Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Nautical Sign

In recent years, my son has asked me to redesign his room because he felt that Thomas the Tank Engine was too baby-ish. This year I finally committed to redesigning his room and what is more perfect that a nautical theme when you live on the coast? 

We came across a framed sign at Hobby Lobby that my son loved, with a whale and a quote from Psalm 93:4, but it was $60. Um no. We wanted it so bad though! How cute it would be to hang just over his headboard. So, I thought to myself, maybe I can make one. I turned to my son and said..I will make it. 

I had no idea how I was going to be able to create the words without having someone cut out some vinyl words for me. I did not want to stencil it, although that can certainly work, but I wanted my words to be different sizes and fonts. Luckily, I found My Pear Tree Home's article on how to create signs with any words and fonts I want. Life changing information for someone like me! This will definitely not be my last sign. I found a few good articles on how to build and stain signs as well, but when I found premade natural wood signs at Michael's and Hobby Lobby I thought, oh yes I am definitely skipping this step. 

I measured the area on the wall to get an idea about what size sign I'd like to hang there. I purchased a rectangle shaped sign that is 24" long and perfect to apply a whale stencil. Where did I find the whale stencil you ask? If you have or know someone who has a Cricut or Silhouette machine, it'll be as easy as that. I special ordered mine through a local friend who creates decals and stencils as a side business. We are so lucky to have her near us.

I sanded the sign with 120 grit to make sure it was smooth and had no splinters. Then I applied my stain according to the directions. Once I had my whale stencil in place, I applied two lights coats of paint I had leftover from my son's desk makeover. 

Following My Pear Tree Home's cheater method, I used my home computer to design and print out the words I wanted to use on the sign. Cut out your words and lay out how you want them to look. I moved mine around a few times before I was satisfied with placement. I even changed out one and decided for a bigger font size. I think this is the only picture I have were you can see the original jute rope that came with the sign for hanging. I definitely was not keeping that. I removed that rope. I wanted a much thicker rope with knots to really tie into the nautical theme. 

Back to the words. I really was excited to see if this method would actually work and if it'd be real hard. I was surprised to see how simple it was and that it indeed works! It is not hard, but I will say it is time consuming for a first timer like myself. Especially if you need breaks for arthritis.

I traced the first row of words and stopped, because I was too excited to see what it would look like once I filled in the traced words with a paint pen. I didn't even know paint pens existed. Isn't that awful? I really need to visit the craft section more. 

After I completely filled in all the words I traced with the paint pen, I was ready to add my own rope. I had my husband drill two appropriate sized holes at the top on each side. I added the new rope and tied knots. I am very happy with the results and this will not be my last sign! Personally made signs would be a wonderful gift for friends or family. 

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