Woodland Trail - Part 1 archive

Monday 11 July 2011


Fred and Julie Byrne turn a photo into art in this fantastic two-part project

How can you turn your holiday snap into a piece of 'wood artâ' that anyone would be proud to hang on their wall? Think it may be too involved or difficult? Think again, as it's a lot easier than you may expect!

First just select your photo, enlarge it to A4 size, and then armed with a piece of tracing paper of the same size, trace around the things that you would like to see in your finished picture.

Simplify everything - forget about individual leaves and just mark out the trunk and the treetop as a whole, unless it's a really big tree! The same goes for buildings... just add the amount of detail that you want and that is practical to cut out - people and animals can be just silhouettes. Ultimately, you have to decide how

much detail to have.

When you're happy with your line drawing, you may wish to make your picture larger.

There is a software program you can download from the internet called Rapid Resizer that can print patterns to any size, and it is much more convenient than visiting the photocopiers - just

visit the website.

Either make more copies of the pattern to attach to your wood

selection, or trace the pattern back onto tracing paper and transfer onto the wood that way. The choice is yours.

Or you could, of course, just follow our woodland trail all the way from Shropshire! Happy scrolling!

Getting started

Step 1

First, choose your picture, or use the pattern here. If you are making your own pattern, then enlarge it via quick print on the PC.

Step 2

Place a piece of tracing paper over your picture and tape it down, then trace around the main features. Simplify any brushes and trees using the shaded and highlighted areas as a guide - just add what you want to see in the finished picture and remember - less is more

Step 3

When you are happy with the detail you have, use carbon paper to transfer the tracing onto paper

Step 4

You’ll more than likely want to make your picture larger and, as already mentioned, an easy way to do that is to use Rapid Resizer. This will easily turn your A4 line drawing into any

size you wish, and then conveniently print it onto multiple pages for you. We have enlarged ours using this program to the measurements of 520 x 300mm - or 21 x 12in, in old money

Step 5

After taping the four sheets of paper together, we then transfer the whole picture onto tracing paper. This is purely our preferred method - if you wish to print out a few more copies, so the individual pattern pieces can be glued onto the wood, that's fine too

Step 6

We have chosen to use mostly 10mm, and a small amount of 6mm, tulip wood. This wood has many colour variations within one piece, ranging from light and dark greens, to varying shades of brown, and it's reasonably easy to get in the UK

Step 7

Transfer the pattern onto the wood, aligning the directional arrows with the grain of the wood. Numbering the pieces and marking the location of the tree trunks will make it easier when it comes to placing the pieces together

Step 8

Try to be aware of the colouring/shading within the wood - we have used the lighter sections for the tree trunks and the slightly darker sections for the treetops

Step 9

You may find that some sections of your picture are too large to

fit onto one piece of wood width-wise, as with the road section in our picture. Here we have used two pieces from the same blank – if you find yourself having to do this, try to match the pieces so the join isn't too noticeable

Step 10

Before cutting, check that the wood is completely flat, as sometimes the thinner woods are more prone to bow or warp. If this is the case for you, it's easier to cut the blank into smaller, more manageable sections and then sand the individual pieces flat on a disc sander

Cutting out

Step 11

First, use a small tri-square to make sure the blade is square to the saw table, to ensure total accuracy. Starting at the bottom, cut out each piece, number the underside against the drawing, and tape the pieces together with masking tape. Continue in this way, cutting out the pieces and also check the fit on adjacent pieces as you go

Step 12

If you think you may have slightly wandered from the cutting line, place a spare piece of wood of the same thickness under the previously cut pieces, then align the next adjoining (uncut) piece, match up the lines and redraw if necessary. Also use a ruler to check that the outside straightedge stays true

Step 13

When cutting a piece with a straightedge, give yourself a little leeway by cutting just to the outside of the line, making any necessary adjustments later on much easier

Step 14

Carry on cutting out the pieces, checking the fit as you go

Steps 15-16

When it comes to placing a darker shaded piece within a light section of wood, first cut out the small, dark replacement piece and then place it in position on top of the lighter section. Next, check the cutting line, make changes if necessary and cut out the piece following the new cut line

Steps 17-18

If needs be, place the cut piece in position and continue to use the masking tape to keep everything together

Step 19

To check the cut line of the tree that's in the background, place the piece underneath the two large tree trunks, align and make changes if needed, before proceeding to cut

Step 20

Continue to check the cutting line...

Step 21

...before you cut out each piece

Woodworkers Institute

Tagged In:

Scrollsaw , byrne , Fred , Julie , woodland , trail , photo , art

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You Will Need

1. Photo or picture
2. Printer - optional
3. Pattern - tracing & carbon paper or printed copies
4. Scrollsaw - No.5 & No.3 blades
5. Disc sander
6. Drum sander - optional
7. Pillar drill - 1mm drill bit
8. Wood of choice
9. 4mm ash faced plywood
10. 12mm ply for backing
11. Pencil, ruler, square
12. Masking tape
13. 180-220grit sandpaper
14. Sanding block
15. Finish of choice
16. Glue
17. Hanger - D Hook/Saw tooth