DIY Geometric Animals Wood Art

Ryan Hubbard
by Ryan Hubbard
2 Materials
2 Hours

Anyone that does as many woodworking projects as I do can relate to the fact that my workshop is overflowing with scrap wood in all different varieties, shapes, and finishes. I decided to use some of it up to create geometric wooden wall art for my kids for Christmas presents and settled on some animal shapes that they like. I cut pieces of my scrap wood into various puzzle-like blocks that fit inside of printed out animal templates. I added a mitered frame around the plywood backing that gave it a polished finished and took the project from scrap art to wall art. This was a simple way to use up extra wood that was going to waste and create unique, handmade art for special gifts.

Geometric Wood Animals

You Will Need:

  • Scrap wood
  • Plywood for backing
  • Spray polyurethane
  • Drum sander
  • Hand sander
  • Clip-style hanging hardware

Gather Collection of Scrap Wood for Animals
Gather Collection of Scrap Wood for Animals

I have a huge collection of scrap boards leftover from other projects and I searched through my collection for boards to use for the pieces I needed in my project. I chose contrasting toned boards for the project to give the animal shapes depth and interest.

Plane or Sand Boards
Plane or Sand Boards

      I used a planer to get my boards to the same thickness for the project so that the animal shapes would have an even, level surface on the plywood backing. I wanted this look for my finished project but if you prefer that some of the geometric pieces sit higher or lower than the others, I think that would also look cool and interesting.

Cut Plywood Back and Place Template
Cut Plywood Back and Place Template

I wanted small wall hangings for the kids’ bedrooms and cut two pieces of plywood to fit their geometric animal printed templates. I printed templates of a fox and a moose on paper to the size I wanted the animals to fit on the plywood.

Cut Boards into Small Pieces and Place on Templates
Cut Boards into Small Pieces and Place on Templates

I cut my boards into different shapes and angles to begin laying out the animal patterns on my templates. As I worked, I needed to make small adjustments by sanding and cutting the pieces several times to get the right fit within the pattern. I covered the templates with angled pieces to create my animals. I started with the outline to get the general shape and then cut random pieces to fit inside the pattern.

Sand Pieces
Piece Together
Lay the Pieces Out
Glue Pieces into Pattern on Plywood
Glue Pieces into Pattern on Plywood

I used wood glue to secure the pieces from the animal-shaped templates to the plywood backing. I transferred the pieces one at a time from the pattern onto the backboard. It was much easier to stage the pieces first and then transfer them than to try to glue them as I went.

Glue Pieces into Desired Shape
Create Frame for Artwork
Create Frame for Artwork

I used my saw to create four mitered pieces for a frame for the plywood art and give it a finished, polished look. I attached the four pieces of the frame with wood glue and used a pin nailer to hold them together while the glue dried. Use a miter saw or table saw with a miter gauge to create your frame for the size of your plywood backing.

Lay the Frame Out
Attach the Frame
Seal and Finish the Wood
Seal and Finish the Wood

I used a clear satin finish spray polyurethane to coat the finished wood art and was extremely pleased with the way it coated and covered all of the intricate angles of the wood pieces.

Seal the Wood

      My kids absolutely loved their geometric wooden animal art, were so thrilled to receive a handmade item from me for Christmas, and couldn’t wait to hang them in their rooms. The animals we chose are special to the kids and had sentimental value for that reason but you can choose whatever shape or design appeals to you and fits best in your decor to build your wood art around that shape. It would look great with any combination of wood tones in many different designs so don’t be afraid to get creative and try it!

           Have you incorporated leftover scrap wood from projects into artful home decor? Share your woodworking projects and tips for how to use up every last scrap of wood in your shop or find inspiration for more clever wall art projects like this one on Hometalk!

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Mar 16, 2020

    These are stunning! (And I’m not just saying that because you featured two of my favorite animals lol.) Do you sell these on Etsy or somewhere else?

Join the conversation
3 of 46 comments