Tag Archives: decor

Wood Plank Sign Tutorial

5 Nov

I got the inspiration for this idea when I saw a picture of another large wood sign browsing Houzz.com.  My inspiration photo can be found here.

When we framed our basement, we ripped out some old storage shelving, and the green planks used to make this sign were part of the shelving we removed.  I really liked the color and the naturally distressed look.  As soon as I saw them, I just knew I needed to make a sign out of them.

If you aren’t lucky enough to come across some already distressed & colored boards, it wouldn’t be too difficult to buy some 1×6’s, then paint and distress them yourself.

I think my dad, brother, and husband (who all helped with the storage room demo)  thought I was a little odd in the head.  But, I never let that sway me (vision, you have to have vision)!

I started out first by cutting my planks to size and connecting them all together by nailing them into a few 1×2’s (already on hand). I recommend using a nail gun if you have one.  It’s leaves the least amount of nail showing and preserves the look of the wood.

Our nails were a little long so we had to hammer them over on the back.

Once you’ve got your planks all together, you’ll need to create some way to mount it on the back.  I went with some eyelet screws, attached to the side of the 1×2’s, and heavy duty wire between them to hang it like a picture.

Now you’re ready to put words on you sign (or really whatever your heart desires, a pony?, a bowl of fruit?, the sun?, yeah pretty much whatever, lol).  If you are a good artist then it would be a great opportunity to showcase your art on a different kind of canvas.

I went with words because I knew I could make a stencil and it wouldn’t be too difficult.

To make my stencil I used my Silhouette Cameo.  I bought my Cameo in a bundle from Ebay that came with the vinyl I would need to make my stencil.  You could also make your own stencil if you like (there is a tutorial here and here)  but I think vinyl works the best to get your lines nice and crisp.

Once you get your stencil cut out (tutorial later on how to create a stencil with a Cameo) you’ll want to line it up on your board to make sure it’ll all fit just right.

You always want to lay things out before attaching them.  If you notice, the bottom of the C did not quite line up for some reason so I needed to cut it out and line it up manually.

Once you are sure of the layout and you like how it looks it’s time to attach it.

With vinyl, you need to put transfer paper on the top first, so that when you peel the back off it’ll still have stability and a way to handle it.

Now you can peel the back off and attach it to your boards.

Once you have the back peeled off and laid out on your boards you will want to really burnish them on there.  With the bundle I bought I got a scraper to press everything on nicely.  If you don’t have a scraper, you can find them here, or anything with a rounded hard edge should work.  Don’t use anything without a smooth edge or you risk ripping your vinyl.

Now that everything is adhered, it’s time to pull off the transfer paper.  This part takes a bit of time and patience.  If you take the paper off too fast then your vinyl will just pull up.  So take it slow.  While I pulled my paper up I also took my scraper and pressed down on the vinyl to make sure it stayed in place.

Once you’ve finally got the paper off, the sign will look something like this and you’re almost ready for paint!

paper offCover all of the space that you don’t want painted with paper and painters tape or masking tape. I even taped all my letters at the seams to make sure no paint would get under the vinyl.

You are now officially ready for painting! Just before I started painting, I pushed around the edges of all of the letters with my fingers just to give them one last good adhesion.  On my first coat I went with Krylon white paint+primer  spray paint in satin.  I wanted to make sure I got good adhesion so that’ why I went with the primer mixture first.

After that I used Krylon white in semi-gloss to do the rest of the coats.  Here is coat number two.

If you are wanting a little of your wood to show through the paint then I would probably stop there.  I wanted mine pretty solid so I went ahead and did a third coat of paint.

I let everything dry for a long while before I removed my paper.   Then this is what I ended up with.

I had a few spots where the lines were a little blurred but they weren’t too bad. You are bound to get that if you are on a very uneven surface as I was.  I wanted shading around the letters so I painted it on by hand.

Last, I wanted my edges to be a little more polished so I finished them with a clear drying polyurethane in satin.  In hindsight I think a gloss would have looked better, but the satin is fine.

Now you are all done and ready to hang your sign!  If you use planks anything like ours then that sucker will be HEAVY!  If possible try to mount it in a stud.  If you don’t have a stud, make sure that you get hardware that will be strong enough to hold it up.  I’m sure if it fell it would cause some damage, yikes!

This is one of our favorite things in our living room and it’s pretty unique too, something I always like.  So, maybe if you find some old wood laying around you can make your own sign now!

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Cheap Haunting Halloween Display

18 Sep

I’ve decided than I’m titling my display: Escape of the Baby Tarantulas!  It’s too bad you can’t see it in person.  I can’t seem to quite capture the horrificness of it all.  For less than $10 we created ourselves a mini horrorscape.

The Dollar Tree played an integral part in this weeks post.  All of our goulies and beasties (except one) came from their store, so a BIG thanks to them!  I was so excited when I walked in a saw their black crows.  I had been looking for some but everywhere else was just too expensive.  The giant tarantula was also an exciting find.  The “baby tarantulas” are just spider rings with the ring part cut off.  The skull is fine for now but I think it’s going to get a little sprucing up as well.  It looks a little too plasticy to me.

Everything else I already had with the exception of the cheese cloth and tea to die it with.  I died the cheesecloth because I didn’t think it looked aged enough, then chopped it up a little to give it that mummy look.

The books are one of my favorite touches.  I scoured my collection and came up with three that were fitting for the current season.  The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, The Way of All Flesh, and The Winter of our Discontent.  I must admit I don’t know the latter two books but I liked the titles none the less. (They are probably classics and I’m totally showing my ignorance!)

The pumpkin and gourd were two purchases I made a long long time ago and they needed some life, so they got a shiny new coat of paint (which I also had on hand).

   

The wreath and spider web were more of my on hand decor and I recently got a few old bleach bottles from a yard sale and thought one of those would  just go perfect to hold up my books.

I got the tree branch from an old tree in our yard and it just happened to have to perfect bow in it and looks rather ominous don’t you think?

Lastly I cut out a crow silhouette to put into the back of my lantern. The lanter felt a little out of place without a beastie so I gave it just a little touch of one.

The rest of the decor is what I normally have there.  However, I think an antiqued mirror instead would look fantastic.  Maybe another DIY project?

So there you have it.  Our super cheap, haunting Halloween, display.

fall link partyHome Stories A2Z

Painted Mason Jars: Easy Peasy

30 Aug

Mason jars are big right now!  There are so many things you can do with these little beauties, the list is endless.  Wedding and home decor, picnic mugs, and light fixtures are just a few of the things you can do.

Thanks to the addictive nature of Pinterest (blast you wonderful website!) I decided to paint some mason jars.  It was my daughters first birthday, which also happens to coincide with Cinco de Mayo, so we went with…yep you guessed it, a fiesta theme. Too predictable?  Well it was worth it.  Who doesn’t want to hit a pinata, dress up like little muchachos, and eat tacos?

So one of the decorations for the party was colorful painted mason jars.

This was such an easy project and would be fun as a craft to do with your kids.

All you need is some jars, glass paint, and a foam brush.

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There are lots of different kinds of glass paint you can use.  This is the one I happened to find at my local craft store and I loved the way it turned out.

Some paints I’ve heard you have to bake or apply differently so make sure you follow the directions of the paint you buy.

If you are using a paint like mine then this is how I did it.

All you need to do is put some of the glass paint on a paper plate and use your brush to wipe it on the jar from the bottom to the top.

You’ll want to make sure that your brush strokes are long and straight since you’ll be able to see some lines in the paint from the brush (I really liked the effect the strokes gave on the glass).

When you get to the top take your brush tip and smooth out around the threads.

Let that coat dry for at least a half an hour then repeat the process again.  Most colors I’ve found that two coats were sufficient but green seemed to need more coats to come out the true green and not yellow.

When you are done painting you can decorate to your hearts desire.  Since we were going for a very colorful party theme we used some bright yellow silk flowers and twine to rustic it up a bit.

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They were great centerpieces for all of our tables and have now been adopted into our home decor.  They make fantastic vases for fresh flowers too.  You can keep your flowers colorful for a bright display or switch it up to white for a more sophisticated look.  All in all this was a great easy project that was fun to do.

What else can you do for a fiesta themed party?  Oh so much.

The Photo Rundown: House #1

22 Aug

Our first house being the size that it was didn’t take us too terribly long to remodel.  Only about 2.5 years of doing almost everything ourselves and we were the proud owners of a renovated home.

Here is a photo rundown and each space before and afters.  I’ll throw in some exterior for your viewing pleasure too.

We’ll start with the entryway.  Haha..yeah right, entryway, more like a spot stolen from the living space to be a mock entry.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Next up is the living room.

BEFORE

You may be asking yourself…what’s with the vaccuum? Well, it’s just one of the lovely items that added to the appeal of the house when we viewed it for the first time.

AFTER

And on the the kitchen! I hope you’re ready.

BEFORE

OH THE INSANITY!  Nah, it wasn’t too bad.  I was a bit of a kitchen clutter hound at the time though.  Thankfully that tendency was left behind when we remodeled.

AFTER

Halfway done with the inside.  Yeah, it’s that small.  Now for THE bathroom, as in the only one.

BEFORE

I never thought that I would ever have a master bath this small ever again.  Sadly, every house we’ve lived in since then has had one smaller than this.

AFTER

THE bedroom.  Yep, again the only one.

BEFORE

There is that darned vacuum again.  What a photo hog.

AFTER 

And finally the utility area.  I can’t call it a room since it was not actually closed off.

BEFORE

AFTER

Well if you have a little more time, here is the exterior.

They say curb appeal one of the most important things you can have in a home so let’s start there.

BEFORE

AFTER

As much as I loved doing the inside of this house, the outside was my baby.  When all was said and done with it, I lovingly maintained it every single week.

A side of side yard anyone?

BEFORE

AFTER

And finally…the back.

BEFORE

AFTER

So there you have it.  Our home remodel photo rundown wrapped up in a tiny, elbow grease filled, nutshell.