Introduction: Craft Sticks and Shims Ceiling
If I had to do it over again, I would do it differently... live and learn! Here's how I went about it though...
I started out by making a template from yardsticks to use for the tiles. I made mine 18 inches by 18 inches. This helped to keep the tiles the same size and square (pretty much anyway). I lined the craft sticks up and staggered them by cutting some in half to begin with a whole and then use a half stick right on down the line. I glued craft sticks to those to hold them together. Then I stained them. Once I had the tiles made, I hung them by starting at the center of the room and working my way across the width and down the length of the room. I used wood glue on the back of the tiles and brad nails to secure the tiles.
Once that part was done, I made the border by lining up craft sticks and gluing more craft sticks to them to hold it together. I kept it straight by gluing yardsticks to the counter and running them the length of the counter. I stained the border the same color as the tiles. I used a wood burning tool to write meaningful words (to me) along the length of the border all the way around. To soften the look of the words, I took a little bit of a cotton ball and wrapped it around the tip of a toothpick and dipped it in a dark stain and traced the words with the stain. Then I secured the border to the ceiling by using wood glue and brad nails.
Then I stained shims (they're cut at a diagonal but if you put them together they make a nice block). I glued them together so they would stay together while I nailed them to the ceiling. I also used wood glue on the side of the shim block that attached to the ceiling for extra reinforcement. To nail it to the ceiling, I used individual 1 1/2 inch wire brads and a hammer. (My brad nail gun wasn't big enough to hold nails long enough to secure the blocks, otherwise that would have been ideal.)
Then I put trim around the tiles using 3 craft sticks held together with wood glue and craft sticks and secured them with wood glue and brad nails.
Voila! This is my craft stick ceiling. It makes the room so cozy and I love it! :)