Lately, I have been working on items to use when I redecorate my craft room. I haven't started the decorating process yet because I have to clean and organize the room first, and that is going to be quite an undertaking that I haven't worked up the courage for yet. But anyway, I wanted to create some art to go on the wall whenever I finally do get to the actual decorating part. I decided to make a wooden sign utilizing a quote I love.
I have made signs before, but this tutorial I found from Gail of My Repurposed Life seriously changed my sign-making life. Her tutorial teaches you how to use a Silhouette and contact paper to create stencils that will make professional looking signs. I have used her technique several times, and every time, I have loved the results. To make my sign, I cut a 12" piece of a 1x10 pine board. Using contact paper and my Silhouette, I created a stencil of the Bertrand Russell quote. (Check out Gail's tutorial for the settings you should use for cutting contact paper and how to line up the words perfectly.)
I applied the stencil to my unpainted board because I wanted my letters to be wood and not painted.
I sprayed the board with gray Krylon spray paint. I wanted a design to be on the board, so I used my Silhouette to create a chevron stencil. (During Valentine's, Silhouette's free shape of the week was a chevron heart. I simply enlarged the heart so that I could use the pattern inside of it as a large, all-over chevron pattern.) I applied the chevron stencil on top of the gray board that still had the letter stencils on it.
I then sprayed the sign with Valspar's turquoise spray paint. After the board dried, I peeled off all the stencils, distressed the edges, and covered the sign with a few coats of polycrylic. Now I have the perfect sign for my craft room.
This quote reminds me that it's okay to craft and blog. It's not a waste of time if it's something that I enjoy. Who cares if my house is not always perfectly clean? On my death bed, I doubt that one of my last thoughts is going to be, "Man, I sure wish I had been a better housekeeper."
I love the juxtaposition of the natural wood letters with the painted chevron background. (I hope some of my English II students read this and see that I actually used one of their vocabulary words for the week--juxtapose--in a sentence correctly!) The color combo is something I'm really in love with right now too. I wish I could skip the cleaning and organizing of the craft room and jump straight to the decorating! Oh, well...
And before I go, I want to share with y'all another project I used this technique on. My cousin wanted a hall tree for her apartment. Her mother-in-law found one that needed a little TLC. It needed refinishing, and the top of the piece was supposed to have a mirror, but it was broken. So she and my aunt wanted to know if I had an idea of what to do with the top. I decided to use Gail's stencil technique to create subway art to fill the void. My cousin wanted "You Are My Sunshine," so I did my own version of Gail's sign.
I painted the masonite backboard with primer and then a dark chocolate, painstakingly applied all the words, painted over them with beige, and stenciled a pretty green quatrefoil design over all of it before peeling off all the stencils. My aunt, my cousin, and her MiL love it!
Her MiL did a great job refinishing the piece. And she and her husband actually created a track that the sign slides in so that it can be taken out and replaced with other signs seasonally. Isn't that a great idea? I seriously doubt anyone has a hall tree as unique as this! Well, except for you after you see this and make your own... :) Happy crafting!