Instructables

Printed Wooden Panels for Your Home (or how to decorate your house like a nerd)

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This has been entered into the weekend projects contest.  If you enjoyed this Instructable, please vote for it in the contest :). Thanks so much!

This is a good weekend project since it takes time to dry in between steps.  It's easy to start on a Saturday and finish (several) on Sunday.  Even though these are all pretty much nerdy, you can do this with photos or any graphic you choose.  My house just happens to be inhabited by video game players.  If you have any questions about any step of the process, please comment and I will do my best to answer you!
 
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Step 1: Materials Listing

Picture of Materials Listing
You will need the following:

1.  A laser jet (This part is important.  To see what the prints look like done in ink jet, please refer to the last step of this instructable.  It's not pretty) print in the size of your choice (Staples near my house can do up to 2'x3' cheaply.  I used 11"x11" images printed on 11"x17" paper and the prints cost about $1 each).  PROTIP:  Staples can change color photos/prints to grayscale for you.  However, BEFORE going to Staples, open the image in an editing software (MS Paint will work) and choose the option to "flip horizontally" in order to avoid any words or pictures appearing backwards.  If you don't, you'll be very, very sad (seriously, trust me on this one).
2.  A piece of plywood cut to just over the dimensions of your print (these are 12"x12" panels.  Home Depot will allow you to buy a large board and they will cut it into pieces in the store for you).
3.  Acrylic Gel Medium (purchasable in the paint section of any craft store).
4.  Mod Podge (purchasable in any craft store).
5.  Light colored wood stain.
6.  Stain rags (not pictured).
7.  Foam brush (not pictured).
8.  Paint brush (not pictured).
9.  Picture hangers (they are pictured in that small package and are in the nail/screw section of Home Depot).
10.  Screwdriver.
11.  Small paint roller or ruler (optional)
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Will this work on Plexiglas?
btoliver7 days ago

Anyone know where I can get cheaper prints everything is in the 4.00-7.00 range.

drtoni1 month ago

Hi- great instructable! I made some panels last week. I'm working on the finishing touches this week.. What type of wood stain did you use? Is there a concern that the gel medium on the wood might interfere with the staining of the wood? Is there a better type of stain to use? Ie., water based, oil based, etc? Thanks

Monkuin2 months ago
Hi! I LOVE borderlands and since the pre-sequel is coming out I wanted to do the picture you did, but I wanted to know how you made it a square image? On google the picture was rectangular and was wondering if you did it in paint or a person at staples did it?
biskies (author) 3 months ago
So glad it was helpful! This looks totally incredible!
InsaneSanity made it!3 months ago

I did it on my custom Mini Cruiser skateboard!

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biskies (author)  InsaneSanity3 months ago
That is INSANELY awesome!!!

Haha thanks :D

All because of this awesome instructable!

5923r8 months ago

what if i just used a regular printed ink picture?...

CabbitCastle9 months ago

DEADPOOOOOL!

...

I really gotta make myself some of those.

delusiondejavu11 months ago

This is my final result and I am so happy with the results. I used some distress ink pads around the edges...

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biskies (author)  delusiondejavu10 months ago

I LOOOOOVE this!!!

Battlespeed10 months ago

Could you be more specific about the type of plywood you used? There's a jillion different kinds. Thanks!

biskies (author)  Battlespeed10 months ago

You can literally use any kind you want, depending on the shade of wood you want on your final product. The only thing that's off limits is treated wood. Steer clear from that.

delusiondejavu11 months ago

I followed your guide but used Gorilla Wood Glue instead of gel. Thought you would appreciate my picture as it is game related. It worked well for my first attempt at any craft... One note: I used a piece of packing sponge that comes in computer boxes to remove the paper so I didn't have to abuse my fingers :)

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biskies (author)  delusiondejavu11 months ago
Fallout. I dig it!! It looks fantastic!!!
delusiondejavu11 months ago

Here was my second attempt and I love the result. Thanks for the great tutorial.

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Looks like it would be possible to take this idea a bit further in a number of ways - for instance, applying metallic embossing powders to selected areas of the image, creating a border with gold/silver/copper leaf, etc.
I've signed up just to post this comment. Love this instructable and finally got round to trying it last night. I wasn't sure if it was working or not and was about to give up as my finger was getting really sore after about a square inch and I thought from what I could see that the image was ruined. My solution? Use a rubber instead of your finger (sorry americans I mean an 'eraser'). It made the process so much easier and I could get away with lots of pressure, not to mention a pain free finger. You still need to dampen the paper a bit but seriously, what a difference!
Also; for anyone unsure about what medium to use to get the image onto the wood; I used PVA glue (no added water or other glues) and it worked perfectly fine.
Hope this helps someone and thanks for the great instructable.
Pinguino721 year ago
How finished does the wood need to be? I got some semi-finished sheets of plywood that are very smooth to the touch.. Do I need to sand it down even further? How finished and smooth does the wood need to be?
biskies (author)  Pinguino721 year ago
You will definitely need raw wood, unfinished. If you have semi-finished plywood, you will definitely need to sand it down a bit to remove the finish.
kde'laney1 year ago
I love this idea and will be trying it in the near future now that I'm on holidays. Congratulations on winning the weekends project competition!
twold1 year ago
I know you've probably already answered this and I'm just not seeing it, but how big were the images you brought in for printing? I.e. 1280x1080, 800x600? I'm guessing I'd have to square them, obviously =P, but I don't want to bring in something and have it be a pixelated print.
mrosjorde1 year ago
Thank you for the fantastic article ;).. Just wanted to mention a quick tip. I always add tape (I use paper tape) to the paper (on the back) after i glue it to the board. This will help take away most of the paper after it has dried. Also it will protect the paper when you make sure that there is no air bubbles.



Cheers,

Martin
ASCAS1 year ago
Genius! That's what you call innovative art! BTW, congratulations for winning the W.P. contest.

All this time, I never thought of using the toner transfer method on wood, I usually use it for PCBs. BTW, If you run out of ink, you might a well try the photocopier machine, the toner works for me.

Thanks for the well explained ible! I hope to see more of your future projects. Cheers! :D
biskies (author)  ASCAS1 year ago
Thank you so much for the awesome compliment!!
Caironater1 year ago
Do you have any idea if this would work with MDF boards?
In fact it does. When I iron the toner paper to my PCBs , I use a block of MDF wood as a platform. The toner/ ink stick to the wood, all you need is rubbing.
biskies (author)  Caironater1 year ago
No idea, but I can give it a shot and post the results! :)
OK, thanks! :)
The 'structable looks really nice.
biskies (author)  Caironater1 year ago
Thank you very much!!
iharper1 year ago
Will a laser printer work?
biskies (author)  iharper1 year ago
Yes, ONLY a laser jet printer will work. Ink jets will NOT work. :)

Hope that helps!
poofrabbit1 year ago
Hey congratulations on being a finalist in the weekend projects contest! These look great and you sparked an idea! Good luck!
biskies (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thanks so much! The projects that made the finalists are super impressive, so I'm not holding my breath, but, at the very least, it's another year of pro and a t-shirt and I'll take those all day, any day :)
That's a great attitude to have! :)
biskies (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thanks! I try to always look at the bright side. Do I WANT to win? Well, of course. If I don't win though, I'm looking at the competition and I'm just happy to be in the same race as all of these amazing things. And, as I said, worst case scenario here, given that there are 26 finalists and 26 prizes, I'm getting to extend my pro membership and some other goodies (and I would have posted this instructable regardless of the contests, so it's all just icing). :)
that's great!!! I should have thought that when I scratched away paper from my pcb! ;-)
biskies (author)  andrea biffi1 year ago
Ooooo that would have been fantastic. Thank you so much for the comment :)
I just had to comment on this! 1st, What a great project this is! I've not seen one of these DIY anywhere, and I think I've been on EVERY DIY site. So, Thanks for the Original idea!! 2nd, Your tutorial or should I say instructable was FANTASTIC!!! You were clear with each and every step and It was NOT boring to read at all. I hate to say that most are! You are very clear, consistent, cute, and witty in your writing. You should definitely become an author! So Impressive! You are definitely one to Follow! And Lastly, The one thing you are NOT is Nerdy! Just creative, funny, articulate, and a great writer! Keep at it! I can't wait for more! From one crafter to another! xoxo
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