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How to Make Moroccan Wooden Wall Art

Moroccan style is quite different from most American architectural styles. Because Morocco has a hot and dry climate, its homes are typically inward-facing and built around inner courtyards. The windows and landings are decorated with ornate panels with intricate patterns. The patterns are never floral but are centred around geometric forms, frequently with interlocking designs. You can bring Moroccan flavour to your home by creating a Moroccan-style wood panel for your wall or window.

Find a Moorish or Moroccan pattern or stencil in a shape you like. Enlarge your pattern using a photocopy machine. Tape your full-sized pattern together with transparent tape.

Place transfer paper graphite-side down on furniture-grade plywood. Position your pattern over the graphite, and tape it down. Draw your pattern onto the wood surface. With graphite paper, you need to press firmly; using a pen creates a small dent in the wood, making it easier to see. Remove the paper from the wood.

Drill holes through each opening in the pattern. Your hole must be large enough for the blade of a jigsaw. What you want to create is a pierced look. Cut the exact shapes out using a jigsaw with a finer tooth blade. The precision of your cuts will improve the quality of your finished art.

Cut around the outside following the pattern exactly using a jigsaw. Rout all of your edges using a small detailed router bit. This will create a three-dimensional carved effect. Use a small file to file across portions of the design that form interlocking designs.

Sand the wood carefully to remove all bits of debris or splintered edges. Wipe off with a tack cloth. Stain the wood art with the wood stain of your choice. Because the plywood is furniture grade, it will take a stain nicely. Wipe off excess stain with a rag. Allow the stain 12 hours to dry.

Paint a nonyellowing wood finish over the stain. Sometimes, several coats look even better. If you want more than one coat, lightly sand each coat between coats with fine sandpaper and allow your final coat to dry 48 hours before mounting the wall art.

Tip

Consider cutting Moorish-style archways out of wood to fit as window treatments along the inside of your windows. You can position blinds and drapes inside or outside the wood treatment for a myriad of different effects.

Things You'll Need

  • Photocopier
  • Transparent tape
  • Transfer paper
  • Furniture-grade plywood
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Router
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Nonyellowing stain
  • Rag
  • Finish
  • Brush
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.