Introduction: Bird Minimalism Wall Art
"If a little bird tells you that you are crazy, maybe you are because birds do not speak" - Confucius
Hi there! In this instructable I will explain in detail all the necessary steps to create a minimalism wall art using birds as a design.
Minimalism? What's that?
The phrase "less is more" attributed to the modern architect Mies Van der Rohe takes up the minimalist philosophy in the early 1960s, in reaction to the abusive dominance of realist currents and pop art by museums and collectors.
The idea of simplicity appears in many cultures, especially in the traditional Japanese culture of Zen philosophy, applied to aesthetic elements and to the design of buildings.
I think that attitude is more important than skill ... so if you like the challenge of doing this project, don't hesitate.
I strongly encourage to join this project.
Let's get started.
PS: English is not my native language. My apologies for mistakes in writing.
Step 1: Supplies & Tools
- MDF thickness 15 mm
- Edge supply Black / White Melamine (3/4")
- Wood screws Ø4x20 mm (10)
- Wood screws Ø2x10 mm (6)
- Matte white spray paint.
- Bright black vinyl.
- Bright red vinyl.
- Bright white vinyl.
- PLA filament (optional see note).
- Paper tape.
- Table Saw
- Metalic ruller.
- Carpenter stapler
- knife pen (cutter).
- Circle Cutter (optional it is possible to cut the circles with scissor, very neatly)
- Edge banding trimmer (see photo 7) or another models like this
- Small twezzer.
- Printer 3d (optional see note)
- Router CNC (optional see note)
- Drilling machine.
- Sand paper or flexible Sanding Sponges (super fine & fine).
- Woodworking Frame Clamp Strap Holder for Picture.
- Tarjet credit or plastic similar.
NOTE: To hang the painting on the wall, I have designed a 3d printed heyhole hanger. In that case, the 3d printer is necessary to print the piece and a CNC or a manual milling machine to carve the wood to place the plastic piece. Alternatively you can hang the painting in another way (without printer 3d and CNC). There are a variety of keyhole hangers, most of them metal, that can be obtained and glued to wood with epoxy cement. The traditional cable system can also be used.
Step 2: Design
I used Autodesk fusion360 for the box frame design and Adobe Illustrator for the illustration.
The frame is made up of 2 pieces of 15 mm MDF.
The top panel is a whole square of 500 mm x 500 mm.
The back is made by joining 4 rectangular MDF parts 60 mm wide, with final dimensions 490 x 480 mm. This is 10 mm smaller than the top panel on all sides except the top. The top sheet has white edges while the back has black edges. When viewed on the wall, the artwork appears to be 15mm deep which is a very good visual effect (see photo 5).
The front panel is painted matte white and the artwork are made of self-adhesive vinyl in red, black and white colors.
For inspiration I searched and looked at many designs and styles of authors on Pinterest, with which I began to sketch and decide on the design made in Adobe illustrator.
With a minimalist style I drew a “mother” bird, with her two small “children” hanging on an electric cable: all from simple shapes: rectangles, circles and triangles. The image reminds me of the well-known PIXAR short film “for the birds”.
To hang the painting on the wall, I have designed a 3d printed a heyhole hanger. In the back it is previously planned made a milling of the MDF to install it (see photo 10 and 11). Alternatively you can hang the painting in another way (without the need for the 3d printer and milling the MDF). There are a variety of keyhole hangers, most of them metal, that can be obtained and glued to wood with epoxy cement. The traditional cable system can also be used (see photo 11).
The file birds.ai is attached here.
Step 3: Summary of All Task
To make this project, once you have the necessary materials and tools, the tasks are as follows (then they will be explained in more detail)
Cutting the MDF / Assembling the Frame:
- Cut the MDF boards according to the plans (1 front panel and 4 parts to form the back panel).
- Drill all the holes in the 4 parts on the back panel.
- Countersink the holes.
- Carve the space to keyhole hanger.
- Put white edge banding melamine on front panel edges.
- Cover the edge melamine with paper tape and paint with white spray matte.
- Once dry remove the paper tape.
- Pre-assemble the back panel parts following the plans.
- Adjust parts using woodworking frame clamp strap holder.
- Apply glue and apply staples to reinforce the joints.
- Put black edge banding melamine on front panel edges.
Finishing the Wall Art:
- Print the templates in 1:1 scale (parts that make up the big bird and the small birds).
- Put the template on top of the vinyl (with the corresponding color) and adhere it with paper tape.
- Cut the red, black and white vinyl parts with a metalic ruler, knife pen (cutter) and/or other tools.
- Mark reference guides in the frontal panel with a pencil to permanently stick the vinyls.
- Glue the vinyl parts starting with the cable and then the figures (birds).
- Remove excess parts with knife pen (cutter).
- Before permanently fixing the vinyl, check that everything has been well, if necessary carefully lift the glued vinyl and correct it.
- Apply a credit card hard on the vinyls so there is no air or marks.
- Wipe off any dirt or grease on the vinyls with a clean, dry cloth.
- Erase the auxiliary pencil guides.
- Fix the back panel to the front panel with screws.
- Place the plastic hang holder piece (printed in 3d) in the previously milled space, fixing it with screws, or alternatively, place your chosen hanging system.
- Choose the wall where to install the wall art and put screws in the wall according to the type of fixing you have chosen.
Step 4: Cutting the MDF
Cut and Sand:
With a table saw (or similar) proceed to cut MDF thickness 15 mm (see plan panel dimensions.pdf)
- 1 (one) front plate of 500 x 500 mm.
- 2 (two) rectangles of 490 x 60 mm.
- 2 (two) rectangles of 360 x 60 mm.
Once cut, proceed to sand.
Holes and carve the space to keyhole hanger:
- Following the dimensions of the plans, make the indicated holes (Ø2,5mm).
- With a countersink bit drill (Ø20 mm) make a countersink in the holes (Ø8mm). This will hide the head of the screws.
- Carve out the 490mm x 60mm MDF pieces with a CNC or hand mill to accommodate the 3d printed keyhole hanger. The latter will not be necessary if you choose a different wall mounting system. Use the adobe illustrator keyhole hanger (back).ai file to be imported into programs like ASPIRE or similar, and to be able to export a gcode format.
- Proceed to sand.
Step 5: Assembling the Frame
- Apply White Edge banding in the edge around the perimeter (photos 1 a 11). In the following video you can see how to do the job in the same way that I do it in the photos: "How To Apply Edge Banding". Placing the edge banding, heating with a clothes iron and finally cutting with a tool like this (in my photos you will see that I use a similar dark green tool).
- Before painting, protect the edges with paper tape as shown in the photos (photos 12 y 13).
- Apply white spray paint to the MDF surface (photos 14 y 15).
- remove the paper tape (photos 16 a 19).
- Locate the MDF rectangles as indicated on the plans using Woodworking Frame Clamp Strap Holder for Picture to ensure the 4 MDF parts form a perfect square (photo 20)
- Apply glue to all parts to be joined (photo 21 y 22).
- Tightly fit the Woodworking Frame Clamp Strap Holder (photo 23).
- Use the carpenter stapler at each of the wood joints applying 2 staples for a firm grip (photo 24 y 25)
- Apply Black Edge banding in the edge around the back frame edges (using the same procedure as the front panel).
NOTE: the final assembly of the front panel and the back panel will be done once we apply that the wall art is completed in the next step.
Step 6: Finishing the Wall Art
Cutting the Vinyl:
To cut the vinyl you can send to a store for vinyl, but In this instructable I will teach how to do it manually !! :)
For that you must use templates to cut the vinyl.
I have included a big bird CUT TEMPLATE.pdf and small bird CUT TEMPLATE.pdf to print in A4 paper.
There is also a plane with dimensions of the parts that make up the figure, if necessary: figure dimensions.pdf
This plans must be printed in its original size. Don´t set “Reduce to Printer Margins” at “Page Scalling”.
Cut a piece of vinyl and place the paper cutout (template) on top of it. Tape firmly these to a piece of auxiliary MDF, then proceed to cut using a knife pen (cutter) (photo 1,4 y 5) or similar and metal ruler.
To cut, press the line to be cut with a metal ruler and press the assembly with one of your hands, then with the other, firmly press the cutter in order to make correct cuts.
You should always cut to the line so that the black line just barely disappeears.
In the case of circles you can also use cutting tools as in the photo 2.
For the small circle pattern of the big bird's neck I made holes in red vinyl with an office hole punch. I did the same for the eye of small birds. See (Photos 22 y 23).
In the case of the big bird's eye, I drew a circle on the white vinyl and cut it very carefully with scissors.
There is no template for the cable (black line where the birds are resting). To do so, follow the dimensions of the two parts indicated in photo 9 or file cable LAY OUT.pdf and cut a 3 / 3.5 mm thick straight strip with black vinyl.
To detach the vinyl from the paper, use a small twezzer like the one seen in the photo 3.
Gluing the vinyl figures:
Once all the vinyl pieces have been cut, begin gluing (The vinyl has adhesive, so you only have to remove the paper and press it onto the front panel).
Previously you have to do is mark with a pencil the position of the different parts: the cable, the big bird and the two small birds. I have included plans with those dimensions: cable LAY OUT.pdf and figure LAY OUT.pdf.
You will be able to see in the photos (12 a 27) the order and the way in which I was gluing the parts to form the work of art.
Working with adhesive vinyl has the advantage that you can make corrections if you do it quickly enough before it is permanently stuck.
Once the work is finished, erase the auxiliary pencil lines.
In the neck area of the large bird, cut excess vinyl from the circles with the cutter (see Photo 26).
Using a credit card, swipe firmly all over the vinyl to ensure a perfect bond.
Clean the surface of the vinyl after the job is done. It can be left with traces of grease, or glue. To do this, use a clean, dry cloth.
TIP: In my case I made some final adjustments in the position of the "legs" of the large bird because it had not been as the original design. To lift the vinyl and correct mistakes, use the cutter very carefully so as not to damage it. Once it peels off use your fingers.
CAUTION: Be extremely careful about cutting yourself on the edge of the cutter. The lesions are very painful and slow.
Assembling the set:
- With a 3d printer print the keyhole hanger (plastic keyhole hanger.stl) and install with wooden screws Ø2x10 mm in the carving done previously. The latter will not be necessary if you choose a different wall mounting system. (Photo 26)
- Fix the front frame and the back frame with the wooden screws Ø4x20 mm (Photo 29 y 30).
- In the photos 28 and is the finished wall art (ready to mounting in next step).
Step 7: Mounting the Wall Art on the Wall
If you came to this place on the instructable and also built this piece of art, now is the time to fix it to the wall and enjoy the finished work:
- Choose a wall in your house to install it.
- We will have to make two holes to hold the work of art.
- Made the holes in the wall and install fishers wall plug S5 (choose the right model for your type of wall).
- Follow the interior decorating rule that suggests installing them at eye level.
- Put 2.5mm self drilling screw .
Step 8: Final Words
That's all for this project!
We have created a wall art with a very low cost !!
I hope you enjoyed this instructable as much as I have enjoyed it.
If you have any question ask them in the comments below!
I would also love to hear what you think about the project.
PS1: if you like the project, please VOTE FOR THIS and choose it as a favorite ♥️ == THANKS ==
PS2: Credits: vector background created by kues1 - www.freepik.es
PS3: I have an active canvy pro membership.
Second Prize in the
For the Birds Speed Challenge