May 13, 2011

{Making Signs}

Signs seem to be everywhere and I love the way they look in a home. Perfect for a mudroom, laundry, bathroom, or kitchen. "Real" vintage signs seem to be hard to come by, and pretty darn expensive, so I thought I would make my own.

I don't have a fancy sign making machine that cranks out perfect letters on transfer paper, or graphite paper to trace (too fancy for me, and too much stuff to buy and store). What I do have are crayons, and lots of them! You seem to collect those when you have a three year old running around the house and making pictures for you (my favorite, especially when they consist of faces of smiling people).

One of my favorite signs that I have seen is this one...

Not that I don't love hippies, because I do!  But I thought it was hilarious.   I found it, and we will be adding this to our mudroom in the future.  I like stuff that makes me smile, even laugh, when I decorate my home. Not too serious, or stuffy...and this makes me smile a little.  

I decided to make my own sign for the kitchen, using some of that extra wood that we had from the fireplace redo.  It was quick and easy.  This was a "tester" but I decided to keep it, and use it in our kitchen. 

1. Print out the letters in the font and size you want for your sign.
 2. Take a crayon (if you're like me, these are readily available) and scribble all over the back of the letter.
 3.  Lay the letter on the wood and trace with a pencil.
4. Some of the crayon should have transferred onto the wood.
 5.  Paint inside the lines.  I used a foam brush...but use an angled or round brush.  You will have more control and will be able to paint straight lines easier.
Not that I needed a reminder, but as you can see, my sign says "EAT."
6.  Sand, sand, and sand some more.  I really wanted an aged look.  Plus, I made some mistakes on the corners of the letters, so I wanted to get rid of some those by sanding them off.

7. Stain. I like the look of black letters and stained wood. I used Minwax's English Chestnut stain for an antique look.

 8.  A coat of poly will make the stain look more vivid.  I used Waterlox because it's what we had left over from a counter top project. 
9. Wait for it all to dry, and hang, lean, or do whatever!  You just made a sign.

Future project inspiratons...

"the kid's" room and my wish for him...

daily pep talk...

"WHAT I LOVE MOST about my HOME is WHO I SHARE it with."
-Tad Carpenter


  1. thanks for the inspiration! I'm your newest follower :)

  2. @ Anne...awesome! I am so happy you like it! Thanks for following!

  3. Hi! Wow I love your crafts and imaginary ways of doing thing. I'm decorating fanatic as well and have been using your philosophy for years (buy cheap and make it look wonderful!). I wanted some text for some furniture pieces and I'm so bad at painting small things, so I figured that it would be easier to print the words(letters)on regular printing paper, cut them out and glue on to the surface with decoupage glue/polish. For an aged look (at least on white pieces) paint over the letters once the polish has dried and sand with very fine sanding paper.


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