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Iceland Wall Art

Jacob Thompson      Spring 2018


Final Photos




December 2017 I went on a vacation to Iceland with my friend Lauren Smith.  We both had always wanted to go to Iceland and we found out that December would work for both of us, so we paid a bunch of money and did it!  You can read all about the trip on my blog post here.  

The sculpture in the picture is The Sun Voyager, it's a famous sculpture in Iceland that was 5 minutes from our AirBnB and so we walked by it almost every day.  I was looking through my pictures for an image that would fit well inside an outline of Iceland, and I noticed this picture had a similar shape and focal points as the country shape.  

I was also inspired by this Instructable to do this style of cut wood overlaid on a printed picture.  

Design and Construction


I used a combination of PowerPoint and Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop to draft this design.  The most complicated part was looking online to see what size options I could print my picture at, and then matching up the design size to fit that picture size.  I ended up printing the picture at 18" x 12" and made the wood a little wider than that.  You can read more detail about making this project on the Instructable.  

I stained the wood and then did a clear coat before painting in the ICELAND text at the top.  The clear coat made it easier to wipe off any paint that got outside of the letters.  It took four coats of paint until the letters looked as uniform and as bright as I wanted.  

Parts and materials

  • 1/4" Plywood (2' by 2')

  • Paint

  • Stain

  • Spray clear coat

  • Wood glue

  • Hot glue

  • Picture hanger

  • Printed/painted/drawn image

  • Cardboard backing


  • Laser cutter or jigsaw

  • Hot glue gun

  • Sandpaper

  • Paintbrushes

  • Clamps

  • Time

The Adobe Illustrator file I sent to the laser cutter. The rectangles on the bottom will be painted and attached to the sides of the project to give it depth

This is a picture of the laser cutter etching the text at the top of the project

I clamped the side pieces to the main part and just used wood glue to hold it together

I used hot glue to attach the cardboard with the picture to the main project. Tape or many less-permanent solutions would have worked, but hot glue was the most convenient for me.

I also just hot-glued the picture hanger onto the back of the piece, along with a foamboard standoff so that it was the right distance from the wall

Is it for sale?

This exact piece isn't for sale, but the project was relatively easy for me to make (mostly because I have access to a laser cutter) so I would be happy to make a similar piece for someone else and sell it at a reasonable price.  I think the total cost of materials to me was as follows:

Wood - $7

Photo print - $9

Paint - $2

Clear coat - $2 (used a little bit of the can)

Total - $20

So I would probably sell one for $50 ish because it takes a few hours of my time to design/cut/stain/pant/glue/clamp/glue it all.  

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