One of the things I hate most about woodworking projects is throwing out the scraps that I’m left with when the project is completed. I always try to come up with fun and different ways to make good use of the pieces. Since scraps are usually pretty small, the projects have to be small, too. And that means I usually try to brainstorm interesting trinkets or home decor ideas that I can incorporate into various spaces in my home. What would you do with these pieces?
These started off as plain pine pieces that I sanded and stained, and they range from about three to eight inches tall. I decided to make them into standalone “modern mountain art” that I could display. Here’s how I did it!
- Several wood scrap pieces
- Saw and protective eyewear
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Stain, rag, and sealer or paint
- Strong glue
1. The first thing that I did was cut my scraps in various lengths. I made sure that one side of each piece was cut on a 45 degree angle, while the other side was straight. Then I polished the rough areas of each piece by hand using a small piece of fine-grit sandpaper and stained each piece using a rag and a dark stain. Staining is optional; you can leave the wood unstained or paint it however you’d like. I personally like the stained look.
2. After the stain has dried completely, organize the pieces in a way that looks like mountains. Then begin gluing them together, one by one, like this:
If you glue them together and leave a little bit of space between some of them, it will create a nice effect. Below is three pieces glued together, with a smear of glue on one piece to attach the next piece. You can also see how the shortest piece isn’t lined up exactly with the piece immediately adjacent to it:
It’s best to let the glue solidify before moving on to the next piece. If you glue multiple pieces together at once, it will be harder to keep the pieces in place. Using a glue that sets quickly helps to speed up the process.
3. Once I’d glued all five pieces together and the glue had completely solidified, I sprayed a sealer over the pieces to seal the stain. You can use a polyurethane or polycrylic in any finish (e.g., gloss, semi-gloss, eggshells, matte), or you can use another aerosol sealer. I used a matte acrylic aerosol sealer I had on hand. Put as many coats on as your sealer’s instructions suggest.
After the piece has dried completely, display it. I think my little modern mountain art looks lovely on my plant shelving. What do you think?