Monday, April 18, 2011

The *Long-Winded* Story of a Sign ...

Once upon a decorating-time, there was this crazy lady who woke up one day and decided to attempt a Pottery Barn-ish makeover to her traditional sitting room.  Her plan included switching out furniture, smothering said furniture with white slipcovers and pouring paint on her bookcase and mirror.  She also knew that she wanted a simple sign above the bookcase to finish it off.  Of course, this sign was nowhere to be found at her usual haunts.  Bummed, but not giving up, she forged ahead. 

As she was prepping her room to paint the bookcase, she had to slide the bookcase out from the wall.  Lo and behold, a *gabillion* (yes, a gabillion) holiday signs came crashing down from behind the bookcase (and, yes, said crazy lady hides holiday signs, as well as prints that currently aren't being used, behind there ... she *knows* some of you do that, too, so please don't judge).  The one sign that came crashing on her foot (literally), came with a subliminal message that said "paint me ... paint me!"  Yes, folks, this "Happy Holidays" sign became the sacrificial lamb to crazy lady's attempt at making a sign in something other than white chalk ink removeable markers.  There she is, in all her glory, from last Christmas:

She studied tutorials in blogland; however, most of them included fancy Silhouette machines, which she doesn't have ... (yet).  And, then, she found a tutorial that might actually work!

So, she sat down at her computer and typed the simple word she wanted: GATHER.  She then selected a font (Cambria) and font size (400) and printed away.  She then cut out the letters and set them aside.

Next, she cleared off her kitchen island, gently laid the holiday sign on painter's construction paper and then surrounded it with sandpaper, leftover paints in shades of grey, blue and white, along with used paintbrushes. Together, they then said the official decorating prayer, which is "please let this work!"

Then, the fun began.  She slapped a coat of white on the wood and allowed it to dry.  Then came layers of two different blues, grey and finally, dry brushed a coat of white again (in a fancy "v" pattern she might add). 

Then, came the hard part ... lining up the letters on the newly painted wood.  She channeled energy from all of you crafty folks and traced away with her son's Spiderman pencil ... HOPING that the letters were even and aligned properly.

Once that was done, she turned to her black chalkboard paint (as that was the only paint in her stash).  She was a bit worried, though, that the chalkboard paint might not like being sanded down after it dried ... thought it might smear or rub off too much.  She was willing to take the chance ... all in the name of decorating!

Once it dried, she held her breath and sanded away.  It was actually working!  It wasn't smearing ... it was removing pieces of the black paint and the various spots she was sanding.  Yippee! 

Her little block of sandpaper started hitting places all over the wood, not only revealing the layers of grey and blue, but also the dark paint that once used to cover it.  Woo Hoo!

Finally, the crazy lady stepped away from her new creation ... blew the black sandpaper off of her hands (and off of her face and hair) and cracked a cheezy smile!  Despite her steady hand skills in need of help ... despite one letter being lower than the others ... and despite it not being perfect, it.was.done!  And, the best part is that this project was FREEEE!!!!  The only cost being blood, sweat and tears (and, okay, maybe a manicure)!

And, here she is today, mounted in all of her imperfect glory:

Lesson learned and passing along ... go grab a piece of wood that you aren't using and make a sign for your home (oh, and to invest in a Silhouette machine) lol !!

Have a great day and thanks for hanging in for her story!


Linking up to:

Dittle Dattle/Amaze Me Monday 
Boogieboard Cottage/Masterpiece Monday
The Stories of A to Z/Tutorial & Tips Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia/Tuesday's Treasures


  1. Your sign came out great!!! I too am in need of a silhouette. I do the same thing that you did for your sign whenever I'm wanting letters for something: print them out and painstakingly cut them out. (It really sucks when you choose a font that's thin and swirly!) I absolutely love everything about your room's makeover!

  2. You are so hilarious! I love that you used a Spiderman pencil and said the "official" decorator's prayer! LOL! And of course, you winged it, and it turned out looking fabulous. :-) Great job my friend!

  3. You're funny, Becca! The sign looks amazing- I guess your prayer worked! I am going to attempt something similar because I am silhouette-less as well. Love your room!

  4. That is an awesomely written post! You are great! The sign is perfect and just shows what a little experimentation can do! I think your sign is perfect and much better than any old PB sign that you would pay $200 for!

  5. Your sign is awesome. I think it looks fabulous. Hugs, Marty

  6. I think the crazy lady did a great job, Becca! : )

  7. I love this! Great job, Becca!
    I hide artwork and objects that are not being used behind furniture, too! I bet we're not alone.
    A *gabillion* signs falling..
    Whew, lucky no one was hurt in the making of this awesome sign. How's the foot? ha-ha
    Cute post, you made me laugh this morning.
    have a great day~

  8. Your decorating prayer worked! I love this sign, Becca! Thanks for sharing the font/size with us. The chalkboard paint gives it an aged appearance, along with the distressing. Thanks for the funny tutorial!

  9. Becca are too funny girl! I love how your referred to yourself in the third person. You crack me up! I have adored this sign the minute I first laid eyes on it.

    Any time you need numbers or letters... just let me know! But if you are as impatient as me, when you start a project you don't want to wait for vinyl to arrive in the mail!!! Am I right?

    Oh and please show me how to do the fancy "V" paint pattern. I'm not sure I know that technique... ha ha

  10. I love the sign and the fresh look of the room! Amazing what a little paint and slipcovers can do for a room! I've attempted the glue and paint over method with self cut letters, but never attempted this way. I'm going to give it a shot!

  11. Hi Becca, are too funny! The sign turned out great! Your sitting room turned out really pretty too! Love the back of the clever! The coastal look is so refreshing. Oh how I wish I lived by the beach...

    Have a great day! Kristen

  12. Funny, funny girl! The sign is great...and I attribute that to the decorator, the pencil and of course, the decorator's prayer! :-)


  13. Hi Becca, Your sign looks fantastic!


  14. The sign looks fabulous! I had fun reading your post :)

  15. Very fun tutorial, Becca. If there is a will, there is a way!! ;-D

    I love looks great above your cabinet!


  16. Love, love, love the story!! And..I can't judge..I have signs stuck behind everything that stands still around here, too. Where does the insanity end?? LOL!! I think your sign is TO DIE FOR, and you have inspired me to possibly do the same thing!! I don't think you could have bought a better sign anywhere, not even Pottery Barn! Thanks for the smile! :)

  17. Very creative way to get what exactly what you wanted. I say the please let this work prayer alot! And, I love your room makeover...but I really shouldn't show myself things like that because now I want to re-do my whole house!

  18. Awesome!!

    Oh, and hiding stuff behind furniture......I don't know anyone like that!! :)

  19. Luv this sign! It goes so well in this space. Great job!

  20. Wow! Becca have you moved? LOL! I can't get over the dramatic change in style and decor' you have accomplished in your already beautiful home. Amazing job! You could be on one of those before and after shows on HGTV. It all looks gorgeous and this sign is no exeception. Bravo! :)

  21. You are so good Becca! I like you have stuff hidden all over. Don't dare open a closet here, you may get attacked my pillows. Your sign turned out awesome!

  22. Looks really great! I had to laugh at your step by step description...there is a lot of *crazy* when we try new projects! So funny.
    I came by from A2Z and am super glad to have found you!

  23. It looks great! And, you've got a story that far more interesting than, "I went to Pottery Barn and got this sign." It's a win/win :)

  24. OMG...I hide things behind furniture until I need them too!!! You are funny....on another note..I am loving this sign!!!

  25. The sign looks great and you chose the perfect place to hang it. Such a inviting room!


  26. It looks great! I don't have a Silhouette machine either, so I figured I couldn't make signs like this, but now I'm inspired. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a Happy Easter!

  27. The girl did so good! :) Love your little story and love you sign.
    Happy Easter!
    Shelia ;)

  28. That is awesome! Your sign is so pretty and your living room is amazing! Excellent job! Thanks for the tute!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  29. That is awesome! Your sign is so pretty and your living room is amazing! Excellent job! Thanks for the tute!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  30. Love your sign, I want to make one for my dining area!


I appreciate your comments!