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Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Tutorial: How I Make A Sign

Not too long ago I made a sign something like this, only in different dimensions and one of my readers asked if I would do a tutorial.
I made another sign, the one below, earlier this week and I thought I would show you how I did it.  I am not an expert at this or anything of the sort.  I did it this way and it works, that is all I can claim.

Last Winter we tore our kitchen apart in order to re-do it and I ended up with lots of wood.  So this is made out of reclaimed wood.  I think this particular piece used to be a part of one of the baseboards in the kitchen.  Perfect size for what I needed.
I cut my piece of wood to fit the space that I am making this sign for, I think it is about 30" long by about 8" wide.

Then I gave it two coats of white paint, just a white Behr paint.  Be sure to let it dry well in between coats. 

When it was completely dry, I laid the letters that I had on top of it and just drew around them with a pencil, being careful to align them perfectly.

I bought these cardboard letters at a garage sale last year for about a dollar.

I got this drawing off of the Internet, not sure where, I drew it onto a clear plastic sleeve.  You can either put the plastic sleeve, (this one is for paper inserts) right on your monitor screen and draw it right on that or sometimes I draw it freehand.  After putting carbon paper under it, I positioned it on my board and drew, pressing hard, over the lines.  The carbon did a good job of reproducing the image.

At this point you can draw around each letter with a black sharpie, or you can just begin to paint the letter with black paint.  If your hand is quite steady, I find that just painting it by hand is much easier.  But when I first started, the sharpie was an asset.

I use black craft paint and as you can see, I used a wide end brush, it made the job go much faster.

When I got to the drawing of the hand, I used a fine point paint brush.  It made the job easier.

Once it is completely dry, you can take a sanding block to the whole sign and sand the life out of it,  depending, of course, on how distressed you want it to look.  I like for a sign to look aged, but still be readable.

To make the edges look black, I put a tiny bit of the craft paint on a piece of paper towel and go very lightly over the sanded edges.  Quickly wipe off what you don't like, using water to take off excess paint works, too, if you do it right away.

So there you have it, a distressed book sign.  I made this one for my daughter, she loved the one I made for myself and asked for one, how could I say no?  They are quick and easy to make.  If you have any questions, I will try to answer them, but remember, I am a novice, too.  I usually see something I like and go about figuring out how it is done. 

Hope your day is summery still, it is very stormy and mildly cool where I am.


Nancy said...

Great sign and great tutorial. It really looks fun to make. Thanks!


Rhonda said...

VERY good tutorial Cindy -I may try this soon, I've been wanting to put our last name on a sign.

I've not had much time to blog and I've enjoyed the nice comments you left me.
Tulsa is about 1 hour from us, Okmulgee is 2 hours. And I've heard of Dewar but not sure where it is. I keep hearing about on the sports reports because a really good new football player at OU is from there. We live in Stillwater.
We are still eating the cabbage soup within reason. I actually really like the stuff and it keeps me full a long time.

and your vacation photos are beautiful. I am so impressed you crossed that bridge - don't think I could of.

Greet said...

Cindy! You are so skillful! You have talent!!! I couldn't do it, I would give it to the craftsmen in our working place to make it for me!
Congratulations my dear!
Have a nice week!

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Cindy,
A great tutorial. I love how your signs have turned out! Very creative.
Maybe I'll try to make really looks like fun.
Have a sweet day, big hugs~Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial, Cindy. I love that sign, too!
Have a wonderful week!
~ Jo :)

Jaclyn said...

Wow that's fabulous!!! You've given me some great ideas, and now I know how to make a sign!!!

Ana said...

Hi Cindy,
I just couldn't wait to stop by and say hello. Hope all is well with you my sweet and dear friend. Oh, and I too think Mexican boys are the cutest...that's why I married one, he, he, he :-) Will be keeping an eye out for your postings while you're away.

Hugs and Kisses,

Susan said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Not sure where I will get the wood but I will store these instructions for the day I can use them. You do an awesome job!
Sue xoxo

Nancy said...

Hey Cindy,
Yes, the publisher of Our Iowa is the Roy Reiman of Reiman publishing, however he "retired" and sold Reiman Publishing. But then he and my BIL started Our Iowa three years ago. It's a neat magazine! We're excited for Mr. Nancy to be a part of the team!


Pauline said...

Hi Cindy, you did a good job, maybe there's a career in this for you, never know.

God bless you.

Debbie said...

Your tutorial is great Cindy! Thank you for sharing this with us.
I am planning a "lakehouse" sign, and you make it look so easy.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Cindy! That is just so neat, and what a great tutorial you have for us. I'm so glad I checked in from my blog break.. :-) Speaking of which, I hope to return to blogging by September. I have had a lot going on here that has been demanding my undivided attention. You know how life can be a jealous mistress at times. This is one of those times! ;-)

Miss you...


Sheila :-)

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Great sign, Cindy! Thanks so much for the tutorial.

Happy weekend!

Alaina said...

I love the sign. That is basically how I do mine too. For really fine lines I dip a toothpick in the paint and use it to paint with. I want to let you know that YES you can make a corn stalk decoration. Pick your favorite colors to work with, flowers you love, wire, hot glue gun and fabric for the bow. Don't worry about if the fabric is stiff enough for the bow, you can just glue in place. I used parts of a sheet for the bow of the pink one. Good luck and everyone who sees yours will just be so wanting one of their own.

E W McCall said...

Awesome!! Love your style and VERY good tutorial!!

Angie said...

I think I might just try it now... I love signage you know that... thanks for the tutorial. you are wonderful. Love you bunches.