Relief Carved Pictures

Introduction: Relief Carved Pictures

About: A retired electronics engineer -motorola. delveing into new craft ideas and contest entries.

Introduction- Anyone can carve but carving using wood working methods is new .This diy is fun to apply to your picture taking albums.. Select a picture then assemble the wood, etc. and glue it together on a wood frame.It will be three dimensional and one can add lighting to it using mini-Leds.[ref. wood carving with led lighting by mistic, dated as an instructable Dec.17,2012.

I chose here a picture of a general store of year 1901 in Long Grove,Il. A quaint little village just 20 miles north of Chicago. The store still stands there after 115years but is slightly renovated as you can see here in my project,

I took a picture of all the stores in the area which I also 3d carved using this method. I will show only how I did this one.

Step 1: Equipment

The picture here illustrates the equipment I used but also I have not pictured I use

Dremel tools and the associated sanders and rotatory saws.These little saws can be dangerous to use so watch your fingers and use eye protection. I show a hand saw. It can be used instead with the proper blades.

The Exacto and wood carving attachments blades are useful in carving the special parts such as the gas pump.

The preferred glue is E6000 but needs ventilation, not much though. The instant glue is used also.

All good do-it-yourselfers have all kinds of wood around, and paints, and paint brushes,etc. I love Micheals stores because they have a nice variety of paints, woods , and rods..and panels that can be as thin as 3-ply 1/8 in.

Of course you can use any wood and plastics for windows you may have on hand.

The wood frames can be plastic or make your own with 1inch lumber from Home Depot or lumber stores.

Step 2: Getting Started.

1-Decide on the frame size and back panel. I used 1/8 3ply on this project Glue the panel. If you want you should seal and paint this panel before using it in the final assembly. Ex. use a blue if there is blue sky in the picture. let dry.


My photo of the present day store ,not shown, is identical to this carving as shown in the drawing. I lay out the drawing on co-ordinate paper to transfer measurements on a one-to- one scale. If the picture is small or very large I determine how big my carving will be and use a ration as 2 to one carving -to -picture .

I may then number the various parts on the drawing . Ex.No. 1 is roof . I then itemize what wood sizes I need and cut them to length for the roof. Same for all the other numbers. Some times I will pre-paint some wood as window frames then cut and glue in place.

Side items are wood dowel for the hand rails and gasoline pump..This I carve and paint separately.It is not too difficult..The tree was from my evergreen tree as I cannot carve needles. The pump hose was a piece of wire.

Step 3: Final Assembly

1-After all parts are laid out and cut and painted to what you want, then the parts are carefully placed as per the drawing. Instant glue can be used but also I use the plastic E6000 solvent base glue. I need at least 10 minutes for the glue to take hold though. Carving fine detail can also be done with a dremel bit.

2-Three dimentional effect is only possible by forming the parts to stand out from the base. In this case I used about 3/4 inch out from the base plywood.

3- Final paint and shading. Use fine camel hair brush and any color pen.

4- Picture hanger - on the backside. Buy from Micheal's.or any hardware store.

5- Lights -If you want You can add led lighting to the inside of the store and outside lamp. Use 2 AA batteries with the led light and a 1000 ohms series 1/4 watt resistor. The battery and led and battery holder can be obtained from .I don't use a switch as the light is all ways 'on' till the battery wears out in about 12 months.Two leds can be tied in parallel for two locations here. This is not difficult to use. Remember to observe the led and batteries polarity. Connect the led Positive lead to the 1/4 watt resistor and that to a positive side of the battery. Negative of battery goes to the Negative side of the led. There, wasn't that easy? I mount the small batteries on the back of the picture. Any small electrical wire can be used.

Step 4: Long Grove Now in Relief.

1- The old church on the hill.

2- Stores= 4 are shown.

3-Old covered bridge. quaint.

4-The old Mill. The water wheel wont turn. The wheel took a little effort.

Note- I was informed that the Old General store was finally out of business last year. It is there in my carving now.

After 115 years rest in piece. The other stores are still open .

Step 5: Contest Wood

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Step 6:

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    7 years ago

    Absolutely love this Instructable! what beautiful work!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    These are neat! I really love this idea of making little carved models of historic buildings. Very cool.