DIY Decor

DIY Wall Art: Family Symbol Edition

While Dan and I both share a Polish heritage, his last name depicts his ancestry much more clearly than mine. Meaning yes, he was blessed as a “ski.” Growing up, it was only natural for family and friends to abbreviate this, giving him and his brother, Tommy, a lifelong nickname of “Waz.” Somewhere along the way, Tommy started scribbing down “Waz” and eventually created an emblem of sorts. Dan quickly picked up on this, and the “Waz symbol” became apart of their identity.

My doodles don’t do this any justice

When we started our woodworking projects and renovating the house, we left this symbol everywhere we went. The back of drywall, studs, the bottom of projects, etc. I always had the honor of woodburning this symbol into the bottom of each finished product.

With all this being said, the house would not be complete without some sort of representation of “the family symbol.”  With Dan’s woodworking beginning to evolve more and more, he decided to bring this symbol to life.

You may remember that when we completely gutted the office, we uncovered the back of our fireplace that was previously hiding behind drywall. Massive, yes, but also an awesome feature that we couldn’t help but show off. Dan’s idea was to build a large-scale Waz symbol out of wood, and have it pop right off this brick.

Template and Placement

After putting the above template together, he used a similar process as he did for the Buffalo skyline and glued this template to wood. He then carved this out using a band saw and a jig saw. He’s still praying for his scroll saw, which he swears will make this process so much easier =)

Template on wood before carving
Checking placement after carving

To add dimension, he framed the symbol by building a border around both the outer and inner edges. The border itself was about 2 inches thick, which would allow it to sit off of the brick and appear more like its floating there.

With the border in place, the Waz sign was close to finished!

With the symbol now built, Dan finished it off with black paint and semi-gloss poly to help it shine.


To mount this on the wall, he added bolts to the brick wall (screwed in through the mortar) and then used picture frame string to hang the symbol. To let it float off the wall just a bit more, he didn’t screw the bolts in all the way, but left them about an inch from the brick itself.


But having the Waz symbol come to life was just not enough for Dan. Of course he had to take it a step further by adding backlighting that gives off not 1, but like 10 different colors. Even I have to admit, it looks pretty cool.


At the rate we’re going, if I’m not careful, our “office” is quickly going to turn into Dan’s man cave.

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