If you just happen to have a 1 x 10 piece of wood laying around then you can create some country wood crafts. Why burn leftover pieces from projects, or send it to the dump? When you can create great recycled crafts for yourself, for gifts or to sell. If you love to paint or create, then a house building site can be a wealth of free supplies for your rustic crafts. (ask first though, even if it looks discarded, better check first!)
It makes a great surface for painting. It is a nice change from canvas, and you can get really creative with the way you display it.
Below is a rustic craft, homemade checkerboard done in primitive style that I created and sold at a craft show. I actually hauled this piece out of the fire pit, before it was burned. (I actually found quite a few, but those are other projects!) It was a piece of 1 x 10 inch pine that was approximately 2 feet long. This particular piece had been used for forms for footings, and had also aged a bit while it was outside which adds to the rustic look.
Homemade Checkerboard Game
To make this primitive craft, all you need is a piece of 1 x 10 (1 inch thick by 10 inches wide) cut to two feet long.
red and white paint
unfinished wooden wheels (purchased at hardware or craft store) for the checker pieces.
thin dowel (to store the checkers on)
cap for dowels (so the checkers don't fall off)
rope for hanging on the wall if you wish
Measure out your checkerboard in the center, using one inch squares for the game board.
Paint the Checkerboard
Paint the game board red and white (or whatever colors you prefer) and then decorate the rest of the piece any way you want. I painted a farm fence scene on either end and I lightly stained the wood with watered down acrylic paint and wiped it off. These are fun to make, since you can get your ideas based on nature and recycling wood into crafts.
Then for the checker pieces, I headed to the hardware store, and found those little wooden wheels that are used for model projects etc. They were quite cheap. I then bought some doweling, and drilled holes that would take the thin piece of doweling a couple of inches from the checkerboard on both ends. I also purchased the caps to fit on top of the doweling.
You can also purchase checker pieces online or get creative with shapes!
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Paint the Pieces
Paint your checker pieces and fit the dowels into the drilled holes with some wood glue and let dry. Place your checker pieces on these dowel pieces for storage.
Drill 2 holes at one end and thread the twine or rope through for hanging on the wall.
The beauty of this craft idea, is that you can paint a scene, or just stain the wood, or decoupage it, use stencils or anything you want. You can use image transfer if you prefer or you can use tracing paper and put a design on, you don't have to free hand paint if your don't want to. There are so many great ways to create recycled crafts. This checkerboard was measured out but freehand painted. You can use painters tape and have straighter edges as well if you would prefer.
Once you have completed your project, either spray or paint on water based varnish. Water based is good, because it won't yellow the whites, whereas oil based varnish will. The newer water based varnishes are tough, so you don't need to worry about the surface. I used two coats. You can get it in satin or gloss.
This craft, is a great way to recycle leftover pieces of wood from any projects. My family thought I was crazy as I hauled out pieces of wood from the soon to be fire pit, they told me they were too short to use for anything, and had weathered. To me this was just perfect! My hubby said "you can't really make 2 feet of wood into anything", but I managed to create recycled wood crafts.
I managed to make quite a few, from many pieces of 1 x 10 pine forming wood in various lengths, that I then sold at craft shows and a craft store.
So, before you head to the craft supply store and buy expensive kits and supplies, really take a good look around and see if you could recycle something for your next craft project. This gets the creative juices flowing and you can come up with ideas if you look at it long enough, rather than trying to create a craft from a magazine. You can use craft magazines for inspiration, but come up with your own unique designs!
Each One an Original
Each piece, would be an original, and unique, something different, that is why they sold at the shows. I could make a few of these checkerboards, but each one would have a totally different original painting on them and different stains or colors on the wood. No two would be the same. Many of the buyers, bought them to decorate a rustic cottage or cabin.
So, that saying "another persons trash is another person's treasure" is very true when it comes to recycled country wood crafts. Take a look around your own yard or house or garage, or head on over to the local dump and reuse center, and use your imagination.
When I first started painting, I would paint on paper and canvas, but found wood to give paintings dimension and add to the look. But quickly found out that unfinished wood craft kits at craft stores were quite expensive. So, I went looking for tossed out wooden items, and with some of the new high adhesion primers on the market was able to repaint and bring back to life many recycled crafts, for myself and to sell. Also see Country Wood Crafts - Acrylic Painting
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(price as of Aug 5, 2013)