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Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb 2017

Finished Product

I am by no means a good wood worker, but this project was pretty big for me. I broke a jig saw, wasted $30 in wood, and spent most of my time trying to find my marking pencil. But it was worth it, because I learned a lot during the process. Here is the finished product.

Why and How

Elyse always gives me the best Valentines day gifts. This year, I wanted to make her something special. I found these heart-shaped cards at Target and decided to pick them up, thinking maybe I could use them as a template for a heart made out of oak. This idea came kind of randomly, but it seemed like an okay idea, so why not.

I wanted to make the heart out of a bunch of smaller pieces of wood, instead of buying one giant board. So the first thing I did was tape down the heart template onto my work bench. This gave me a point of a reference as I figured out the layout of the boards.

The next step was to cut up a bunch of oak boards and lay them across the template. I wasted some wood this way because I cut longer pieces than I really needed.

With the board layout complete, I took another one of the heart cards and taped it on the top of the boards.

Then, I just traced out the heart shape in pencil.

Tracing the edge of heart on top of the boards gave me the lines that I needed to cut. I used a jig saw for this, and cut out all of the individual pieces. I ended up with a somewhat jagged looking heart since free-handing curved lines was difficult for me. I sanded some of the edges later on so it ended up not being too big of a deal.

The heart looked okay but it seemed a little plain. So I went back to Home Depot and found this beautiful barn wood, and decided to use it as a background.

I cut the 2 boards to size with a miter saw.

I took some extra pieces of wood and attached them to the barn wood with screws. This gave the piece at least a small amount of structural integrity.

With all of the boards cut, I laid everything out on the ground to get a feel for what the final piece would look like.

At this point I decided it would be cool if the heart actually opened like french doors. This would allow me to put a card or picture inside. In order to do this, I needed the heart to be a solid piece, which I could then cut in half vertically. So I used some wood glue and a few clamps to attach the oak boards to eachother.

Once the pieces of the heart were glued, I broke out the jig saw again and cut the heart in half. I could have made a straighter line with a miter saw but the blade was too thick.

Time to line up the pieces again. I bought some hinges and lined all of the pieces up again on the barn wood background.

I used some questionable methods for figuring out where to screw the hinges on the heart. The curved pieces of the heart made it a little tricky.

Now, I just made sure the heart was centered on the background.

And then finished screwing the hinges onto the barn wood.

At this point the piece was pretty much finished. The heart opens up, leaving room for a card or picture underneath.

I ended up placing the original card under the oak heart. I wrote some stuff that I won’t bore you with here, but you get the idea :)