We’re big fans of turning junk into custom wall art. From forks to seed pods and bent bicycle wheels, if we can hang it, we’ll use it. So it seemed only natural to add some rusty, junk birds to the mix. There was only one problem. Those birds needed something to perch on if they were going on the wall. Which is why we decided to make this Yakisugi shutter frame to complete the picture (pun intended 😉 ).

If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

The shutter frame is unique and it provides the perfect perch for my junk birds.

Looking for an easy project to use up those scrap bits you have lying around. These easy junk birds only take a few minutes to put together and the photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make a shutter frame for them to park their pretty little butts on. #junkbirds #ACraftyMix #DIYhomedecor

Aren’t they just sooooooo cute?

Looking for an easy project to use up those scrap bits you have lying around. These easy junk birds only take a few minutes to put together and the photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make a shutter frame for them to park their pretty little butts on. #junkbirds #ACraftyMix #DIYhomedecor

The shutter frame and the junk birds take about 1/2 hour to make and it’s my contribution for this month’s International Blogger’s Club (IBC) challenge which is “Walls and All”. You’ll be able to see all the other amazing submissions at the end of this post.

If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

What You Need

For the Yakisugi shutter frame

  • Wood scraps
  • Drill and jigsaw
  • Wood screws
  • 4 small barrel hinges
  • 4 L-shaped brackets
  • A hot coal fire or blow torch

To make the Yakisugi (shou sugi ban) shutter I used pallet scraps

For the junk birds

  • Wood scraps (the thicker the better)
  • Craft paint. I used Unicorn SPiT
  • Rusty junk

To make the junk birds you need a collection of metal scrap and thick softwood

Right, before I share the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

Right, let’s get to those tutorials. We’ll start with the shutter frame and then I’ll share how I made the junk birds. Both the birds and the frame has been Yakisugi-fied 😀

What is Yakisugi (Shou Sugi Ban)

Yakisugi, also known as shou sugi ban in the west, is an ancient Japanese wood preservation technique that entails burning or charring softwood to make it more resilient and enhance the color and the natural beauty of the grain. The Japanese word Yakisugi literally means burnt cedar. Traditionally three to five planks are placed in a teepee shape over hot coals.

Stack the wood pieces in a teepee shape over a hot fire

As the wood burns, the softwood grains fuse together, making the wood stronger and more durable.

Stack the wood pieces in a teepee shape over a hot fire

If the wooden planks are too long to stack safely into a teepee they can also be burnt flat. Just remember to turn them regularly so they don’t burn too much.

If you wood is too tall to stack safely in a teepee shape you can burn them flat too

If you’re worried about starting a fire in your backyard, you can use a blow torch instead. We’re South African and never need an excuse to light a fire. It’s a messy business, but someone has to do it 😉

This Yakisugi, also known as shou sugi ban, is a messy business

For Yakisugi, light, porous wood works best. Cedar, Pine, Larch/Tamarack, Cypress, Fir, Spruce, and Redwood are all good choices. After charring the wood is left to cool before the burnt, flaky bits are removed with a wire brush and/or sandpaper.  

Use a wire brush or 60 grit sandpaper to remove the charred wood

While burning or charring the wood does make it stronger, it is still advisable to seal it with natural oils or a clear polyurethane sealer.

To seal in that gorgeous color, use a clear matt or satin sealer

Once all the wood has been burnt and prepped, we can start making the shutter frame.

Making the shutter frame

My frame is 32 cm wide and 41 cm long (12.5″ x 16″). The two shutters on either side are 18 cm wide and 27 cm long (7″ x 10.5″). Feel free to adapt the measurements to suit the width and thickness of your wood. I’ve included a rough plan below based on my measurements.

Rough shutter frame. Feel  free to adapt the measurements to suit your scrap wood

If you’re going to use your frame to display something, like junk birds, just make sure the frame bottom is wide enough for them to park their pretty butts on comfortably 😉 To join the frame together I used L-shaped brackets and wood glue. If you have one of those fancy Kreg things, you’re welcome to use that.

Use L-shaped brackets to join the sides, top and bottom of the Yakisugi frame together

To join two shutter planks together I used a crossbar that’s roughly as long as my two shutter planks placed side by side. IMHO the crossbars add character to the shutters. If you’re not a fan of the look, you can use a butt joint instead.

The frame is a basic square shape that's joined together with brackets.

Measure and mark where the shutter crossbars should go and drill pilot holes. I made two holes per plank since my crossbars weren’t the same thickness all the way across.

Measure and mark where the shutter crossbeams will go

Screw the shutter crossbars in from the back using the pilot holes as a guide.

Screw the shutter crossbars in from the wrong side

Attach the shutters to the frame with two hinges.

Add a hinge to attach the shutters to the frame
If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

I’m completely in love with how beautiful the wood is after burning.

If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

Just look at those rich, fire-infused colors.

If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

Stunning, right?

If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

Okay, enough of me admiring the Yakisugi effect. Let’s move on to making those junk birds 😀

Looking for an easy project to use up those scrap bits you have lying around. These easy junk birds only take a few minutes to put together and the photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make a shutter frame for them to park their pretty little butts on. #junkbirds #ACraftyMix #DIYhomedecor

Making The Junk Birds

The two little junk birds sitting in the Yakisugi shutter frame are a whole bunch of fun to put together. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, so feel free to experiment with whatever junk you have lying around. Start by drawing and cutting a thick piece of wood into an oval blob shape with a square bottom.

To make the junk birds, draw a blob shape on a thick piece of wood

Grab those rusty, scrap metal bits you have lying around to get an idea of what you can use to give the junk birds some character. I used copper wool, light fittings, tin ceiling tile scraps, and two small bulbs from an old radio.

Use whatever you can find to give the junk birds some character

Make a hot fire and place the blobs on the grid, turning them every now and again so they’re burnt all over.

Burn the junk birds on open coals

Remove the blobs and leave them to cool. Use a wire brush to get rid of the soft, charred wood.

Use a wire brush or 60 grit sandpaper to remove the charred wood

Just look at how amazing the wood looks after a hard scrub. At this point, I seriously considered leaving the junk birds in all their natural Yakisugi glory.

The junk birds after burning

But decided a little Unicorn Spit wouldn’t hurt 😉

For the junk birds I used Unicorn SPiT to stain the uncharred raw wood

To make the legs, bend some rusty nails and glue on scrap metal feet. We have a whole bucket of nails that we’ve used in so many of our craft projects.

For the legs I used rusty bent nails and scrap metal

Drill two small holes at the bottom of the junk birds to attach the legs.

Bend a piece of rusty metal in a beak shape and glue that on. Add the eyes on either side of the beak. Pull the wire wool apart and screw it to the top of the junk bird’s head to finish off.

Looking for an easy project to use up those scrap bits you have lying around. These easy junk birds only take a few minutes to put together and the photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make a shutter frame for them to park their pretty little butts on. #junkbirds #ACraftyMix #DIYhomedecor

The junk birds look so cute sitting in their frame…..

If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

Or perched on our distressed melamine metal cabinet.

Looking for an easy project to use up those scrap bits you have lying around. These easy junk birds only take a few minutes to put together and the photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make a shutter frame for them to park their pretty little butts on. #junkbirds #ACraftyMix #DIYhomedecor

What do you think?

Looking for an easy project to use up those scrap bits you have lying around. These easy junk birds only take a few minutes to put together and the photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make a shutter frame for them to park their pretty little butts on. #junkbirds #ACraftyMix #DIYhomedecor

If you like the idea of making some junk birds then don’t forget to pin it for later.

Looking for an easy project to use up those scrap bits you have lying around. These easy junk birds only take a few minutes to put together and the photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make a shutter frame for them to park their pretty little butts on. #junkbirds #ACraftyMix #DIYhomedecor

Or if you need a Yakisugi (shou sugi ban) shutter frame to add to your gallery wall, then this one is for you.

If you love creating custom wall art as much as we do, you’re going to enjoy making this easy DIY Yagisuki shutter frame. Use it one it’s own to make a statement or add two junk birds to up the ante. The photo-rich tutorial includes instructions to make both the shutter frame and those cute birds. #shousugiban #shutterframe #ACraftyMix #walldecor

Pssst, don’t forget to see what the rest of the IBC have done with their “Walls and All” challenge below.

Wall and All IBC Challenge - August
  1. Celebrate fall in style with a recycled wood tile wall art made by Marie from Interior Frugalista.
  2. Anita took the art of shou sugi ban to a whole new level with this gorgeous barn quilt.
  3. A one-of-a-kind air plant clock created by Sara from Birdz of a Feather.
  4. Meegan took her inspiration from nature and made beautiful wall art.
  5. Junk birds and shutter frame by your truly.

Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉

[Wire Brush Set for Cleaning 4-Pack Multi Purpose Beechwood Handle Medium & Small, Brass & Stainless Steel Wire Scratch Brush for Rust, Paint, Welding, Heavy & Light Household Cleaning
Sondiko Blow Torch, Culinary Kitchen Torch, Refillable Kitchen Butane Blow Torch with Safety Lock and Adjustable Flame for DIY, Creme Brulee, BBQ and Baking, Butane Gas Not Included, Black
Barnwood Decor of OKC | Barnwood Craft Wood for DIY Projects [100% Authentic Reclaimed Weathered Wood] Rustic Weathered Reclaimed Wood Planks for DIY Crafts, Projects and Decor (6 Planks - 18inches)
Unicorn SPiT 5771008 Gel Stain and Glaze, Blue Thunder 8.0 FL OZ Bottle
Unicorn SPiT 5771004 Gel Stain and Glaze, Lemon Kiss 8.0 FL OZ Bottle, Yellows
Unicorn SPiT 5771007 Gel Stain and Glaze, Dragon's Belly 8.0 FL OZ Bottle, 8 (Pack of 1), Green

Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then one of these beauties may appeal.

Sale VOSAREA Wire Iron Bird Figurine Metal Craft Ornament for Home Room Decor (Black)
Stockbridge Shutter Mirror, Rustic Heart Cut-Outs, Fir Wood Frame and Doors, Metal Swing Latch, Cross Post Grille, Triangle Hangers, 22.25 Wide x 17.75 H Inches
Sale Colonial Tin Works Decorative Small Cute Songbird Song Bird Statue Figurine Home Décor, 5.5' x 4' x 2', Rust/Brown

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix