The Lettered Cottage is one of my regular blog haunts. Kevin and Layla never fail to astound me with their gorgeous projects and designs and I was thrilled with their latest DIY Art How To Day. The PB inspired sign was gorgeous, manageable and just in time for a baby shower for a friend who is expecting a boy.
My husband helped me out with the building - we had 1 x 2s on hand for the frame but we tried three stores and couldn't find the fill-it strips that are shown in the Lettered Cottage post. I was stumped but my husband came up with the great idea of cutting our own! A 2 x 4 board for $2.50 was cut into strips somewhere between a 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thick, 22 inches wide and about 30 inches long just because I liked the way it looked. Nail gunned it together, sanded it down a bit and raided my craft paint bin. Craft paint is a favourite of mine - I like the fact that you can buy a very small amount of paint in a wide variety of colours. I used it for the stripes and numbers in my Numbered Staircase and for my Forgotten to Fabulous dresser. Really, I love all kinds of paint, I think if I worked in a paint store I would bring home stray cans like lost puppies but I have a LOT of craft paint and this year, I am determined to start using up my project supplies
I had planned on a light blue suitable for a baby boy but I settled on navy for a more timeless look as he grows older and doesn't want a "baby" vibe. One light, uneven coat of navy blue and let that dry, then gave it a good sanding all over with whatever sanding sponge was closest. I haven't tried my secret technique with any other kind of paint, but if you wipe the craft painted surface with a damp cloth or spray with a spray bottle, it sands off beautifully (you might need to rinse your sanding sponge a few times).
Alphabet stamps with clear plastic backing from Michael's (photo courtesy of google) The clear backing lets you position the letters perfectly each time - if the letter didn't stamp properly, I could just put it back down right on top of the first try. I am hatching a secret plan to make my own; if I can figure it out, I will be sure to share!
Now for the words, this is where I always get stuck. I have a slight, well actually massive indecision problem. Especially when I am making something for someone else. I got some ideas from the Lettered Cottage creation and an internet search and I even came up with a few on my own! Typed them out in capital letters on the computer so I could decide on the order and vary the lengths of the phrases. With my white paint, paint brush and letter stamps at the ready I dove in - brush on paint, position stamp, gently press down, lift stamp, repeat.
Now, with the words in place
My kids were unanimous in choosing "DANCE IN THE RAIN" as their favourite and gave me thumbs up on the font. Brushing the paint onto the stamp makes it splotchy so I didn't distress the finished words - here are a few details
I was really pleased with the final paint look - it has a real denim feel to it! I applied a coat of furniture wax and buffed it up, making it feel even more worn in and soft but it didn't feel finished. It felt like it was missing something. I poked around and found some old painted wood bits that had once been on my flower boxes.
All it was missing was a bit of sparkle! Not too much but just enough to be a point of interest without overwhelming the point of the piece which is the beautiful words of wisdom. I chose to highlight my favourite phrase, "SHOOT FOR THE MOON" so the moon and stars were perfect. They were already white, I distressed them a bit and waxed them up - trusty glue gun in hand, they were positioned and attached within minutes.
Done! I am so obsessive over tiny details and I think that's why I like the shabby, distressed, worn in look. The more scrappy it is, the better it looks. No worrying that the paint is even, etc.
Too big for any gift bag, I wrapped it in brown paper and a full length of bright pink organza ribbon which the mom-to-be promptly tied around her belly and declared the gift to be "gorgeous". I got two orders for new signs right there at the shower - I think it was a hit!
And now, of course, each of my kids wants one!
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