DIY Herringbone Wood Shim Backsplash: A glimpse of the kitchen

That’s right folks, you read that correctly! A glimpse of the kitchen in this post because we are actually nearing completion and have a date (range) we’re aiming for. We think we should be able to share the entire room with you by mid-November!! For real.

Meantime – we’ve started to add details into the space to give it some texture and personality. I listed wood shims as a material I was going to use in my upcoming projects in our last post. And here’s how I used them:

I created a Herringbone Wood Shim Back Splash for the new open shelf in our kitchen! Best thing about it? It’s removable and cost pennies to make! DIY Herringbone Wood Shim Back Splash

(PS! Pin that image! ^^^)

Not going to lie – this project started out as one thing and slowly morphed into what I’ve got there. I’ll do my best to explain how I did it. In the end, it’s quite simple – it just took some measuring and figuring.

First things first, I measured my shelf space. It is 12″ x 33.5″ wide – such a random measurement. I sorted through my stash of cardboard to find a piece that I could cut to those exact dimensions. I ended up duct taping two pieces together to get the right length. Then with a ruler and level, I drew a line directly down the length at the 6″ centre mark.

I measured one package of shims (none is a standard length) and they were all around16″ long. I decided to divide that by 4 to give me 4″ shim pieces. Then either with my scissors or a hack saw, I sawed and sawed and sawed until I had a whole bunch of 4″ pieces. Some of them were just too thin and flimsy, so I discarded them. I tried using a power saw, but the shims were too delicate and kept breaking – so while tedious, the hack saw was the best method.Herringbone Back Splash 2

Here’s the fun part – and how I got around having to do any math. Starting at my centre line, I created my ‘middle arrow’. Then I just filled in the spaces around it. That gave me a good sense of how many more pieces I needed, and which ones I didn’t like, etc.Herringbone Back Splash 1

Then I glued down my middle arrow using just plain old carpenter’s glue. I put heavy books on it and let it sit for several hours. Then I brought it up to the shelf to make sure it would fit!

The next step is to glue down all the filler pieces. But before doing that, I marked them all with a pencil in precisely the spot they’d need to be cut in order to make them flush with the cardboard. Again – no lies. This took a while. I’d mark a handful – then cut and glue as I went. This avoided too much movement or shifting in my layout.Herringbone Back Splash 3

There were small triangles where the cardboard was still showing, so I just used my scissors to snip those away. I couldn’t see myself chopping teeny triangles from shims to fill them.Herringbone Back Splash 5

The last step was to apply some basic Minwax Wood Conditioner to the whole thing with a synthetic bristle brush and lint-free cloth and then go over that with some Minwax Whitewash stain. It took a couple light coats to get the ‘yellow’ tinge out of the shims.

My piece fit so snugly into the shelf that I didn’t even need nails or glue to get it to hold in the back of the shelf. It’s in there nice and tight!DIY Herringbone Wood Shim Back Splash

And at about $1.50, I can’t argue with the price or the extra oomph it gives to that corner of the kitchen 🙂 Of course, it’s not perfect, but that wasn’t my intention. I wanted something rustic, textured and a conversation starter. I mean – it wouldn’t be ‘us’ if we didn’t take *some* sort of risk, right?DIY Herringbone Wood Shim Back Splash

What do you think? Fully recognizing that the kitchen is still unpainted! ha! Once that happens we’ll probably trim out the raw edges on this on the left and right. DIY Herringbone Wood Shim Back Splash

Next week, I’m back with another fun and simple project AND part two of our spilling the beans series… we’ll reveal some secret plans! Can’t wait!


PS. We’re sharing this post with any and all of these awesome parties! Check them out!

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