How To Make A Plywood Cutout

How To Make A Plywood Cutout

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Why I Wanted To Make A Plywood Cutout

I decided to make a plywood cutout when I couldn’t find something I could buy.
We were doing updates in the Poconos vacation rental (Feels Like Heaven). I wanted to add something above the TV on the accent wall in the bear roomyes we name the bedrooms. 🙂
Since it was going in the bear room, what better addition then a bear on the wall.
I did some searches on my go to – Pinterest. I found a lot of ideas for all things bear.

Check out the Feels Like Heaven Pinterest board here to take a look at what pins I found.

Bear Room Ideas Board On Pinterest

There was a lot of nice ideas for sure but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for.
Then I got the idea-why not find a picture of a bear I like,print it out,transfer it to plywood and cut it out.
I didn’t find any instructions on how to do that so I figured I’d make some.


Shameless Plug

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Feels Like Heaven - A Premium 5 Bedroom Vacation Rental in The Poconos, PA

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The Shopping List For Making A Plywood Cutout

Tools List

We didn’t use too many tools on this project, here’s a list of the ones we did use.

Reciprocating Saw

Belt Sander

Supplies List

These are the supplies used on this project

scrap piece of 3/4″ plywood


Paint Brush

This was a straight-forward project. It only took a couple of hours to complete since my cut out was a simple bear shape. If you choose something more complex then your cutout may take longer to finish.

Finding The Right Image

The piece I was looking for was a calm bear, either walking, standing or laying down.
I did a lot of searches and finally decided to use this picture as my template.
Your picture doesn’t need to be a black and white picture, it can be any picture and it can be any size.
Below I’ll show you how to print it out to the size you need.

Plywood Bear Cut Out - The Picture I Chose For The Cutout

Determining How Many Pages You Need

This is definitely not an exact science.  I wanted my bear cutout to be about 36″ wide – maybe a little bigger. Since I was going to print on letter sized paper, that would translate to about 3 or 4 pages wide.

Printing Your Image to Size

Open the image using the Microsoft Paint program. To open Microsoft Paint Press the window key on your keyboard then type in paint.
Once in the program open the image you want to print out.

Note:  I’m a PC user so these instructions are for PCs.

I’m sure you can achieve the same results using a Mac… I just don’t know how.

A google search “print image on multiple pages on mac” will probably steer you in the right direction.

Plywood Bear Cut Out - Open Microsoft Paint

Changing The Page Setup

This is where the magic happens. With your picture open in Microsoft Paint, go into Page setup to tell it how many pages you want to use in your print out.

  • Click the down arrow on the upper left menu
  • Click the right arrow next to the Print option
  • Click Page setup
  • In the Page Setup dialog Select “Fit to:” in the Scaling section (the lower right box)

For our bear cut out I chose 4 pages wide by 3 pages high

In landscape, Each page is 11″ wide by 8.5″ high and the printer has .5″ margins (the box above the Scaling box in the dialog) so the bear print out would be about 40″ wide, 4 sheets x 10″ of printable paper (11″ paper – .5″ left margin – .5″ right margin).

 Now that you changed your page setup, go ahead and Print Your Template Out


Plywood Bear Cut Out - Microsoft Paint Menu
Plywood Bear Cut Out - Change The Page Setup

Tape the Pages Together

Now that you have your pages printed, it’s time to piece them together to create the paper template.

Tape the pages together, putting extra tape wherever the seems for the template meet.

Tip: Cut the margins off of the pages using scissors, to make it easier to tape them together.

Plywood Bear Cut Out - Tape The Paper Template Together
With your template assembled use a pair of scissors (or an exacto knife) to cut out your paper template.

Now You Have Your Paper Template

Now that it’s cut out, place the template on top of your plywood and trace it out.

First I used a pencil to trace it out, then I went over the pencil mark using a sharpie.

The sharpie is easier to see when cutting the plywood.

Plywood Bear Cut Out - Trace It Out On The Plywood

Cutting The Plywood Shape

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the plywood being cut. 🙁

I used a reciprocating saw to cut my bear shape since I was looking for a rough finish. If you want a cleaner finish then a jig saw or a roto-zip my be a better tool to use.

We now have our plywood cutout! 

Sand and Paint and You’re All Done

With the shape cut out, you can now round the edges using a sander. For my cut out I wanted a bit of an unfinished look so I didn’t want rounded edges.

I sanded the edges enough to remove the possibility of getting splinters.

Once sanded, add a couple of coats of paint and you’re cut out is all set.

Here’s my finished bear cutout.  When I first painted it, I chose a light color to add contrast between it and the wall – but it looked too much like a polar bear… not what I was going for.

I then painted it a dark brown color, it looks more like a black bear than a polar bear now. 🙂

Plywood Bear Cut Out - All Finished

What Did You Think?

What I liked about this project is the possibilities it opened up. You can do any shape, any size using any material.

I’m not sure what my next cut out will be but I am sure that the bear was not my last one!

I hope this article shed some light on the possibilities and has your creative ideas going. Did you like it? What will you make a plywood cutout of? What would you do differently?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!