Monday, February 4, 2013

How I made our Wooden Heart

 I wanted to share with you how I constructed our Wooden Heart that I made and customized for our family!!

Here are a couple close-ups of how it looks with each of our family members names turned into companies.

Lower portion: I even put some names on the yardsticks.


-I used 3 planks of cedar fencing. (For the pallet-looking portion)
-I used some smooth finish 1/4 in. plywood that I had left
  over.  You will not need a full sheet of plywood for this.
-I purchased 1 yardstick and 1 long ruler.  I used 2 other rulers that
  I had around the house.
-Some scrap boards to use as cross boards to assemble the wood 
  planks together on the back of both the white pallet and the heart.
-Wood Glue
-Construction Adhesive (Liquid Nails)
-Brad Nailer
-Table Saw
-Miter Saw
-Jig saw
-Silhouette Cameo to create stencils
-Contact paper for the the stencil material
-red vinyl for the word love
-Minwax stain color:  Special Walnut
-White paint
-Black paint to stencil

Finished Size:  31.5 in tall by 35 in wide.

To Make the Heart:

I took the smooth finish plywood and on the table saw, I  ripped 17 strips of wood measuring 1.5 wide and about 35 inches in length.  

* (Note, I had some scrap pieces of wood that were not 35 inches in length that were left over from another project that I used for the lower portion of the heart, so not all of my strips were 35 inches in length.  Just the ones that needed to cover the fuller top half of the heart.)

Here are my strips of wood before they are stained.  Im just laying them out to figure out the heart.

 I added the yardsticks and rulers and decided where I wanted them to be placed. At this point, I just roughly sketched out my heart shape to get an idea and, I didn't actually use the two rulers I have at the top in this photo below. 

You might also notice the shorter white scrap boards I used that I mentioned earlier to make the lower portion of the heart.

I next stained the strips and the yardsticks and rulers with Minwax special walnut stain to get the look I wanted 

Next is the fun part where I customized the heart to represent our Family.  I wanted the strips of wood that made up the heart to look as if I found them and reclaimed them.  I wanted them to look like they were from a company and were used for that company at one time.  

So I created some stencils.  I made stencils about Ryan and I  and the year we were married.   I made each of the kids names into a company along with their birth year to make it look like a company too.

To accomplish this, I made several stencils using my Silhouette Cameo.  
I placed mine and Ryan's name on a board toward the top of the heart.

Here is a stencil example:

Paint the stencil

Stencil pulled away.  This is a stencil with Our last Name and 5 kids...

Here is a shot with all of the boards with stencils on them laid out.  I randomly placed the strips.  I wasn't too concerned with the layout of the names. 

I even liked if some of the strips were a little uneven and when they laid on the pallet, they didn't have to lay flat either.

I numbered my boards so I would remember the order to cut them in...

I next took 3 extra 1.5 in.  wide strips and placed them vertically under all of the strips that are laying horizontally to glue the strips together.  

Here is a shot from the back showing the three strips glued to the back of the heart to hold it all together before I cut it.

Once they were all dry, I next used my jigsaw and cut out the heart following the lines I had sketched out...  

now the heart is cut out... whew! You may notice the last bottom pieces of the heart are missing.  Since they were so small, I cut them separately and placed them on at the end.
To Make the Back Portion or the Pallet-looking section:

Using the miter saw, Cut 6 Boards from the cedar fencing.  Each board will be the width of the cedar fencing as it comes.  Cut each of the 6 boards at 35 inches long.

I next stained them with the same Minwax stain...

I sanded them down a bit and then added a coat of white paint over the top of the stain.

I laid out the 6 white boards horizontally.

 I turned each of the boards over to the back.  I used some scrap wood as cross boards to the assemble them together from the back.  I had some thinner scrap wood that I glued to the back of the six boards. I had some other wood that was more thick that measured 1 1/4 in wide by 29 in long to be the cross boards to hold the six white boards together from behind. I put some construction adhesive on the more thick boards and nailed them with the brad nailer to the back of the white boards.

Now the pallet portion is complete.  I flipped it back over and positioned the heart where I wanted it to be and glued with the liquid nails and nailed it to the pallet portion.  
I cut the word love out of red vinyl and placed it off to the right in the lower corner.

Project complete!  We have LOVED this and it has been so fun to have up for Valentines.  I also like it because we can keep it out year round if we want to!  It's pretty versatile!

Here is how it looks on our Fireplace!  I also made a board look old with some stain and red paint and screwed some iron numbers (14) to it to represent Valentines Day and placed it next to the big heart!  

If you would like to see more shots of this large Wooden Heart,  you can see them here or by clicking on the photo below:

With Much Love & Gratitude,

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  1. Such a wonderful idea.. and talent.. I am going to make one... but I need Silhouette... Also we now have grand kids and I will incorporate them in.. I was collecting or trying to collect a yard stick from all the places I have lived and put them as a table top for my singer base.. in my sewing room.. I love this too

  2. Each community is graced with the sight of nice lawns and yards; they come in various sizes and mostly would reflect one's personality in terms of cultural background or personal favorites.Thanks for your share.

  3. That's a very interesting idea. The Wooden Heart looks simple but so beautiful. I'll try to make one and give it to my girl friend. Thanks for share the tip. I love it.

  4. wood pieces beautifully manicured. a very significant heart. I think I have to make one for my lover. surely she will feel wonderful.

  5. It's a great idea! I'll make one for my daughter's home. This wood heart looks to be a nice gift.

  6. Looks great. I like this DIY project very much. I'm doing some research on DIY project. I want to do something like that for my family.

  7. I love your DIY project. I would love to do one for my wife

  8. Aw, this is a lovely project! I think my wife will appreciate this to hang on our wall - such a nice memento. Better than the usual family trees!

  9. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion.compact miter

  10. Moreover, you won't need to pay somebody to introduce a fence for you. wood fence panels

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  12. Hi Michelle, the post seems quite resourceful and I must thank you for the efforts. However, I’m wondering if you could offer some details about where can I buy those chalk boards, you could explain it more. I would love to get it as I intend to introduce a new hub of information to our website- Sandersreview . Thanks!

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  14. It was really insightful.
    Thanks for such a nice content.
    BTW if anyone interested more have a look thanks

  15. Hey There Cedric Prigent,
    Thanks for the fantastic giveaway. I've read the full of your blog and it was really helpful. Nicely explained WOODEN HEART. I'm going to bookmark your page.

  16. You're so talented! I glad that I found this article. Such a great idea! I'll make one for my nephew.


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