Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Our Handmade Sign (from an old board)

When I was thinking up the coffee and tea station I posted about a couple of weeks ago, I envisioned a somewhat retro-looking sign above it that would leave no doubt as to what the area was for.  (If I hadn’t I’m sure I would have gotten a few questions from visitors as to why the dresser was in the kitchen/dining area with the coffee pot on it.  I don’t think my male relatives are in tune with Pinterest! )

Plus, I had always wanted to try my hand at sign-making—and after making one I think I’m hooked!!  SO easy, and such a quick project.  I truly think anyone with a printer could do it.


I loosely followed the instructions from Miss Mustard Seed on how to make a vintage looking sign.  I didn’t distress as much as she did as I didn’t want such an aged look, but otherwise I followed these steps pretty closely. 

I started by looking in the shed for a board I could use.  You could definitely use a brand new board, but I knew I had a few old boards stashed in there that I could use.  I ended up choosing this old one from our old kitchen at our previous home. 


It has a bunch of nail holes and a crack or two but it only adds character, right??  It was approximately 5 inches wide and three feet long.  I started by taking some white craft paint and slightly diluting it with water on a yogurt container top.  I only use professional equipment, obviously. ; ) 


I used a wide craft brush to paint the whole front, back, and sides of the board.  I let it dry and painted it again to make it less opaque. 


(You can see that the paint layer is rather sheer here in the picture…with just one layer.)

While that was drying between coats I went to the computer and found a font I liked and printed it out for size.  I decided a larger size would look better on the board so I increased it and printed it out again.  I used a different font for the “and” and of course a different size.  I printed everything out on a few different pages and started piecing it together and taping it to fit the board.


After I figured out the layout I taped it to the board with painter’s tape.  I read on another blog (I can’t remember the name but if anyone knows please let me know so I can credit them!) a great  method on how to transfer the outline of the letters from the printed paper which worked really well for me.  Miss Mustard Seed uses transfer paper but of course I didn’t have any of that and wanted to do the sign right away.  (If you have little kids and have maybe an hour max to craft at naptime you can understand!)

Basically with this other method all you do is take a ballpoint pen and, while pressing hard, trace the outline of the letters.  It works really well!  It creates a little indentation in the wood that you can easily see to fill in with paint.  I bumped up the contrast in this picture so you can see the lines it created. 


Then I took a smaller brush and just started filling in the lines with black paint.  It was actually a little like coloring in a coloring book…it was rather relaxing and mindless.  I quite enjoyed it.  : )


I just kept going until I was done with the lettering…then I decided I wanted a black border so I painted about a half inch border all around it and down the sides of the board.


It really didn’t take long at all.  I had it done in the bits and pieces of spare time on one day. 


IMG_7475Just my kind of project!

I sanded it lightly in a couple of places to slightly distress it.  Then I attached two D-rings to the back, making sure to attach them evenly. 


Time to hang it up!  Yay!!


And now people know why there is a dresser with a coffeepot on it in our kitchen area.  ; )


Linking up to DIY by Design’s Winter Blues Wednesday Party,


  1. Haha, I love the line about your male relatives and Pinterest- so true! That is such a cute sign, Liz! And I like how you chose a different font for the "and"- very creative. :)

    1. I know-- I figured even if they didn’t come out and say it, they might think it was strange to have bedroom furniture in the kitchen. :) My husband is used to things like this by now though. Years of conditioning! ; )

  2. I love using dressers in places that most people wouldn't expect. I'm working in repairing an antique dresser right now and am so excited for all the possibilities. I love how you painted yours!! Great work on the sign too. It looks so great and goes wonderfully with your coffee station.

    1. Thanks! Oh yes, dressers are wonderful practically everywhere. I have an old one in our living room too and it is great for storing games and yes some of my DIY standbys like a stud finder, nails for hanging pictures, drill bits, etc...'cause you need that stuff close by when the decorating bug hits!! : )

  3. I totally love your blog!
    I landed here this morning via the DIY Showoff and your tea/coffee station. From the little I've read thus far, I gather you are a fellow Minnesotan! I love that you take random things from around the house and recreate it!!
    New follower here!! Cant wait to read on!

    1. Oh thanks Emily, that is so sweet of you to say!
      I definitely am a fellow betcha! (Only I don't say that in real life ; )
      Stay warm!!!

  4. Great job on the sign and good call with adding the border. P.S. I find coloring and painting really relaxing too!

  5. Oh yes, there is just something about mindlessly coloring in the lines or rolling on a coat that is positively refreshing! Glad someone else feels the same way. : )

  6. What font Did you use? Love it!

    1. The main font was Birmingham Titling and the "and" was Today, both free from dafont. Hope that helps!


I look forward to hearing from you!