Wednesday, September 4, 2013

chevron wall-art from wood shims

When I showed you Rad's room, I mentioned that I love geometric shapes and patterns in children's rooms. 

I knew I wanted a statement wall or focal point in the playroom.

I started looking around on Pinterest and blogs and loved ideas like this one from Vintage Revivals and this one from Makley School for Girls.

The thing was, I had like almost no budget left so even though 2X2's are inexpensive, they still would have broke my budget. 

So one afternoon I was putting some stuff away in the garage and I saw half a package of wood shims we had leftover.


Shims are cheap cheap cheap and they are versatile. 

The only downfall was that they wouldn't really work for either of the ideas I mentioned above so I Googled shim art to get some ideas.

And I found this idea from the talented girls from East Coast Creative


I followed their tutorial...kind off...but made a few changes to make it a little simpler. 

So here is the 551 East version of East Coast Creative's tutorial. 

Step 1: Buy 2 packages of shims.
(Kind of a well duh step, but you know.)

Step 2: Cut them at a 45 degree angle. 

You can stack them and cut multiple at at time. We cut about 8 stacked.

Make sure to cut the 45 degree angle on the THINNER side of the shim

Step 3: Paint or finish the shims how you want. 

I used paint I already had on hand to keep project costs to almost nothing.

If you don't have a lot of paint on hand, small tubes of acrylic paint from any kraft store would be great and they run only about a $1 a bottle.  

I think this would also look amazing with stain or tung oil. 
Just a thought. :)

When you go to paint the shims, make sure to lay them out so that half of them have the 45 degree cut on the left and half of them have the 45 degree cut on the right. 

That way when you go to put them on the wall you have an even amount of each side for the pattern.  

Since I have a lot of spray paint on hand I used that.

It made the whole process super fast since I used 11 colors total. 

Step 4: Once your paint is dry lay the pattern out. 

Step 5: Measure your wall space and create a straight line for the center of each column. 

East Coast Creative used a plumb line for this, but we just drew a line with our level. 

Super easy and no messy chalk line to clean up. 

Step 6: Using a nail gun (you could do this by hand, just make sure to use finishing nails so you don't split the shims) adjust the pressure on the gun to low otherwise you will just shoot the nail right through the shim.

This is also where we differ from East Coast Creative. They glued their shims to the wall, but that seemed a little too permanent for me and we had no problems with the shims splitting when we nailed them to the wall.

Use 2 nails on the thickest parts of the shims to prevent the shim from splitting.

And that's all!

Honestly, the whole project took less then 2 hours and a decent amount of that time was waiting for paint to dry. 

And I kind of love it. :)

PS. Because I used paint I already had the total cost was under $10. 


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  1. I love this! You have me dreaming up a place to do this in my own home. Your newest follower,

  2. Awesome job Julia! It looks so fun - perfect for the play room. And I love that you mostly used stuff you already had - that is my favorite kind of project.

  3. It turns out really great. This is so cute. And this project is pretty simple yet it really made a difference.

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