Monday, June 13, 2011

Shoot for the Moon, Baby!

If you have read my Give Me a Sign post, you already know I love signs. I actually love all typography in any form. I am obsessed with fonts and I spend way too much time surfing for new ones. In fact, one of my favourite online games to play with my 9 year old son is Cheese or Font? Sad, I know... but admitting it is the first step.

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!

Linking Up Here – come join the parties!


  1. Bravo! Another fantastic project. Thanks for sharing with my newbie party.

  2. Wow this is fabulous...I am so envious, wish I could do that..I have tons of signs in my home, they make me so happy

  3. so cool! love the color, planks, and sayings!

  4. I'm with your kids--dance in the rain is my fav! Great job!

  5. This is really cute..You did a great job on it.
    xo bj

  6. Hi there, I'm a new follower. I really love your make and your choice of words. I know exactly what you mean about indecision - I always have loads of ideas for signs until there's a blank canvas in front of me! Anna x

  7. What a great idea! Love everything you selected to add to your sign... I followed you today from the 36th Avenue Share Awesomeness Thursday linky where I've linked up my quilled birdhouse if you want to stop by.
    Antonella :-)

  8. Looks great...what a special gift :) Laurel@chippingwithcharm

  9. I love this idea! Thank you for linking this to Wicked Awesome Wednesday.

  10. This is absolutely adorable! Love the sentiment.. Hope you will share with my pink Hippo party @

  11. What a fun project...The Lettered Cottage is also a source of inspiration and you did a great job! Thanks for linking up and I'll be highlighting this project..I hope you stop back this weekend!

  12. I love this! Thanks so much sharing with the Pink Hippo Party.. can't wait to see what you share this week!


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