DIY Herringbone Wood Shim Backsplash: A glimpse of the kitchen


Make your own Herringbone Back Splash accent wall

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. (UPDATE: You can see our full kitchen reveal in our home tour now!) 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!

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.

Here are the supplies you need to make a Herringbone Back Splash: 

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.

DIY Herringbone Back Splash
Supplies to make a Herringbone Accent Back Splash

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.

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.DIY 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.DIY 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.DIY 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.

DIY Herringbone Wood Shim Back Splash
How to make a wood shim back splash

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
inexpensive renter friendly 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
Great tutorial for a DIY Kitchen 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.

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!

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