Monday, October 19, 2009

A DIY Sign!

I recently shared my fall decor here, and showed off this sign I made. I really appreciate the nice comments I received about it. I have to tell you that I was SO tickled with how it turned out! Truly, I had an idea of what I wanted it to be, but it turned out so much better than I imagined. And best of all, it was practically free!! Love that!

First, I started with this frame that I had forever. It was actually meant to be hung vertically, and had opening for five 4x6 photos. Somehow I had never filled it and it was just gathering dust. Then, after a few moves, the glass broke. My husband tried tossing it, but I was already thinking that it would make a great sign. Of course, first I had to remove the broken glass and spray paint it black.

My inspiration was this vinyl rub-on that says "autumn" and is about 8"x2". Unfortunately, the frame needed some backing on which to apply this word and the other embellishments I had planned. No problem. I figured I could go to the local craft store and get a sheet of mat board. And, that sheet would allow me to make not one, but several signs!!!

I was excited to peruse the vast array of beautiful colors of mat board, to choose one for this project... that would also be adaptable for other signs. And then the guy behind the counter told me that only black and white mat board was sold retail. Ok. I could deal with that. I could alter white mat board and make it work. I could. So I said I would take a white piece of mat board.

"That will be $14.99," he said.

"I have a coupon!" I exclaimed.

Then I got the bad news: coupons were not accepted for mat board or framing glass. "Never mind." I would come up with a different plan.

So I took my cute shoes over to Lowes and walked up and down the lumber aisles looking for an affordable solution. The funny thing was that I had to walk around two employees standing in the middle of the lumber aisle talking to each other. Neither offered to help me. They must have thought I was lost, or just looking for the restroom! But then I rounded a corner and this younger man with multiple piercings and interesting facial hair configurations asked if I needed help.

He showed me a few possibilities and I decided on a 4'x8' piece of press board for only $7! Now that is 1/2 the price of the mat board, and more than twice the quantity! I would have had to cut the mat board myself. Instead, this nice man cut my piece of pressboard to size for me! With power tools. I ordered four pieces cut to 6"x36" to fit in my frame. I could make four signs!!! No, wait, while he was at it, I changed my mind and had him cut SIX for me!

I was thrilled with my find. It is economical and has a smooth finish for painting. Pressboard is something I think I have seen as the backing of bookcases, or a childhood toy box. So not only did I leave Lowes with my six pieces to make six signs, I also had six smaller scraps, and this other huge leftover piece that I barely wrestled into my van. The nice man had offered to cut the big piece down for me to make it more manageable, but I don't know what other wonderful ideas I might have down the road, and I wanted to leave it as large as possible!

With ordinary acrylic craft paints, I put down a couple coats of cream. Then I thinned down a goldish-brown and used a rag to rub in around the edges.

I wanted some fall motif or graphic on this sign, so I decided to pull out an old scrapbooking technique and paper piece some pumpkins. I googled pumpkins and found a simple graphic I liked, printed out a couple of different sizes, chose some patterned papers, and cut out the pieces to assemble these pumpkins. I like the folksy, not perfect quality about them.

I felt like I needed another word or words to go with "autumn" and to fill up all the space I had. I came up with "blessings". I was a bit puzzled as to how I would accomplish these letters since I am no artist. I do have large sticker letters I love using, and considered using them here. The only problem was that I was one "S" short. So then I was inspired to use the used up sticker outlines as stencils! These stickers are thick, like cardstock, so they actually worked like a charm. The empty "S" held up really well as I lifted and reapplied it three times to stencil the word "Blessings". I loved how this part turned out!

Next was my very first attempt to apply vinyl rub-on letters. Let me just say that I was glad I wasn't doing something larger on a wall. I think I got the hang of it, and it did turn out pretty well.

My last step was to punch out a number of autumn leaves from scrapbook paper for added cuteness. I used hot glue to apply the pumpkins and the leaves to the board. I popped the board into the frame, and I was done!

I am thrilled with the results. It was fun and easy... and so rewarding! I am trying to decide if I should varnish it, or leave it natural? I can't wait to see what I come up with for my other five signs. And maybe sometime I will share how I do paper piecing.

I am linking up with Kimba's DIY Day... hop over there for even more ideas!


Rachelle said...

Looks great!

Don't you just hate when the guys at the store look at you like you don't know a darn thing? STORY OF MY LIFE! :)

I do love it though! Thanks for sharing!


Mandy said...

Really cute - you did a great job!

Jenny said...

You did a great job on the sign! It's great when something turns out even better than you envisioned!

CUTE shoes BTW!!!!

Jo said...

That turned out beautifully! Very impressive!!

Scooper said...

Girl, you are some kind of creative! Way to go. {And thank you for your always kind and encouraging comments!}

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

I love it! You did a great job!

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