I made a Super Mario (from Super Mario 3, my favorite NES Mario game) out of stained oak cubes. I basically stole this idea from pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/28429041373312165/?from_navigate=true
Cutting 1x6 pine boards in the table saw to be exactly 1" strips.
A couple strips cut
All strips cut - lots of burn marks from the table saw. Each strip had to be sanded down until all marks were gone.
A 2x4 fence was used to cut the cubes to exactly 1" to match their width.
Cubes beginning to surface
So many cubes
Red cubes stained
All cubes organized
Black cubes stained
Halfway! I ran out of cubes because I didn't count ha
Finished and mounted on the wall - 3 coats of polyurethane.
I cut a piece of 1/4" plywood with my jigsaw to act as a backing-board for the cubes. Each cube was then glued to the plywood. The trick here is to glue the perimeter first, and then worry about the inside cubes.