Follow this tutorial to make a rustic paint stick picket fence – that you can use to display seasonal wreaths or as a door hanger.
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Keep reading to see what else you can make with paint stir sticks.
What size paint sticks do I need for this craft?
I normally craft with regular paint sticks. But for this picket fence, I thought regular paint sticks would be a bit too small.
So, I went up a size to jumbo paint sticks. These are bigger than regular paint sticks, but shorter than the yard sticks.
For reference: most paint sticks have a measuring marks printed on them, usually in a white ink that almost blends in with the wood.
Regular paint sticks have a ruler measuring 7 inches, with an overall length (including the handle) of 12 inches. The jumbo paint sticks that I used have a ruler measuring 14 inches, with an overall length of 21 inches.
This means my project is 21 inches tall instead of 12 inches tall. Of course, you could use regular paint sticks. Your finished picket fence would just be a bit smaller.
How do you cut the paint stir sticks?
If you’re comfortable using power tools, a table saw is the quickest option. But I know this may not be an option for every crafter.
I often cut wooden craft sticks and paint sticks with my hand-held miter shears. These shears have seen it all! You can easily cut thin pieces of wood. And since the shears are adjustable, you can make cuts at precise angles. So handy!
Now, at first I was a bit frustrated with these shears. It seemed I had to press really hard, and my craft sticks would often splinter.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned while using miter shears:
- Don’t expect to cut through on your first pass – I prefer to score the wood from both sides, before trying to cut all the way through. This will prevent splintering and save stress on your hands and wrists. If you are cutting a thicker piece of wood (like in this project) you may need to score several times before cutting all the way through.
- Lay your wood stick face-up on the miter shears – Sometimes, the numbers on the face plate of the miter shears leave indentations in softer wood. If you way your wood face-up, those indentations will be on the back of your project.
Ok, now with all of that background on paint stick selection and miter shears, let’s get making!
Video tutorial: paint stick picket fence
Just watch this quick video to see how this craft came together:
- 8 jumbo paint stir sticks (21-inches long)
- Wood stain
- Chalk paint, white and light moss green
- Wood glue
- OPTIONAL: twine for hanging
- Command hook and a small wreath
- Miter shears
- 1-inch flat paint brush
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Watch the video tutorial before you begin, and let that be your visual guide for this project.
- Lay out the paint sticks like a picket fence. Lay out 5 sticks vertically, staggered so the center stick is highest and the 2 outer sticks are lowest. Set 2 sticks horizontally, and 1 stick at at 45-degree angle.
- Cut the paint sticks down to size. Use your layout above, and make small pencil marks if desired. Use the miter shears to first score, and then cut your paint sticks down to size.
- Stain the wood sticks. For a dry brush method: Apply a minimal amount of stain to a paint brush. Use light strokes back-and-forth to apply stain to the wood sticks. Let dry.
- Paint the wood sticks. For a dry brush method: Apply a minimal amount of paint to a paint brush. Use light strokes back-and-forth to apply paint to the wood sticks. Alternate between white paint and light green paint. Let dry.
- Glue the wood sticks together to form a fence. Apply a dot of wood glue and a dot of hot glue next to each other at each intersection of wood sticks. The hot glue provides immediate hold, while the wood glue provides better long-term hold.
- Add a hanger. Flip the fence over. Double up a length of twine, and add a know at each end. Hot glue the two knotted twine ends to the back of the fence.
- Hang a small wreath to the front of the fence using a small command hook. Display and enjoy.
The Finished Paint Stick Picket Fence:
I displayed a small eucalyptus wreath on this picket fence, and set it on top of our piano in the living room.
I’m looking forward to swapping out the wreath as the seasons change.