I made a guards hold shield from the hit video game the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. These are the shields that bear the emblem of each hold in the realm of Skyrim. The shields were made from recycled scrap plywood from a construction site and other items used in house repair. This was a really fun build. Please vote for me in the Game.Life 3 contest and the Green Design contest. Comments and feedback are very much appreciated.
Step 1: Make your stencil.
Photoshop (or any picture editor)
Find the picture that you want to use. Put it into Photoshop and carefully work around the edges of your reference picture. Erase all other color and make the emblem black. Also add bridges so that you do not need any islands in the stencil. Save the file as a .jpeg and then import it into blockposters.com. Print out the pdf file it gives you and start gluing them together, carefully trimming with your scissors to take off any excess. Once this is done you can start to very carefully cut your stencil out with a hobby knife. Now set your finished stencil aside until the painting part.
Step 2: Cut your wood.
We got our wood from our local construction site as scrap. It was about eight feet long, so we cut them into squares and drew two foot circles in them. After that, we used a jigsaw and a bansaw to cut the circles out. After a nice sanding, the rounds were ready for the next step.
Step 3: Stain and grain.
Once your wood is cut and sanded, its ready for staining. Using a can of old patio stain (sticking with the re-use old things theme) I was able to do around three or four coats on each round to achieve a nice finish. Once the stain has dried (probably should wait overnight) you can carve some slats into it using a wood burning or soldering iron. I used a soldering iron because the heat wasn't high enough on the wood burner to go fast enough. This achieved a very nice "separate pieces" look.