How to Make a Barn Quilt

5 Materials
3 Hours

Have you ever seen these gorgeous wooden Barn quilts for sale, but you don't want to pay the hefty price tag that goes with them. If yes then this post is for you. Your traditional Barn quilts are designs that are painted onto wood. This tutorial is a barn quilt made up of lots of small pieces of wood cut to size and put together like a jigsaw puzzle. This honestly looks a lot harder than it actually is, so I have broken the steps down so show you how simple it is.

Please note that all my materials are recycled that is why they are in bad condition but they still work well for this type of project. It saves a lot of time if you sand all the plywood first before cutting. Trying to sand all those small pieces can be a pain in the butt.

I used scraps of 12 mm plywood and cut them into strips of 50 mm lengths using a table saw.

All the angles must be cut the same. I chose to use a 45 degree angle. To make sure all your blocks are cut the same size you can set up a stop block on your drop saw. You can use a hand saw and a mitre box to cut your wood it will just take longer. If you are using a drop saw it is safer to use a spacer block between the stop block and your wood which is removed before each cut giving the off cut place to go.

Once all your wood pieces have been cut it is time to add them to the base.

The base can be any size but using a square shape is the easiest to work with. Using a pencil and a straight piece of wood mark the base as per the image above. So corner to corner, and then in half. These are the guidelines to keep the design straight.

Make an arrow by putting two pieces of wood together and place them in the center. Repeat this design throughout the whole design.

When you have reached the ends of the wood you may need to cut different shapes to fill in the gaps. They are usually triangle or squares which are simple to cut. If you want to keep the shapes the same you can just cut away the excess wood once you have finished.

When you have your design all cut out it is time to stain the wood. You can totally change the look of the design just by staining the wood. For this project I used Cedar and dark mahogany stain and left some plain wood.

Stain the wood pieces and just keep moving them around until you are happy with the look. If you are stuck for a design pattern there are so many to chose from on pinterest.

I have tried a few ways to glue the wood but most required waiting for glue to dry. I chose to use a hot glue gun which worked perfectly. I say that because I made a mistake and tried to remove one of the pieces and I had to use a hammer and chisel. Start gluing in the center and work your way out.

To get a nice tight design, push the pieces down hard while the glue is still hot. Once you are finished you can cut away any excess wood that hangs over the edges with whatever saw you have.

I did notice that traditional barn quilts were framed. But I did not want to make one, so I used wood veneer tape.

This tape is so quick and easy to use. Simply put the tape on the edge of your barn quilt and heat with a hot iron with no steam. This only takes about 30 seconds. The heat melts the glue on the back and the veneer tape sticks to the wood. Any excess tape can be cut off using a box cutter.

And that is the barn quilt complete. This project took me roughly 3 hours to complete but it was worth it. What better way to use up all your scrap wood and make money from it too.

This was my first attempt at a barn quilt headboard but jump in feet first and made lots of mistakes. But it all worked out great in the end.

Looking for a great way to repurpose and old headboard check out this project. Chalkboard/ hat or coat rack.

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
Unique Creations By Anita
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Fiddlestixs Fiddlestixs on Apr 15, 2020

    I have painted some barn quilts but not cut out like you did. WOW! Did you try rubber cement? I was thinking it would be awesome if you could really have a wooden hanging puzzle you could take down, remove the pieces (kids) and put them back on in the right design or to make their own design.

  • Rory McBean Rory McBean on May 11, 2020

    How many pieces did you have to cut? Also, what size is the wood backing?

    I am going to make this; Thanks for the inspiration! (If possible, coil you let me know the numbers in inches? I stink when it comes to math!)

Join the conversation
5 of 23 comments