Click to Print

Sea Turtle Intarsia

Using a process of creating pictoral inlays through a mosaic of wood pieces, Nick Vidadovic of Bradenton, Florida, brings to life a beloved memory of sea turtles in this beautiful wall hanging.

Materials and Tools:
2' x 2' x 5/8" BC plywood
2' x 2' x 1/4" sand ply
wood glue
polyurethane (spray can)
various airbrush paints
craft paint: black, cinnamon
band saw
aluminum duct tape
chosen pattern


1. Use protractor to draw outer circle on 5/8-inch plywood. Also draw an inside circle.

2. Place pattern (in this case, a turtle) on circle to figure out positioning. Trace onto circle. Draw in background waves/curvy lines.

3. Trace lines dark enough to see. These lines will serve as a guide to cut out the pieces.

4. Cut 1/4-inch wood a little bit bigger than the actual design on the 5/8-inch plywood. This will serve as the backboard.

5. Now start to cut out designs: turtle, waves and rim.

6. After cutting all pieces, pick out pieces to be re-cut and replace with different grain types--grain will be going in a different direction than the original pieces. Trace and cut new pieces from different wood and then sand them down.

7. Clean off sawdust and make final inspection of sanding job.

8. Next, stain rim and let dry.

9. Paint turtle with airbrush and let dry for a few minutes.

10. Hand paint detail on turtle and let dry for 10 minutes.

11. Spray polyurethane over turtle and let dry for couple minutes.

12. Next airbrush the background waves and let dry.

13. After all parts are dry, place all pieces together on backboard. Trace outline of piece on backboard. Remove pieces and then add glue to area. Place each piece down on top of glue.

14. For the turtle shell, place small pieces of wood underneath the turtle shell pieces to raise it up a bit. This will give the shell a domed dimension.

15. Position weights around the edge and let the whole piece dry for 24 hours.

16. Trim excess wood from backboard; sand and stain outside edges. Finish edges of turtle by airbrushing and hand painting some detail.

17. Attach hardware and wire to back. Hang and enjoy.

Advertisement will not be printed