Tutorial on how to build these SUPER sturdy and adorable Mod Kid's Chairs... a Land of Nod Knock-off! {Sawdust & Embryos}

Wooden Kilim Wall Art

With the weather warming up slowly but surely, our mind-wheels have been turning with plans for our veggie garden, tuning up the lawnmower, and thinking about some small landscaping projects. BUT… the ground is still frozen. And the wind has been INSANE. Like blow-you-over-insane.

So I’ve been thinking a little more logically about making some small changes right around our actual front door. Don’t worry, you won’t be seeing a tutorial for a Peeps Wreath anytime soon. The thing is… I realized that we don’t have any house numbers on our house (just on the mailbox across the street).

Our Homestead {Sawdust and Embryos}

I’m wanting to make this all feel a little more inviting… perhaps a DIY welcome mat of some kind, building a couple wooden planters to flank the front door, maybe repainting the door, and of course HOUSE NUMBERS.

So when Lowe’s challenged us to create some sort of ‘outdoor art’, a little light-bulb went off in our heads.




Our original plan was to use paint sticks for this project, but we ended up ripping down a 2×4 into 1/8” slabs instead. Just because we had it lying around.

Rip down 2x4 to make outdoor wall decor {Sawdust and Embryos}

This Native American pattern is going to look a lot more complicated than it really is, so if you follow me… you can totally do this!

You’ll need 8 large trapezoids, 8 medium trapezoids, and 110 small parallelograms. I literally just Googled ‘shape names’ so that I could sound smart. But here’s a visual for the rest of us that don’t remember the things we learned in 3rd grade.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese angles are perfect 45 degree angles, so if you have a Miter Saw, this will be cake! If not, you could use a Carpenters Protractor… which are inexpensive, simple to use, and available at any home improvement store.

RYOBI {Sawdust and Embryos}

You do want to be pretty anal about getting the angles just right… but everything else you can totally cut corners on (PUN!). We didn’t even sand these bad boys after cutting! And we didn’t worry about flaws in the wood or knots or anything at all. We wanted it to feel rough and natural. It’s going outdoors!

So now that you have your meeeellions of pieces, you’ll want to divide them into the following groups (STAY WITH ME!!):

Creating awesome Native American art! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Once you have your 6 groups of shapes, paint or stain each group a different shade! You can make this completely custom to your liking. Nobody’s will look the same! Our center two shapes we left unfinished. The other stains are Rustoleum Light Walnut, Kona, Golden Oak, and Cabernet.

Various Rustoleum Stain colors for Native American Art project {Sawdust and Embryos}

For those 80 remaining small shapes, I used my ‘Distressed Barnboard Technique. I painted them white, sanded them just until the grain showed through, and then stained with Rustoleum Kona. I love how it almost looks gray-washed!

White-washed pieces used for Native American artwork {Sawdust and Embryos}

Now You get to start laying out your pattern… this is the FUN PART! Cut a ‘backboard’ to size (21” x 18”). This can be any scrap of 1/4” or 1/2” plywood. It’s easiest just to glue them in place as you go!

Create your own Native American artwork with pieces of wood stained in various colors! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Nick insisted on adding this little border of wood along the design to separate it from the outer pieces. This part is totally optional, but if you decide to go for it, it’s just cut at the same 45 degree angles and cut to fit each length of area.

Make your own custom Native American Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Now that the main part of your design is in place, you can just start gluing down your ‘gray-washed-looking pieces!

Make your own Native American Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}

When you’re done, the outside edges will be jagged… but just go ahead and cut them to be flush with your backboard. You could use just about ANY saw for this.

DIY Native American Artwork using scraps of wood and different stains {Sawdust and Embryos}

Isn’t it crazy to think that this piece of art was a 2×4 board a couple days ago?

Make your own Native American Artwork using wood-scraps and various shades of wood stain! {Sawdust and Embryos}

We made the edges look a little more ‘finished’ by routing a piece of quarter-round to have a small lip and fit right over the edges. And I cut out our house numbers from a piece of pine on my Scroll Saw.

Native American Artwork with house numbers {Sawdust and Embryos}

You could totally just buy some house numbers though. And even paint them whatever color you want! It took me less time to cut out my own than it would have to drive to town and buy some.

I’m totally obsessed with my outdoor art. How amazing would this be on a larger scale as a table-top of some sort? Somebody please do that asap and send me pictures.

Native American artwork using wood scraps {Sawdust and Embryos}

We hung it using these industrial/outdoor 3M fasteners. And I will go ahead and say that I already have another little project in the works that will contribute to the ‘welcoming’ factor of our porchy area. Are you on pins and needles?!

House Humbers mounted on DIY Native American wooden artwork {Sawdust and Embryos}

For those of you that don’t have the tools or desire to make one for yourself… but you reeeeeally want one, we’ll have these up on our Etsy Shop for purchase. I’ll warn you, they aren’t cheap because of all the intricacy. But at least you have the option… right?!


I hope you guys won’t feel like this tutorial is too complicated. I tried to lay it out as simply as possible! I hope you guys do something awesomely creative this weekend… go forth and DIY!

Porchy area by Sawdust and Embryos


UPDATE! Check out the other updates we’ve done to our porchy area since doing this wooden artwork!. The Half Circle Wooden Doormat tutorial is HERE, and the mailbox planter idea is HERE, and those box planters flanking the door? There’s a tutorial for that too! (HERE)

Sawdust and Embryos

Feel free to click around!

Build a half-circle wooden doormat {Sawdust & Embryos) DIY Custom Pergola Tutorial (Sawdust and Embryos)
DIY Native American wooden artwork used as house number sign! {Sawdust and Embryos} Build a Custom Trellis using pre-made lattice {Sawdust and Embryos}
DIY Custom Planter Boxes with Geometric Inlays {Sawdust and Embryos} Turn-an-old-mailbox-into-a-planter-and-affix-it-to-the-side-of-your-house-Sawdust-&-Embryos_th

Sawdust & Embryos

Disclosure! we’re SUPER HONORED to have been chosen as a “Lowes Creator”, and were provided with a Lowes gift card to help with the cost of supplies… but as always, all ideas, thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Because that’s how we roll yo.

Summer Blogger Badge Subscribe Banner

You can also sign up to receive a free Creative Ideas Magazine, which is loaded with inspiration! There’s also a magazine app so you can have inspiration on the go!

DIY Dining Room Area Rug {Painted Linoleum!}
Key Lime Bars {Cupcakes w/ Sprinkles}
  • Mindy

    This is beautiful.

  • Bob

    Really cool Beth and Nick. As I saw this going together I was envisioning it as a floor mat your could lay at the entrance. You could even inlay the house numbers or a last name into it. Not sure how well it would standup to the elements and traffic. but Hey it was just a thought.
    You two are very artistic and talented.

    • Nick

      Thanks Dad,

      It is a neat idea. you would have to put thin plexi-glass or something over top of it. I can’t imagine the wear and tear otherwise.


  • Tiffany Kuehl

    That looks so cool! I love it!

  • Jesse

    Stunning! I love geometrics right now, and this native american pattern is totally geometric. This is AWESOME! I want one.

  • Stephanie @ Sandpaper and Glue

    this came out awesome– you have such patience! :)

  • Katy Morgan (Katy in a Corner)

    How cool is that?!?!?!? I’m amazed by your creativity! Love how simple and yet completely complicated that looks. Such big impact on a very small budget. Thanks for sharing!

  • Pauline Henderson

    Amazing piece!

  • Denise

    This is absolutely gorgeous! Around these parts, barn quilts are huge. I’m thinking this technique would make a beautiful barn quilt as well.

  • Meagan Dobbs

    Maybe I’m just being dumb, but it doesn’t seem like the numbers in the text (for pieces needed) match the numbers above the shapes in the photo, nor match the right shape. Sorry not trying to be critical…LOVE the finished look on the outside of your house and can’t wait to see it in person, but thought if I wasn’t being dumb and misunderstanding the image, you might want to adjust for people who are looking to make one of their own! :)

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Crapola! You’re right! I definitely had my numbers switched on those two shapes. OOPS! Thanks for letting me know! I’m changing it right now! :)

  • Karin

    Super cool way to give something that is usually pretty run of the mill boring – house numbers – a very snazzy look! Kind of like quilting with wood!

  • Kenz @ Interiors By Kenz

    HOT DAMN! Who just whips up something like that? Only you and Nick, that’s who. It’s stunning. You would cry if you saw our house numbers. It’s so so pathetic. In fact, last fourth of July a rouge firework hit one of the numbers, and it’s hanging a little crooked and I’ve never fixed it! haha… oh boy. Yikes. As always, you’ve left me feeling inspired to make me some house numbas!

  • Jay

    I really like this piece and want to make one. What size are the pieces? Huge fan of your work btw!!!!

    • Nick


      The medium trapezoid is 2″ by 1 1/4″ the large Trapezoid is 4 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ and the parallelogram is 2 1/2″ x 1 1/4″. I hope this helps. It helped me to draw it out on the backboard prior to cutting the pieces. It will give you a more accurate means to measure and visualize.

      We love receiving readers projects so be sure to send us pictures of the finished product.


  • Jenn

    Unbelievable. Seriously amazing. Awesome. Stupendous. Incredible.

    Need I go on?!

  • http://pinterest Lori

    very nice job, can’t wait to start my own!

  • Pingback: Affixing a mailbox planter #seriouslystrong | House of Aster()

  • Pingback: Wooden Wall Art Inspiration - Sawdust and Embryos()

  • Pingback: A Tour of our Homestead! - Sawdust and Embryos()

  • Pingback: One-Board Challenge ~ Geometric Art - Sawdust and Embryos()

  • Pingback: Palm Branch Inspired Art Panels - Sawdust and Embryos()

  • mjhoop

    The work!!!! Good thing you are young and have lots of energy!!!!
    Great job.
    But the painter who did the front of my place didn’t have what it took to paint around the stuck on house numbers so I (dumb) told him to pull them off. Despite my good intentions, still no house numbers. Good thing no one can find my place without the secret coded map and a compass. HOuse numbers would not help anyone not so equipped. Might just not bother….. To return to the issue at hand….beautiful conception, planning, coloring, and completion. And way too much patience involved for someone not doing brain surgery…but that’s just an old crone’s POV. Still…well done…

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Haha I love that story. Who needs house numbers anyway?! As long as you’re getting your mail, right?!?! :)

  • Pingback: Weekly Wishlist: The Warmth of the West |()