. Pro tip- to not move your saw back and forth as much (choose one side of your mountain to do this on) flip your shim over upside down and make the cut. When you flip it back face up the way you want it the angle will be cut facing the correct way. Keep making your cuts and laying things out as you go. When you get to the bottom you will need to mark where to make those cuts as well. I simply used another shim as a straight line and a pencil and drew a line across. These cuts will all also be 45 degree angle cuts.

If you are still with me you should have your first mountain all cut and laid out in place at this point. Next, you will need to mark the middle of each side to know where the peak of each of your smaller mountains will be. Repeat the process for each side mountain. Depending on the size of your backing you may need to cut a shim in half length wise for each of the pieces closest to the middle larger mountain. Again these should all be 45 degree angle cuts. The only straight cuts you will make will be for those pieces where they meet the larger mountain.

I am not an expert but please use all safety precautions as you use a saw. If you are not comfortable with it please ask for help.

When all of your cuts are made you will have the entire project laid out.

Next step is optional depending on the look you are going for. Since this piece was for Porter's room I wanted a more playful vibe and to incorporate the many wood tones already in there. I picked random pieces to stain and used two stain colors only. Let dry for about 24 hours.

Lastly, use your wood glue to glue everything in place. I used Gorilla Glue made for wood and although it said it dried pretty quickly I found it to take a bit longer than expected. Glue all the pieces down and use clamps or any heavy objects you have to secure and hold down for at least 30 minutes. I used both clamps and a large brick we had laying around and left them sit for about 3 hours. As mentioned on the glue bottle it takes a full 24 hours to dry completely so I did not hang it until the 24 hours were up.

Boom. There you have it. You have your final piece ready to hang and enjoy. As I was writing this post I am realizing it is hard to explain a project like this but I hope you followed along and it made sense. Check out the reel I made of this project over on my Instagram (here).

Hope you enjoyed this DIY!


Maria Elizabeth

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