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Woodworking DIY: Chevron Shim Art Tutorial

This project uses material you wouldn’t normally expect to look good in a piece of art. The pattern you choose to lay out the wood shims will look amazing once you stain or paint them. Nice things don’t need to be super complicated or expensive and this isn’t! 

Materials and Tools

  1. ⅝” Plywood 
  2. 1”x2” – 6’ in length.
  3. Shims
  4. Stain of your choice – the one pictured is dark walnut stain.
  5. Wood Glue
  6. 1” Brad Nails
  7. Foam brush 
  8. Staining Rag
  9. Brad Nailer (Optional – a hammer can be used instead)
  10. Orbital Sander (Optional)
  11. 120 Grit Sandpaper
  12. Mitre Saw
  13. Circular Saw (optional – Home Depot can cut the plywood to your desired length)

Cut List

  1. Cut the plywood, with a circular saw, to 10 1/2” x 22 1/2”. If you do not have a circular saw, you can get Home Depot to cut it to size for you, super easy, and free of charge!
  2. With a miter saw cut 4 pieces of 1”x2” for the frame, as shown below. 
Cut List


  1. Sand plywood and 1”x2” until smooth.
  2. Stain the plywood the same colour you are going to stain the shims. This is so if there are any gaps in the shims you can’t really tell.
  3. Stain the 1″x2″‘s for the frame.
  4. Once the stain is dry, mark the center of the plywood with a pencil.
  5. Add the shims in the pattern you want. I would recommend laying out the pattern before starting to glue them. The pattern I use is shown below, I alternated between thick and thin in each row at the center line to give the piece more dimension. Wipe the shims with a damp cloth to make sure there isn’t any excess glue on them (if there is any glue you will really see it once you stain the shims).
  1. Clamp the shims down, or add anything heavy (like paint or stain cans) on the shims.
  2. With the plywood side up, trim the shims, this can be done two ways, with a circular saw, or a utility knife and scoring the shims. A utility knife takes more time and effort, but it works, especially if you don’t have a circular saw.
  3. Glue one frame piece at a time, and attach to the plywood with a brad nailer or a hammer and nails.
  4. Attach your preferred hanger of choice, hang your art, and admire your hard work!
  5. Comment a picture of your beautiful work, or share on social media with #CreativelyConstructedAtHome

Not very handy or don’t have all the tools but still want your own Chevron Shim Art? You can find this on my Etsy Shop!

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