We love this DIY Wood Project Tutorial by Reality Daydream. These Wooden State Plaques make the perfect handmade gift and home decor accent. Take a look! 

Handmade Gift Ideas - DIY Wooden State Plaques make the perfect handmade gift and home decor accent. Take a look!

Ready for the tutorial? 

Here we go! 

Hey The 36th Avenue readers!!

My name is Bethany, and I’m super excited to be here! I blog over at Reality Daydream with my man-child Nick… where you can find us knee-deep in our latest DIY endeavor. We talk about everything from furniture transformations to parenting twin toddlers; from plumbing to infertility (wait, are those the same thing?)… There are no rules!
DIY Wooden State (or Country) Plaque by Sawdust and Embryos!  
Today I’m going to show you a step-by-step tutorial for how to make your very own State (or country!) Wall Plaque! These are so fun, because they can be so personalized, and represent YOU… and your geographical location. And… they look great on a gallery wall!

I started with a slab of pine we had lying around in the garage. I liked the 1” thickness for this project, as well as the high-contrasted woodgrain! You can choose any wood for this project… as long as it has gawgeous wood grain.

DIY Wooden State Plaque by Sawdust and Embryos

Next, I did a Google image search for my state of choice… in this case Illinois! I printed it on a transparency and used my over head projector to blast the image onto my board. Then I traced it with a pencil, being as precise as possible!

 illinois (2)DIY State Plaque ~ Simply trace the outline of the state onto the wood using an overhead projector! {Sawdust and Embryos}DIY State Plaque ~ Trace the state onto the wood using an overhead projector! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Note! If you don’t have the good fortune of owning an overhead projector, many public libraries loan them out for FREE! It’s worth asking. I use mine for so many projects. I broke out my trusty scroll saw, and got busy! It’s not intimidating AT ALL as far as power tools are concerned…and it’s pretty self explanatory! Just turn the board to stay on track! And take your time on the tight curves. It’s not a race my friends!

Using a Scroll Saw to Cut a State Plaque {Sawdust and Embryos}

Use a scroll saw to cut detailed designs {Sawdust and Embryos}
And then stand back and look at your handiwork! I give you… Illinois!

Cut your state out of wood... WALL ART! {Sawdust and Embryos} 

Next, I went at it with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges. Be gentle on the areas that have delicate small parts that could easily break off.

Sawdust and Embryos

I gathered my staining supplies… Rustoleum Dark Walnut (my FAVE stain shade… NO RED-tint in sight!),a couple dry cotton cloths, a craft paint brush, and some rubber gloves. I decided to use a heart-shape for my city-of-choice (Chicago), and used a sticker that I had around. On this particular plaque, I wanted my stain to be very concentrated around the city, and gradually fade as I moved away.

DIY State Plaque ~ Shading with Stain {Sawdust and Embryos}

I used my cloth to blend the stain, and make the transition look very smooth. For a more in depth tutorial on ‘shading with stain’ check out this post!You can actually make artwork! Finally, I stained around the edges, and wiped off the excess.

Staining your State Plaque {Sawdust and Embryos}

Then it was time to remove the heart sticker! There will always be some seepage underneath, but that’s what your craft brush is for! Make sure your brush isn’t soaked with stain, and then carefully trace the perimeter of the heart… covering up all the seepage lines.

DIY State Plaque {Sawdust & Embryos}DIY State Plaque (Sawdust and Embryos) 

Bam… looky there.

State Plaque Tutorial {by Sawdust and Embryos}

Instead of staining around the edges, you could paint a bright color like these! I just used simple acrylic paint and a steady hand.

DIY State Map Plaques with a POP of color! {Sawdust and Embryos}_thumb[8]

United States Plaque {Sawdust and Embryos}

And instead of using a heart, you could use a star… or an anchor. Cah-UTE!

DIY Wooden State Plaque with a POP of color on the edge! {Sawdust and Embryos

We finished things off by waxing the top surface, and installing a comb hook on back for easy hanging.

That’s all folks! Simple right?

DIY Wooden State (or Country) Plaque by Sawdust and Embryos 
I hope you’ll have the confidence to give it a try for yourself!

And feel free to stop over to our blog Sawdust and Embryos for lots of tutorials and furniture transformations

Thanks for having me Desiree!  


Oh my cuteness Bethany!

We are loving this project so much… This would make a great gift!   

If you guys would like to have a Wooden State Plaque but you don’t feel like making one you can purchase them over at Bethany’s shop hereAlso I want to invite you to visit her blog because it is packed with great tutorials such as How to make your own stencil.

 Learn here how to use stain to make art work…

Shut UP! This is unbelievably amazing! Gradual Staining Technique {Sawdust and Embryos}


…and how to upholstered a headboard tutorial!

Seriously you are going to drop when you see how easy this DIY project is!


Also you can find and follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ 

Thank you again Bethany and you our wonderful friends for stopping by today!


Bethany and Desirée

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