Modern Barn Quilting with Wood

Modern Barn Quilting with Wood

Modern barn quilting with wood is a great history lesson and lots of fun! Barn Quilting has been a tradition for over 300 years and really is more than just pretty artwork. It is believed that decorating the side of a barn with a particular pattern and certain colors was started by immigrants in the Northern states and would eventually spread across the country. When travelers arrived here, their families would tell them which patterns and colors of barn quilts to look for so they would be able to easily find them. The beautifully decorated barns would cascade over the countryside and provide a scenic display for many miles eventually coining the term “Quilt trails”. Barn Quilting has seen a major uptick in popularity again most recently. It is one of my favorite ways to make a bold statement indoors or outdoors and there really is no need for a barn! These displays are beautiful on a mantel, on the side of a house, garage, or even a front porch. Although we no longer need them to map our location, they’re traditional and beautiful and really are, these days, just pretty artwork!

I’m going to share with you how I put together a wood barn quilt. These are time consuming but so worth it in the end! A barn quilt is a dramatic way to spruce up your space with vibrant colors for Summer.

DIY Barn Quilt Instructions

Here is a list of what you’ll need

2' x 2' piece of plywood (if you are planning to hang outdoors you will need to use exterior plywood)
Wood to frame 2' x 2' plywood
Heavy duty picture hanger or wire for hanging
Wood glue
Water-based stain
3 - 4 colors of water based paint depending on your design
Rough cut lumber to cut 72 triangles. Cut 36 rough cut pieces in 4"x 4" blocks and then cut diagonally to make at total of 72 pieces.
Polyurethane to seal for outdoor use

Putting it all together

First, frame the 2'x 2'piece of plywood by nailing the frame pieces to the outside edge of the plywood. Depending on your taste, you can cut these on a 45 degree angle or make straight cuts. This frame is cut on 45.

Stain the entire frame and background with your color of choice.


Stain each triangle on the front and sides. Let them dry.

 Create your design pattern

Next, you’ll create your own pattern for your barn quilt. You can use highlighters or colored pens to mark them so you can easily count how many triangles you will need of each color. Get creative!

Here is a grid to help with your design.

Once you are set on pattern and colors, select your first color and dry brush the top of all of the triangles needed in that color.
Repeat this process for each color.
Once all pieces have dried, glue your triangles in place.
Allow the barn quilt to fully dry.
If you are planning to hang outdoors, seal with 3 - 4 coats of polyurethane or sealer of choice.

And now you are ready to hang your Barn Quilt!

I hope you’ll give this a try! And don’t be afraid to experiment with colors and designs before gluing. One of the easiest things to change is paint! Give it a shot and don’t forget to send me pictures of your barn quilt. I can’t wait to see what you create. Happy Quilting!


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.