DIY Abstract Pixel Art | As Seen on Makeover by Monday

DIY PROJECT, Home DIY, Makeover by Monday, SHOP

For Elijah’s den makeover, we cut around 1000 little pixels out of one-by-one dowels, spray-painted them, and placed them in this frame to create this really cool abstract piece inspired by his pastimes: gaming and creating AI art!



1. Use a saw to cut dowels into ¼ , ½ and ¾ inch height cubes. When cutting, bring the saw blade down slowly over the dowel, and cut all the way through slowly. Bring the blade to a full stop once cut through, without lifting until completely stopped in order to prevent the cut dowels from bouncing off the blade and flying across the room. Cut dowels on repeat for years…no really though, this piece took almost 1,000 cut pieces. Pro Tip: I used painters tape to tape together three dowels to cut at the same time.

2. Place the cut dowels in a bucket and “tumble” to smooth the edges. To tumble, place the cut dowels in a bucket and shake them up. Feel free to shake well for quite a few minutes. This helps take care of most of the rough edges. I did still need to do a light sanding on some, but tumbling will take care of most. 

3. Sort cut dowels into piles for painting. I created an abstract piece, so the number of dowels needed for each color didn’t need to be exact. However, if you are creating a pattern or picture, take the time to lay out the dowels in the tray and label the tops for colors. 

4. Spray paint the sorted dowels on the top and all sides. 

5. We built a frame out of plywood and 1×2 wood. If you use a tray, you may need to create a plywood backing on the tray to add extra security. Arrange the dowels in the tray to determine spacing and layout. Then use wood glue to attach the dowels to the back of the tray. I found the best way to do this is pour glue in the tray/frame on the end you want to start on and then use a foam brush the spread the glue on the whole surface. Then start placing the dowels.

6. Hang using a french cleat picture hanger. This will help hold the weight. The art becomes quite heavy with all the pieces of wood. 

For more DIY ideas, watch Season 2 of ‘Makeover By Monday’ Saturdays at 1p/12p c on the Magnolia Network on TV! Or stream anytime on Max and Discovery+!




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