Reclaimed Barn Quilt

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Carrie Spalding

If you drive along country roads in some parts of the United States, you may see big painted wooden quilt squares hanging on old barns. This smaller barnwood quilt is inspired by those old wood quilts. This quilt square gets its beauty from using a combination of reclaimed wood with different finishes and textures. The finished project will measure 25-1/2  inches square.

Tools & Materials

  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Pencil
  • Various scrap pieces of reclaimed wood planks (1-by-4-inch works great)
  • 1/4-inch plywood, 2 feet by 2 feet
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • 1×2 furring strips (2 pieces 24 inches long and 2 pieces 25-1/2 inches long)
  • Paintbrush and paint, optional
  • Clean rag and stain, optional
  • Finishing nails
  • Sawtooth picture hanger


Step 1 Gather your reclaimed wood planks. Choose a variety of different wood tones and finishes. You can use wood that’s of the same thickness for a uniform surface, or you can opt for woods of varying thicknesses to give the final piece depth and texture.
Note: If you don’t have many varied finishes or wood types, you can create your own variety by staining and painting different pieces in different ways. You can choose to include painted wood pieces or stick with only stained and natural wood.

Step 2 On the plywood, which will form the base of the barn quilt, measure and draw a vertical straight line down the center. Repeat in the opposite direction to draw another line, this time horizontal, so that the plywood is divided into four equal sections.

Step 3 If your wood planks vary in widths, cut them all down to 3-1/2 inches.

Step 4 Set your miter saw to 45 degrees, and make a cut at one end across the width of the wood plank. After the first cut, move your plank down 3 inches, and make another parallel cut. Continue to do this until you reach the end of the board, or you have enough pieces of that type of wood. You’ll need 40 pieces cut to this size, which will later form the “X” in the center of the quilt.

Step 5 Cut scraps of wood to 2 inches wide. Then, make the same 45-degree angle cut at one end. You’ll need 24 pieces of this shape. Make 8 pieces 8 inches long, 8 pieces 6 inches long, and 8 pieces 4 inches long. Sand off any rough edges. These pieces will form the sides that surround the “X.”

Step 6 On the plywood, lay out 8 of the 40 quadrilateral pieces you cut in Step 4, lining them up with the vertical and horizontal lines you drew on the plywood in Step 2. Make sure to vary the finishes.

Step 7 Lay out the remaining 32 quadrilateral pieces from Step 4 on the plywood to form an “X,” making sure to vary the finishes as you arrange them.

Step 8 Once you have a layout you’re happy with, glue the wood pieces to the plywood one at a time. When you get near the edges of the board, you’ll need to use a pencil to mark the excess that needs to be cut off, and then carefully cut it with a jigsaw.

Step 9 With the 24 pieces you cut in Step 5, arrange them around the “X” until you’re happy with the look.

Step 10 Before you glue each piece down, mark where it needs to be cut in order to line up with the edges of the plywood, and then cut it with a jigsaw.

Step 11 Now you’ll need to cut a few small triangles and squares to fill in the gaps in the square. (Although it’s tempting to try to cut them from small scraps of wood, it’s extremely difficult to do, so you’re better off to cut them from larger pieces of wood using the miter saw or jigsaw.) Once they’re all cut, sand off any rough edges, and then attach them to the plywood with glue.

Step 12 Sand the rough edges on all of the furring strips, and then finish them with a stain or paint of your choice. (This frame is finished with Minwax Special Walnut 224 stain.)

Step 13 Line one of the shorter furring strips up with one side of your quilt, and attach it with a couple of finishing nails. Attach the other shorter piece to the opposite side of the quilt.

Step 14 Use finishing nails to attach the remaining furring strips to the opposite sides, completing the frame. Use a little wood glue, along with a couple of nails, in each corner to keep everything secure.

Step 15 Attach a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of the project, and hang it up in your desired location.

Carrie Spalding discovered the power of do-it-yourself projects years ago, when she moved into a 1970s brick ranch in need of updating. She shares her DIY adventures on her blog, Lovely Etc. This article is excerpted with permission from her book, Wood Plank Projects (Skyhorse Publishing).

Wood Plank Projects: 30 Simple and Creative DIY Décor Ideas for Your Home and Garden

Want to make a statement in your home? Look no further than the humble yet versatile wood plank! Reclaim, recycle, and repurpose wood planks to create unique, stylish pieces. Featuring 30 DIY tutorials for both indoors and outdoors, Wood Plank Projects includes simple beginner projects that’ll be ready in an hour, as well as larger and more impressive pieces.

Purchase this book from our online bookstore or by calling 800-678-4883.