Introduction: 8-Bit Final Fantasy Black Mage

About: Hi, I am Ashley. I am a geek and woodworker. I am author of the DIY and woodworking blog, Handmade with Ashley. I also have a YouTube channel where I share video tutorials. I have always been into crafts. My …

Hi everyone, I'm Ashley (Handmade with Ashley). I love making pixel art from wood and in this Instructable I'm sharing how to make an 8-bit Black Mage (Final Fantasy) from scrap 2x4s. I was largely inspired by abstract art pieces with a textured look on Pinterest and thought the technique would look really cool featuring retro video game art.

Here's what you'll need to make the 8-bit Black Mage:

  • 2x4 off cuts
  • 1/4" portion of plywood
  • Stains and acrylic paints (aqua, black, yellow and tan)
  • Gloss spray
  • Table saw (or bandsaw)
  • Wood Glue
  • Clamps

This was a project I started at the beginning of April as I was getting really hyped about the upcoming release of Final Fantasy 7: Remake. I had made a good amount of progress on it before stopping and letting it collect dust for weeks. Fortunately, I finally got over my maker block and finished the piece earlier this week. :)

Step 1: Rip the 2x4 Boards Into 3/4" Square Rods

I used varying lengths of scrap 2x4s to create the Black Mage. First, I ripped off one of the rounded sides before ripping the 2x4s into 3/4" square rods.

Step 2: Crosscut the Square Rods Into 1 - 1 1/2" Pieces

Once the square rods are cut, it's time to cut the individual pixels.

I wanted an nice random, textured look so I crosscut the square rods at random lengths between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches. I also cut the pieces at varying degrees of bevels.

I arranged the pieces in a dry fit to double check that I had cut enough pieces.

Step 3: Paint the Pixels

I grouped the wooden pieces into 4 piles, one for each color present in the Black mage.

  • Black (194 pieces)
  • Gold (43 pieces)
  • Tan (40 pieces)
  • Aqua (107 pieces)

I used a little web app I created to automate the counting of pixels per a color.

Step 4: Assemble the Pixels

Before gluing the pixels together, I did another dry fit to double check that I had enough of each color. (I didn't, so it was good I checked before gluing!)

I attached two pieces of plywood together at a 90 degree again as a frame for keeping my glue up somewhat square. I also glued the pixels on top of a piece of 1/4" plywood I cut to size.

If I make another, I think I may skip gluing on top of the plywood.

Recently, a book featuring the pixel artwork of Final Fantasy released (FF DOT: The Pixel Art of Final Fantasy, affiliate link). I used that as a reference as I pieced together the Black Mage (page 26).

Step 5: Enjoy Your New Artwork!

Once the glue dried, I applied a few coats of clear gloss spray coat and then it was ready to hang on a wall.

I am pretty happy with how it came out. I love the textured look and look forward to making more retro game characters using the same technique.

Thanks for checking out my Instructable!

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