Introduction: How to Make a Giant Pixel Mario

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 …

I love it when I can combine woodworking and geeky things. Today I’m sharing how to build a giant Mario pixel wall art. This was a really fun (and really tedious) project that I created for the Modern Makers Podcast’sTwo 2×4 Challenge. The objective of the challenge was to create something using 70% of two 2×4 boards. The classic Super Mario Bros was my introduction to video games, and thus 8-bit Mario will always have a special place in heart.

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View build video in YouTube.

Tools and Supplies

I used the following tools and supplies to create the giant pixel Mario (affiliate):



The project cost me about $10 in supplies. I had to purchase the two 2x4s and CA glue.

Step 1: Resaw and Mill the 2x4s

Cut each 2x4 in half and resaw boards on the bandsaw. The goal here is to stretch the 2x4s by turning them into 1x4s. (Or you can skip this step and just buy 1x4 boards.)

Alignment is critical. You want to ensure the boards are square on each side. Start with a jointer and flatten one face, followed by an edge. Move to the planer to flatten another face and mill all the boards down to the same thickness.

Step 2: Rip and Cut the Lumber Into 2" Squares

On the table saw rip the boards down to 2" strips. Save the leftovers. You will need them later.

I didn't do this when I made my Mario, but I seriously regretted it later: Equip a router with a 45 degree chamfer bit. Route the along the edges of the strips. (I waited until after I cut the strips into individual squares to begin routing. I don't recommend that.)

Cut each strip into 2" squares.

Step 3: Route Each Edge of Each Square

Equip a router with a 45 degree chamfer bit. Route along the remaining two sides of each square. I placed each square on top of a bench cookie as I was routing. This eliminated the need to clamp each square in place.

I really like the way adding a chamfer makes the pixel pop out.

Step 4: Stain the Squares and Assemble Mario

Sand each square to prep it for a finish.

I used a mixture of dyes and stains to color the squares. For the red squares, I created a dye from red food color and rubbing alcohol. The tan squares were stained with Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut. The dark brown squares were stained with ECOS Paints WoodShield stain in Special Walnut.

Glue each square together to form Mario. Use a straight edge to ensure proper alignment. I used DAP Rapid Fuse Wood Adhesive (and when I ran out of that I used the All Purpose version).

For added support and durability, strengthen the backside of Mario with the leftover strips from ripping the 1x4 boards. Cut the strips to size and install with wood glue and nails.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Install hanging hardware or lean it against a wall and enjoy the fruits of your hard labor.

Thanks for reading my instructable! If you want to see more of my creations be sure to check out my Instagram page and DIY & woodworking website. Until next time! :)

Home Improvement Contest 2017

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Home Improvement Contest 2017