It’s Simple To Make A Beautiful Barn Quilt By Yourself! [+ Downloadable] Update 05/2022

Barn quilts are a long-standing practice in rural communities that has grown in popularity in recent decades.

The person who thought of using quilt designs for barn art was a genius.

Though the history of the original barn quilt is unknown, everyone enjoys the warmth, coziness, and comfort that barn quilts provide (even those who may not quilt or live on a farm).

In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps of constructing a barn quilt and answer any questions you might have about the process.

What Kind of Wood Do You Use to Make a Barn Quilt?

The answer to this question is a matter of personal taste. You can purchase planks to make your own board if you like solid wood.

Even better, how wonderful would it be to build a barn quilt out of recycled barn wood?

For barn quilt painting, treated plywood is most likely the most popular choice. It is reasonably priced and, if displayed outside, can survive the elements.

MDF (medium-density fibreboard) is another choice, which I will use in my example today. Because MDF is so smooth, the painting procedure should be much easier.

I wouldn’t advocate using MDF if you want to see the wood grain because it isn’t a solid piece of wood and won’t have it.

How Big Should a Barn Quilt Be?

The size of your barn quilt is determined by where it will be displayed. If you want to display it in a barn like a conventional piece, you’ll need a huge piece, at least 3′ square.

You can make it any size you desire; for example, if you only want a tiny piece to hang in your home, you could make a 12″ square.

What Do You Use to Seal a Barn Quilt?

The sealer you use is determined on the type of paint you employ. For example, I use acrylic paint that is “weatherproof.” Even though it says “weatherproof,” I recommend adding polyacrylic or water-based polyurethane just in case.

If you’re using acrylic paint, make sure you use a water-based solution rather than a solvent-based one. Acrylic paint can be ruined by solvent-based types.

You can apply a sealer or solvent polyurethane if you use normal outdoor paint from a home improvement store.

Materials and Supplies Needed

  • Your choice of quilt block pattern. The block I created for this project is shown below.
Quilt block pattern how to make a barn quilt
  • Wood of preference: MDF Paint is what I use: Acrylic paint is what I use.
  • Pencil: To draw the outline of the blocks.
  • Straight edge and ruler or tape measure
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tape for painting
how to make a barn quilt supplies

How to Make A Barn Quilt: An Easy Tutorial

“OK, Miriam, enough with the talking about it,” I’m sure you’re thinking. “How do you make a beginner’s farm quilt?” Let’s get started, shall we? I’m delighted to show you the step-by-step method of how I made my lovely barn quilt, so let’s get started.

Step 1: Prep your wood.

If you’re using hardwood or plywood, you’ll want to sand it down to make sure it’s smooth and won’t splinter. You’ll also need to cut your wood to size at this point.

If you don’t have a saw or someone to assist you, buying the wood from a home improvement store is another fantastic choice. It will be cut to size for you by a worker there. Just make sure you get the right size before you start shopping.

I’m using a 32 12″ square in this example. To prepare it, all I had to do was cut it to size and smooth the sharp edges.

Step 2: Prime your wood. (optional)

This step is optional, but I chose to do it because the MDF is rather dark, and I’m using a lot of white and a light blue. I don’t want to have to paint each color with six coats of paint.

Because my farm quilt’s border will be dark blue, I merely primed the centerpiece.

I just required two coats of each color because I prepped my piece.

Step 3: Draw your quilt block outline.

Draw the outline of your quilt block with a pencil or pen. Take your time and ensure that your lines are precisely straight. As a straight edge, I like to use my cutting ruler. If you don’t have a ruler, you can use a tape measure or anything with a straight edge.

Step 4: Tape off your first blocks and paint.

You can paint in any order you like, but I recommend painting all of the parts in the same color at the same time. You won’t have to clean your brushes as frequently. I began with the light blue blocks.

Tip: Between applications, soak your brushes in a cup of water or wash them off to keep the paint from sticking to the brush heads. Trying to clean up after that can be a pain.

Step 5: Continue taping off your different colors and painting.

Pull the tape off while your last layer is still wet for the best, sharpest paint edges. Slowly peel the tape away from the paint, but keep in mind that you can always touch up the paint with a small detail brush later.

Also, wait until the paint is totally dry before applying tape. If you don’t, the paint will bleed beneath the tape between the two colors, leaving you with extra to touch up later.


Step 6: Touch up any imperfections. (optional)

You may not have any flaws to correct, but if you do, now is the moment to do it.

I needed to touch up this portion.



Step 7: Add your hanging apparatus.

A barn quilt can be hung in various different ways. Depending on the size and weight of your barn quilt, simple picture frame hanging prongs from your local craft store may suffice.

Because my farm blanket is so enormous but not too heavy due to the MDF, I hung it with a couple of screws and metal wire.


My completed project is shown on my lovely grey barn.


Free Printable Barn Quilt Designs and Coloring Pages

Are you interested in making a barn quilt? To make a unique and stunning handmade farm quilt, use our free design ideas and coloring pages.

I had so much fun working on this barn quilt, and I hope you liked following along with me. Barn quilts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they may transform the look of your home, whether inside or out.

Decorate your living room with a few small objects.

A huge barn blanket lying against your front porch or hung above your garage door can brighten up the outside of your home. The options for the barn quilt are endless and interesting, and I hope this has inspired you to make your own.

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