Sep 16, 2013

State Pride Tour and Collaboration {IOWA!}

Monday greetings my lovlies!

My friend and colleague Beckie from Infarrantly Creative is hosting a fun collaboration where I and 30 other bloggers will be throwing down a tutorial that is themed after our respective states! We’re calling it a State Pride Tour... and I’M NEXT IN LINE... with Iowa!!!  I’m following Kim from Washington on her blog Today’s Creative Blog, so if you missed hers, be sure to go check out her creative Washington-themed project!

state pride 600

If you’ve been around our blog for any amount of time, you know that I love geography and have tons of pride for my home state: IOWA!! Represent!

The ‘Barn Board’ signs on our Etsy Shop are popular, and when I made one  in the shape of a bracket sign... I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before!!

Barn Board Signs by Sawdust and Embryos

Since 1x4 pine boards are inexpensive and easy to customize using my make your own ‘barn boards’ techniqueI might as well try making it into the shape of a state! Drr!

Outline of IowaSource

After printing my Iowa shape onto a transparency and projecting the image onto my boards, I traced with a pencil and wasted no time getting down and dirty with my scroll saw!

Using a Scroll Saw to Cut a State Plaque {Sawdust and Embryos}

I cut each board individually. It was so fun to see it come together one board at a time!

red iowa

State of Iowa cut from 1x4's and distressed to look like 'barn boards' could do this with ANY STATE! {Sawdust and Embryos} (2)

Next steps are to paint, sand and stain! I went with red and a touch of black for dimension. For the full step-by-step tutorial on making these boards truly look like old distressed wood, click here!

Iowa Barn Board Plaque (distressing new wood to look like barn wood!) SAWDUST AND EMBRYOS

Finally, Nick cut a 1/4” piece of plywood and glued/stapled it to the back to secure all the boards together. (CHECK.OUT his creapy man-hand!)

Sawdust and Embryos

After sanding, I decided to paint the outer edge a shimmery gold (Martha Stewart ‘Pearl’) and a little heart on Des Moines (our state capitol!)

State Plaque (IOWA!) made from barn boards could make ANY STATE! {Sawdust and Embryos} (3)

All that was left was to seal things off with a little finishing wax, and slap on a comb hook! These look AMAZING on a gallery wall!

State Plaque (IOWA!) made from barn boards could make ANY STATE! (Sawdust and Embryos)

I love that the red represents actual barn wood, since Iowa is known for farming and agriculture! It’s difficult do drive ANYWHERE in this state without seeing a gorgeous old barn in all it’s glory!!

State Pride Tour- IOWA! {Sawdust and Embryos}

If you’re following along on the state tour, we got Kim from 733 Blog next in line sharing about her home state: Vermont! If you’re new to our blog Sawdust and Embryos, feel free to snoop around for awhile! We’ve got lots of exciting things going on around here!Bethany {Sawdust and Embryos}


  1. Man I wish I had your power tool skills! That looks amazing.

  2. Wow, Beth! That's awesome gorgeous! Love it!

  3. When I see Iowa, I just think of the profile of the man with a big nose... you know what I'm talking about? Like, Minnesota is the hat? And the man is holding a serving a tray? Maybe that's the only way they could teach us Utahns about how to learn the states in the mid-west. Either way, LOVE the projects. The color of stain is so deep and rich. Great choice!

    1. Thanks Kenz! I've heard others using the 'old man' to learn the midwestern states as well. :) I call it the 'boob' of Iowa, but that's just me. HA!

  4. This turned out great! I'm a Midwest gal, too. (On the Iowa-Illinois border.) So I loved your project.

  5. As a fellow Iowan, I love it! Is it hard to do all of those curves with the saw?

    1. It's definitely not as hard as it looks. You should give it a try! You'll get the hang of it really fast!

  6. Yours is by far my favorite of the day. Well done friend!

    1. Wow Beckie! What a HUGE complement! I absolutely love yours too! This is such a fun idea!

  7. Really Beth? Who else would they pick but you? You always send your best when they are needed and obviously that is who they picked! Congrats and I love the bard red you painted on our state! Hit the nail right on the head with that one!!

  8. well I'm from WA and now in IA - what a perfect set of posts from you and Kim!


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