Tutorial: Decorative Wall Art

Jan 7th, 2010

My husband Dan and I have been talking about this project for about 3 months. It’s been on my to do list, and he has been so great to talk me through the “nitty gritty” parts of what tools, what type of wood to buy…etc.
Items you need for this project:
One sheet of MDF: $25.00
2 Yards of Black felt: $6.00
A projector to get the image onto the wood. (I borrowed a friend’s)
Tools to cut it out (my hubby’s jigsaw)
Staple gun and staples (a smigen)
Spray paint in the color of your choice (about $5.00)

We bought a full sheet of MDF and cut it into four equal parts. We actually had the Home Depot guys use their big machine to cut it for us. It was AWESOME they cut it perfectly. I used three of the four MDF boards for this project. Each one was 24 inches wide and 48 inches tall.

The first thing we did was project the image onto the boards using my friends Liz and Jo’s projector. This was pretty funny because I kept bumping the projector. (OK, not funny at the time, but looking back, FUN-NY).

To those that missed my preview post found HERE, I used an image of a pillow for this project. I used photoshop to fit two of the designs across the three boards. One of them in one corner and the other one in the opposite corner. Here is the pillow. So cute.

Here is my cute friend Natasha helping me trace the images onto the boards. What a rock star for helping me. :) She is doing a similar project. When she’s done with hers I’ll show you hers.
This is what they looked like when we got done tracing the images onto the boards. We had to freehand a little bit because of the image getting distorted. I think we did pretty darn good.
My cute hubby spent an ENTIRE (yes, about 5.5 hours) Saturday cutting these bad boys out. I had NO idea that it would take him so long. I bet he was ready to kill me by the end, but he didn’t complain once. I’m a lucky gal. I’ll have to repay him with his favorite EVERYTHING. I’m pretty sure I owe him a leg for this…a kidney…an arm…ya know…A LOT!

Here they are when the cutting was complete. I even offered to help him cut them out. The truth is, he didn’t trust me to do it. He knew it wouldn’t look as good, and I would probably mess it up. He’s probably right. I’m kind of a spaz at this part.
Then I primed and painted the boards. I needed to prime them because the MDF sucks the paint right in. I used white KILZ to prime them, and then spray painted them cream when the primer was completely dry. Here are the bad boys in the process. Do you like my carpet pieces…you can tell I use them to paint all sorts of things. :)
After the painting was complete, I upholstered the back of each board with black felt. I chose felt because it is CHEAP with a capital C. Felt by the yard is 2.99 at JoAnn’s right now. Plus it is 72″ wide. So, I bought two yards. I stapled them to the board with my trusty staple gun.
Voila. Don’t they look AWE-SOME? I am so excited about them.

Dan is on his way home with the hardware to hang them on the wall, but I couldn’t wait to show them to you.
Do you like them?


  1. Wow, that is quite possibly the most impressive thing I have seen in a long time…. it really has my mind spinning with possibilities! Thanks for such a great idea and amazing inspiration!

  2. LOVE THEM!!!! You owe Dan more than a leg and a kidney… :) LOVE YA!

  3. These are freakin awesome!

  4. I L O V E love it!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This turned out so beautiful! I will need to make one of these someday.

    ~ Jessica


  6. This is my first time here and oh my, the wonderfulness of All Things Thrifty! I have been clicking around your place for 25 minutes and love it! I have got to get out of here, I am supposed to be reading–I'm doing the bible in 90 day challenge and just got sidetracked!

  7. Are you kidding? Black and cream and scrolly? They're PERFECT! Oh my, I'm in love. Great project.

  8. I have given you an award…you can go here to check it out

    you have a great blog and i love your work!!

  9. Love it soooo much and am searching for a place to do it in my home now.

  10. What a creative idea – you have a great husband to cut all that out without complaining. I am going to have to try this project.

  11. Wow, it's beautiful! I love this, I'll be linking.

  12. WOW!!!! that is a project – and beautiful – even more special that your husband helped you with it!
    visiting from fruglicious friday – first time on your blog – i love it

  13. Love it! You guys used a jigsaw? I saw something I want from Krumpets but don't want to pay their price for it. I would definitely need that jigsaw thing. I bet it is expensive, right?

  14. alittlefrenchloven says:

    Very cool idea, seems like a whole lot of work! Your hubby did a great job cutting those out. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful project.

  15. Mango Mom says:

    I fell in love instantly with this project, I would really love to Link this on my blog. What a great Idea!!!

  16. ** Adrian ** says:

    They are GORGEOUS!!! Luv it!!! Fantastic job, Brooke (AND DAN!!) ;D

  17. Yep. Amazing. I can't imagine my husband spending 5.5 hours cutting anything out unless he was going to make a lot of money off the project. Did you use an opaque projector, slide projector or one that hooks up to your computer?

  18. What an awesome idea. At first I thought you had painted the design onto the sections. Amazing.

  19. I love them, Brooke! What a clever idea and I like how you pulled it together using felt and MDF.

  20. That project has just left me speechless. It looks so awesome! You rock girl!

  21. I love them. Such an awesome idea to use felt to back them!!! May be a project for the boards I have chilling the the garage!!!

  22. Found your blog through A Soft Place to Land and I have to say that I just LOVE this idea! May have to try it out one of these days. Although, I may have to paint it instead so that my hubby doesn't kill me. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. super cool,, love it.. actually thought you had painted the black part at first. Looks great

  24. This is the best thing you've done yet! They look AMAZING!!! Nice teamwork!

  25. BEYOND LOVE! WOW I thought you just traced the design and stuck velvet on – this is amazing!

    I always wonder when I hear people talk about buying wood at Home Depot – do they charge to cut the wood? If so about how much does it cost?

  26. I love this!!! Thanks for linking!

  27. Absolutely gorgeous!

  28. Wow…that is sooo totally cool! Thanks for linkin' up to Frugalicious Friday! I think we're alike…don't you think $aving is fun too?

  29. I LOVE THIS!!! Gorgeous project! I didn't realize it was SO BIG until the pic with your friend in it. Holy Cow! Definitely going on my list of "to try projects"!

  30. WOW! What A project! It looks really awesome and really inspiring!

  31. CHIC.

  32. Thanks for linking up Brooke! I added this, you know, to my collection of "to do's"

  33. These are ah-mazing AND would go perfectly in my house! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Wow! Fantastic!!! Love it!

  35. Really stunning! Absolutely pops with elegance. I find the best blogs ever through this party.

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!

    FJ Donna

  36. Beautiful. I just got a jigsaw. I hope that one day I'll be good enough at it to make something as beautiful as this!!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Think it looks great. I think instead of spending the time to cut it out of the wood, I'd just rather paint it one-same effect if you're not standing right up to it.

  38. Really awesome! They will look fabulous on the wall.

  39. Fabulous! Love Love Love it! An amazing job!

  40. I LOVE this. I just wish I had the patients to do this. Not sure my husband would spend that amount of time doing it either, but maybe someday I will have to try. Maybe for a kids room!

  41. Doug and Lu says:

    I totally love this! Great job and what a patient husband!

  42. Ooops. Found my way here via Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch but I see you haven't put a link back to her Met Monday on here. I am sure she would appreciate the link back as is customary.

  43. Absolutely gorgeous! Now here's hoping that someday we'll have a nice jigsaw and that I can get my hubs to do it, too!

  44. I'm so jealous that you have a jigsaw… and a husband who knows how to use it… and the creativity to think of this. It's amazing!

  45. Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden says:

    That is amazing! What a beautiful job! Very dramatic!

  46. WOW! That is amazing!!! Your hubby is super talented (you as well)

  47. Those are awesome!! so bold and elegant at the same time. I totally want some. :)

  48. Fabulous!!! Your hubby definitely deserves something for all that cutting.

  49. All Things Creative says:

    What an amazing job you did!

  50. Hi Brooke! I am a former Acclamation girl (before Dan's time). Val told me about your blog. I love it! It's right up my alley. In fact I just got home from Goodwill. Anyhow, this is by far the greatest homemade art project I have EVER SEEN! You've got me thinking…could we handle this? Really it is such a fantastic piece!!! I'm going to have to follow you I think!

  51. This is really impressive. Thanks for sharing!

  52. Very nice.

  53. If my attention span for crafts were more than 5 minutes long, I would so do this. It's AWESOME!

  54. Oh my goodness….those are so,so cool!! Great job and yes, what a patient husband you have….


  55. This turned out so great!! I love the black and white together. I am thinking I might have to do something similar. I love the idea of using a projector too. So smart!

  56. Absolutely gorgeous. You did a great job – I LOVE it!

  57. Wow!! I didn't even realize they were cut out at first. Look great!

  58. All I can say is wow!!!!! 5.5 hrs to cut this out… Great hubby you have…. i love it…

    Thanks for joining my party… you both should be very proud of yourseleves.

  59. That honestly has to be one of the coolest projects I have seen to date! GREAT JOB!!I know you are thrilled to have that hanging on the wall. Just sitting here in amazement!! WOW!!

  60. Those are so incredibly cool! Y'all should just sit back and bask in a job well done – y'all rock!

  61. Brooke,
    I'm featuring this on my blog tomorrow, so stop by and grab I was featured at Life As Lori

    Thanks again for sharing!

  62. Would you be willing to email the pattern you created with photoshop?
    What an amazing project!!

    (contact me via my blog if so)

  63. LOVe love love THESE!!! I say you doo this several times and you could totally make some dough! My hubbs doesnt even own mechanical devices…soooo i would have no choice but to purchase something like this!!! love it!

  64. Ok, I sooooooo love these. My first time at your blog. Found you through One Pretty Thing. I love the felt idea, you can change it out if you want a new color!

  65. WOW!! WOW!!! WOW!!!! I love it SO much. You could probably shop for en entire year and not find such beautiful artwork. I would love to see a photo of the room you hang it in!! Thanks for sharing! Tara

  66. glamourpuss says:

    First time here – via One Pretty Thing. So amazingggg!! I love it everything about it – black + cream + scrolls! Way to go! :D

  67. Beautiful! I saw something very similar in a store recently but making it yourself is so much more fun!

  68. pure genious! i love it! i have a BIG empty wall in my living room thats needed something now for about 4 years….i just haven't found anything, or if i have, it was way out of our budget. for under $40, i may have to give this a try!

  69. First time visitor and I definetely will be back…love this!

  70. This totally solves my big wall problem! I love it!!! Would it be possible to get that photoshop file from you? I really like that design. I have photoshop and could do it but figure if its already done, that would save me a lot of time (which would be great considering this sounds like a very time intensive project :-) My email is cassi@byu.edu. If not, no big deal. Thanks a bunch!

  71. These are absolutely amazing! I would love to create something similiar for my living room! Would it be possible to buy the photoshop file from you?

  72. cara @ angelshoes says:

    This is what I think. I think you are a trooper to put in such time and effort to create such an amazing work of art. It's fab, and I'm glad I found your site.

  73. Oh my gosh! My husband is going to need to thank you because I'm going to tell him to go buy a jig saw now so I can make one!!! So great!!!

  74. I love this, and I think I can make it!

  75. I love, love this and you have inspired me for my own project!

  76. I absolutely love this one. So creative.

  77. Did you use 1/2 or 3/4 MDF?

  78. I absolutely LOVE these! They are so adorable!! I wish I could get some for my house :)

  79. Okay, Brooke..what kind of projector do you use…like an overhead one? Thank you!

  80. I am so impressed!

  81. Natalie says:

    Can you imagine my delight & giddiness when I saw that I have those same exact pillows on my couch (& a jigsaw that I know how to use & a projector to copy the idea)?

    I'm SO excited! Thank you for the amazing idea. I'm having a ball going through your blog this evening. You are an amazing person for sharing all your fabulous ideas & creativity!


  82. Absolutely AMAZING!! What a fantastic job you made of this – pure genius!

  83. Freaking AWESOME!!!

  84. Wandered over from Always in Wonder and Twice Lovely. Gorgeous Damask Piece! Been wanting to try something with a projector and you've given me great ideas!

  85. I LOVE this. Even my husband walked past with an "I like that. You should do that one."

    Thank you for the tutorial.

  86. So. You say you had to prime it b/c mdf just sucks up all the paint. Does it ever do it in a good way? Does it make it uneven and old and worn looking, cause that'd be kinda cool too for specific projects… Whaddya say?

  87. These are great designs. I loved it! Try krumpets home decor too.

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