Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gettin' Crafty

One of the things I really wanted to make happen on my four day weekend was to create a vertical sign that said "FALL" to balance out the other harvest decor surrounding our tv.  I had looked online for items that would fit the bill - and even to some antique/distressed crafts kind of stores, but nothing fit the bill or was available for under $50.  I told John, "You know, I could do this myself".  He looked skeptical, but was wise enough not to argue with me.  So, I did.

Earlier, I had found some long planks of pine at a discount lumber store (even with Whitley in tow - I'm so proud) - so after John's message at church, we parted ways.  John and Brayden went shopping for his upcoming Homecoming attire, and Mikayla and I hit up Michaels for crafting supplies.  

One of my big faults is that when I get it in my mind to finally tackle something, I don't always take the time to get fully prepared - mostly in regards to safeguarding against mess or ruining my clothes.  So, at least this time I made a minimal effort - and donned attire from 2004 when we originally painted the interior of our house.  

I had researched via Pinterest some of the best techniques to doing wood signs and found this one to be among the more helpful (even though mine would be looking more "weathered" than hers). 

These were the products we purchased at Michaels.  
The first thing I did was spray down the board to make it white.  Fortunately, in "distressed signs" if it's not perfectly applied, it's no problem, as you'll be making sanding grooves and "mistakes" in it anyway further in the process.  This is a good thing as I had to reapply more paint about three times due to the garbage bags beneath blowing up on to the wet sign.   Grrr....

While it dried, I found the font I wanted on the computer and then enlarged it so one letter fit on each page - about 750!  I know there is a way to print only the outline, but that wasn't something I had the patience to research - so we just wasted some ink.  (Sidenote - I recently ordered some ink for our printer through Amazon - generic/refill.  Originally, we were spending $60 to refill our cartridges, and now it is $12 for the whole set!  SCORE!!!  It makes me feel a lot less guilty when wasting extra print on coupons or activities such as this).  

On the website I linked to, she used carbon paper underneath her words to apply it to the wood.  In my case, I figured it would be just as easy to cut out the letters and pencil trace around them. 
But first, time to apply my high school calculus elementary math skills to ensure perfect spacing of the letters.  Note the actual "borrowing of the ten's digit" in the second equation.  Wow...

Now was the time to have some real fun and get a little artsy.  Painting in the letters.  Again, it was okay to put it on thick - and keep some of the brush strokes visible as this was supposed to look aged and vintage and not at all perfect....(excellent!). 

John came home when I had completed it up until that point.  He loved it and was impressed, but suggested we used the electric hand sander to distress it some more.  I was feeling a little pride that I had done this "ALL BY MYSELF" - but figured it was even more fun to consider it a couples project, so I relinquished the "distressing" to John and this is how it turned out. 

It's pretty much exactly what we'd wanted.  The original plan was to make a JOY sign in red along with this one, but I'm glad we took them one step at a time.  I think we'll cut the next piece of wood down by a third as the length is the only thing that I'm a little unsure about.  But, at least this next time around, I'll have a pretty good idea what I'm doing...

Similar item found on ETSY:  $50-$75 based on product and shipping
Our version:  $12 in supplies

Pinterest for the win! =)

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