Capture fall colors with this artwork you can display on your front porch. Or turn this project into hanging wall art to complement your indoor fall decor.
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Sand the front faces of the nine 1/2 x 3 x 24 boards and remove the stickers from the back.
Mineral spirits on a paper towel will remove the adhesive residue that stickers sometimes leave. Apply it in only a well-ventilated area while using breathing protection and gloves.
Apply stain to the front faces, ends, and edges of the 1/2 x 3 x 24 boards. (Avoid staining the backs for now.)
On a flat work surface, lay the two 3/8 x 2 x 24 cleats spaced 14 inches apart with the ends flush. Mark the two outside slats 3-1/2 inches from both ends and place them under the two slats (Fall Leaf Plaque Project Diagram) so the ends of the cleats are flush with the outside edges of the slats and inset 3-1/2 inches from the ends of the slats. Apply glue where the boards overlap and place a weight on the top boards until the glue dries. Repeat at the other end of the cleats to hold them in position.
Flip the assembly over so the cleats are on the bottom. Arrange the other seven slats evenly spaced—about 1/4 inch apart—on the two cleats. One by one, glue a slat and press it against the cleats. Add weight until the glue dries.
Stain the backs of the slats and the two 3/8 x 2 x 24 boards. Let dry overnight before continuing.
Staining everything at once would reduce the ability of the wood glue to bond with the surfaces of the wooden parts. Staining only one side allows the wood to absorb moisture at unequal rates, causing the assembled panel to warp.
Download, print and assemble the Leaf Panel Pattern. Position the pattern on the plaque and trace the shape of the leaf. Then mask off the shape of the leaf with painter’s tape.
Mask off the shape of the leaf with painter’s tape. Take care to cut the tape to form sharp points at the inside corners of the leaf pattern.
Apply the main color (Honeycomb shown) thicker at the center and feather it closer to the edges of the leaf pattern. Let the paint dry completely before continuing.
With a sponge, pad or rag, dab paint (Red Cent shown) within the masked leaf to leave more paint around the edges and little to no paint at the center. Remove the tape and allow the paint to dry.
If you want to hang the plaque, screw a D-ring hanger to each cleat 2 inches from the top.