How to Make a Faux Wood Dog Portrait

Create a dog portrait with various patterns of wood grain contact paper.


Materials and Tools:

contact paper in wood-grain patterns of several shades
12-by-14-inch piece of pine wood, ½-inch thick
wood framers used for stretching canvas
dark walnut wood stain
foam brush
latex gloves
brown craft paper
craft knife
cutting mat
tracing paper
copy machine
photo of a dog
wood glue
blue painter's tape


1. Make a black-and-white copy of a dog photo at a copy center. Enlarge the image to fit the 12-by-14 wood backing.

2. Place a piece of tracing paper over the photocopy and tape it in place with blue painter's tape. Trace the outline of the dog, and use this as the template for the base of the dog. Trace the dog's eyes, nose, ears, mouth, whiskers and any other distinct features, such as interesting fur-color patterns.

3. From a variety of wood-grain contact papers, select the paper you want to use as the base color. Place it face up with the grain running horizontally on a cutting mat.

4. Put the tracing paper with the dog-face outline over the contact paper, tape it in place and cut out the outline of the face with a craft knife.

5. Choose different colors of wood grain for the various features of the dog. Position the tracing-paper image over each wood-grain pattern and cut out the respective features. Turn some of the grain vertically to vary the look.

6. Select the background wood grain to use as the background and cut a 12-by-14-inch piece of that contact paper. Peel off the backing and stick it directly onto the wood.

7. Apply the contact-paper pieces that have been cut for the dog's face and facial features to the background contact paper. Peel off the back of the contact paper cut in the shape of the whole-face outline and position it on the background.

8. Peel off the back of each of the facial-feature pieces and apply them until the face is completed.

9. To assemble a wood frame, push canvas stretchers together at the corners. If necessary, hammer them into place.

10. Wearing latex gloves and working in a well-ventilated area, place the frame on brown craft paper to protect the work surface and apply dark walnut stain to the frame with a foam brush. Let dry.

11. Apply wood glue to all the edges of the 12-by-14 board. Fit the finished portrait into the frame. Remove excess glue with a rag.

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