We found the barn board at a local shop that specializes in reclaimed materials from old barns, factories, homes...it is a really neat place to wander through.
We selected barn boards in varying widths and brought them home. The first step was to play around with different arrangements: where to put each width of board, and how to space out the knots and imperfections in the wood. Notice that the end on the left is uneven. We played around for quite a while making sure that the imperfections were randomly spaced across the piece knowing we could just cut everything down to the final size once it was secured together.
Once everything was secured in place, we cut the ends of our piece even in order to arrive at our final dimensions of 6" x 2". Sorry for the lack of pictures for this part, it was really a two person job with Steve manning the circular saw and me holding the wood in place.
I have a few ides on how to spice it up a bit - maybe a bit of granny bunting, some Christmas bunting, a few colorful plates...but for now, I am thrilled with the warmth and texture that it adds to the room.