A step by step DIY tutorial on how to make a super-sized pixel Mario. Display this wall art in your game room and enjoy the 8-bit nostalgia.
I love it when I can combine woodworking and geeky things. Today I’m sharing how to build a giant Mario pixel wall art. This was a really fun (and really tedious) project that I created for the Modern Makers Podcast’s Two 2×4 Challenge. The objective of the challenge was to create something using 70% of two 2×4 boards. The classic Super Mario Bros was my introduction to video games, and thus 8-bit Mario will always have a special place in heart. <3
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Tools and Supplies
I used the following tools and supplies to create the giant pixel Mario:
- Table Saw
- 14″ Bandsaw equipped with the Wood Slicer Resaw blade
- Router with a 45 degree chamfer
- Bench cookies
- Brad Nailer
- FeatherDuo (This is a handy tool)
- Microjig Grr-Ripper (This is also a really handy tool)
- 2×4 – 8′ (2) or 1×4 – 8′ (4)
- Red food coloring
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Light brown wood stain (Watco Danish Oil – Medium Walnut)
- Dark brown wood stain (ECOS Paints Woodshield – Special Walnut)
- CA Glue (I used DAP Rapid Fuse Wood Adhesive. This stuff is legit.)
- Wood glue
WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL
Click play and watch the video tutorial below. For more woodworking videos, CLICK HERE to subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Continue reading for the written tutorial.
How To Build A Giant Pixel Mario in 10 Easy Steps
- Resaw the 2x4s
- Square the boards
- Rips boards to 2″ wide strips
- Route the edges of the strips
- Cut the strips into 2″ squares
- Route each edge of each square
- Stain, paint or dye the squares
- Assemble Mario
- Add Additional Support
Before starting the project, I took a look at several pictures of 8-bit Mario. Once I selected the version I liked the most, I counted the number of pixels per color.
For Mario in resting position, you’ll need the following number of pixels:
- 45 red
- 54 dark brown
- 44 tan
Step 1: Resaw the 2x4s
Cut each 2×4 in half and resaw boards on the bandsaw. The goal here is to stretch the 2x4s by turning them into 1x4s. (Or you can skip this step and just buy 1×4 boards.)
I used the FeatherDuo to keep steady pressure as I resawed the 2x4s. It’s a really handy tool. I can’t recommend it enough. Watch it in action below:
I’m making a mess instead of cleaning the garage 😱 but I thought of an idea for the @modernmakerpodcast #two2x4challenge. 😅 Resawing two 2x4s! . #resaw #resawing #bandsaw #grizzlybandsaw #featherduo #featherpro #bowproducts #woodslicer #2×4 #scrapwood #woodworking #dowoodworking #woodwork #diy #huntsville #makersgonnamake #buildersgonnabuild #maker #alabama #garage #garageshop #ishouldbecleaning @thefeatherpro
Step 2: Square the boards
Alignment is critical. You want to ensure the boards are square on each side. Start with a jointer and flatten one face, followed by an edge. Move to the planer to flatten another face and mill all the boards down to the same thickness.
Step 3: Rip boards to 2″ wide
On the table saw rip the boards down to 2″ strips. Save the leftovers. You will need them later.
Step 4: Route the edges of the 2″ strips
Step 5: Cut the strips into 2″ squares
Cut each strip into 2″ squares.
Step 6: Route each edge of each square
Equip a router with a 45 degree chamfer bit. Route along the remaining two sides of each square. I placed each square on top of a bench cookie as I was routing. This eliminated the need to clamp each square in place.
Step 7: Sand
Sand each square to prep it for a finish.
Step 8: Stain, paint or dye the squares
I used a mixture of dyes and stains to color the squares. For the red squares, I created a dye from red food color and rubbing alcohol. The tan squares were stained with Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut. The dark brown squares were stained with ECOS Paints WoodShield stain in Special Walnut.
Step 9: Assemble Mario
Step 10: Add additional support
Step 11: Enjoy!
Install hanging hardware or lean it against a wall and enjoy the fruits of your hard labor.
I’m done! 🙌 Whew! Mario is a little larger than I thought he’d be. 😅 This is my entry for @modernmakerpodcast #two2x4challenge. Here’s a rough outline of my steps for the project (in the near future I’ll write a tutorial and maybe upload a video): 1. Resaw 2x4s in half 2. Make the boards square on a jointer and planer 3. Rip board into 2″ strips 4. Cut strips into 2″ squares 5. Add a 45 degree chamfer to each square 6. Stain the wood (I used @ecospaints Woodshield in Special Walnut for the dark brown, Watco Medium Walnut for the light brown and a made a red stain from food coloring and rubbing alcohol.) 7. Glue up the pixels with @dapproducts rapid fuse adhesive 8. Used remaining strips of wood for added support on the back side. It was a long and tedious process, but I’m really happy with how it turned out! 👊 . #pixel #pixelart #supermario #supermariobros #mario #2×4 #makersgonnamake #makeallthethings #diyhalloffame #woodworker #wood #woodcraft #dowoodworking #diy #challenge #woodworking #alldone #geek #geekcraft #nes #retro #retrogames #retrogamer #gamer #videogames @modernbuilds @foureyesfurniture @benjaminuyeda
DIY Giant Mario Pixel Wall Art
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