Three Budget-Friendly DIY Wood Plank Art Ideas

Today I'm sharing three budget-friendly DIY wood plank wall art ideas with rustic farmhouse charm. While we made them for our grandson's nursery, they can be made to suit any room in the house by changing the paint color and what's displayed on top of the wood planks.

In this post, I'm going to show you how easy it is to build the wood planks, how to transfer your favorite photo onto the wood, how to stain wood naturally, a no measure way to hang wall art, and unique ideas for embellishing the DIY wood planks. The best part about this wall art is that they cost very little to make.

Budget-Friendly DIY Wood Plank Wall Art

Three Budget-Friendly DIY Wood Plank Art Ideas

We made these for our grandson's nursery which has a rustic woodland theme. They could be painted Princess colors with a glossy finish. The possibilities are endless for paint color, patterns, finishes, and embellishments.

For our DIY nursery wall art, we made a monogrammed, family photo, and interchangeable photograph picture frame style and I break each one down as to how to make them. But first, I want to show you how easy it is to make the wood plank base.

DIY Rustic Farmhouse Wall Art

That's where the Power Tool Challenge comes in. Once a month a group of creative tool-toting female bloggers comes together to encourage and empower our female readers to step out of their comfort zone and tackle a simple DIY project using a power tool.

Each month the challenge is making something using a specific power tool and this month its a drill, one of the least intimidating power tools. It's the first power tool I learned how to use when staging homes for the real estate market. It didn't take long before I purchased and claimed my very own drill because I used it so often. There are links at the bottom of this post to the team's power drill projects.

How to build wood frames for the wall art

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Plank wood frame dimensions

Horizontal Planks: 5 1/2" x 16"
Vertical Uprights: 1" x 2"x 14"
Most hardware stores will cut the wood to size for you if you need assistance with cutting.

I've included a supply list to make the wood planks further down in the post. But one must-have for this project is a drill and I love my cordless power drill. I started with a small battery-operated drill but it didn't take long before I wanted something with more torque.

DIY Wood Plank Wall Art Supplies

Let's get started.

Step 1 - Measure the planks

Measure 1-inch from the edge of each fence board on both sides and draw a pencil line.

DIY Wood Plank Wall Art Frame Tutorial

Step 2 - Drill pilot holes on the furring strip uprights

On each vertical upright measure 2-inches from each edge and mark with a pencil in the center. To prevent the narrow wood splitting when you assemble the pallet art AND to help the screw go in nice and straight, drill small pilot holes with a 1/16" drill bit (pictured below).

DIY Wood Plank Wall Art Frame Uprights

Step 3 - Attach the furring strip uprights

Make sure the length of your wood screws are no longer than the depth of the uprights and fence boards combined. Line up the fence boards and lay the uprights along the 1-inch pencil mark you made previously. Drill the uprights in place with wood screws through the pilot holes you pre-drilled. One or two screws per fence board on each side is sufficient to hold them in place.

Helpful Tip

It helps to apply a little pressure on the drill to countersink the screws slightly so they sit just beneath the surface (pictured below).

DIY Wood Plank Wall Art Battens

Step 4 - Attach picture hanger hooks

On each furring strip upright at the back of the wall art frames, measure 3-inches from the top and screw a D-Ring Picture Hanger Hook.

DIY Wood Plank Wall Art Hanging Tip

What you'll need to make the wood plank art

Supply List for plank wood art

No measure tip for hanging wall art

Tired of all that measuring to make sure the nails go into the wall in just the right spot? Then the added pressure of getting the art to hang level. Then you're going to love this tip for getting it right Every.Single.Time without using a tape measure. Here's a link to my No Measure Tip For Hanging Wall Art tutorial.

How to age the wood naturally

To add to that rustic charm, we want to give the wood planks an aged patina. It's super easy to do and I show you how in my How To Age New Wood With Stuff From Your Kitchen tutorial.

Now we finally come to the fun part, painting and decorating the wood planks for the nursery! We'll start with the photograph transferred onto the planks wall art.

DIY Wall Art Idea 1 - Photograph Transferred Onto Wood

Out of all three nursery wall art ideas, this one is my favorite because it has the lasting memory of a photograph of the day our grandson was born.

Photograph Transfer On Wood DIY Wall Art

Before transferring a favorite photo, the plank wood needs to be painted but if you prefer the photo be on unpainted wood, then move straight to the photo transfer tutorial.

All three nursery wall art ideas in this post are painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Antibes Green. But of course, the color options are endless for your wall art.

How to do a paint wash technique

Rather than solid paint, we're going to give the wood a wash of green paint so the stained wood shows from underneath. To do this thin waterbased paint with water to the consistency of milk. You can apply the paint with either a brush or a lint-free rag. Just make sure it is a transparent wash of paint by wiping the over the wet paint with a lint-free rag.

How to transfer a photograph onto wood

The photo above was taken minutes after our grandson was born with our daughter and son-in-law. Can you tell Mommy and Daddy had next to no sleep? You must use a laser printer because the ink in an inkjet printer will smudge. If you don't have a laser printer, save the photo on a memory stick and take it somewhere like Staples to print with a color laser printer.

What not to do tip for the photo transfer

If you look closely at the photograph above you'll see that the tattoo on Dad's arm is backward. So you don't make the same mistake I did, make sure you print a reverse (mirror image) of the photo if there is ANY text, no matter how obscure it may be, in the photo.

Follow these steps from my Image Transfer Technique Using Transfer Medium tutorial to see how easy it is to transfer a photograph onto the wood.

If you'd like to add a phrase or the child's name onto the wood after the photograph is transferred, visit my Image Transfer Technique Using Graphite Paper tutorial. It's super easy and you'll have professional-looking typography. Once the text is transferred go over it with a paint pen or Sharpie marker (pictured below).

Once the image and typography ink is completely dry, protect the nursery wall art with two coats of a matte non-yellowing clear coat.
DIY Wood Plank Wall Art Typography

DIY Wall Art Number Two - Chevron Monogram

Monogram letters are so popular in children's rooms and nurseries but why not jazz it up by adding them to painted chevron stripes.

DIY Chevron Monogram Wall Art

How to paint chevron stripes

Measure the center point of your wood frame and apply a piece of Chevron Frog Tape in a straight line across. From there take two small pieces of tape to use as your guide between each stripe and line up the next stripe, and so on (pictured below).

DIY Wood Plank Wall Art Chevron Stripes

With a small foam roller or paintbrush, paint over the tape in your nursery colors. Before the paint dries remove the tape by pulling it at a 45° angle.

For a rustic timeworn look, once the paint dries lightly distress the stripes with 220 grit sandpaper. If you want perfect chevron stripes, then eliminate this step. Protect the paint with a matte non-yellowing clear coat.

Adding a monogram to the wall art

I found a sweet wood monogram at Michael's. I love the distressed white finish on one side and the galvanized metal on the other. Here is a link to some other monogrammed letter styles. Simply hot glue the letter onto the center of the plank wood frame and you're done!

DIY Wall Art Number Three - Interchangeable Photograph Picture Frame

What I like about this wall art idea is that you can change the photos inside the mounted picture frame as the child grows. It's super easy to make with an inexpensive dollar store or thrift store picture frame. The size of the picture frame is totally up to you. I used a frame to fit 4" x 6" photos because they are the most common size to print.

DIY Rustic Interchangeable Photo Picture Frame Wall Art

Painting the plank wood art

But first, the plank wood needs some paint, or not if that is your preference. I used the same paint wash technique as the first photograph wall art above but instead of washing all the plank boards, I washed just the top and bottom ones.

Attach an inexpensive picture frame to the plank wood

Remove the glass and backing from the picture frame. Glue the frame with a hot glue gun onto the center of the painted frame. There are a couple of options for placing photographs inside the frame.

Photograph placement option one

Glue a metal bulldog clip to the top center on the inside of the picture frame. Easy peasy.

Photograph placement option two

Hang a strand of natural jute twine, bakers twine, or ribbon inside the top of the picture frame. Hang the picture with mini clothespins onto the rope. This is the option I used for mine.

Rustic Wood Plank DIY Wall Art

There you have it, a trio of unique budget-friendly wood plank wall art ideas that won't break the bank for any room in the house. While mine are painted green for a woodland nursery, yours can be any color that fits with your home.

I hope building the wood planks inspired you to pick up a power drill and give this a try. You can make serving trays with this same technique. Again the possibilities are endless for paint colors and embellishments for the plank wood board and batten style frames.

I also hope that some of the helpful tips I've included in this post inspired or taught you something new along the way.

If you have any questions about this project, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

More DIY Nursery or Children's Room Ideas

Vintage Nursery Rocking Chair
IKEA Tarva Dresser Nursery Change Table
DIY Stuffed Animal Zoos 
Super Easy DIY Yardstick Growth Chart
Repurposed License Plate Wall Art

If you enjoyed this project, I'd be so thankful if you pinned and shared it with a friend.

Three Unique DIY Rustic Plank Wood Wall Art Ideas

Please join me in visiting the links below to see what the rest of the Power Tool Challenge Team made using a power drill.

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



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