Happy Saturday! I love weekends, and so do my kids. None of us enjoy getting up and getting ready for school in the morning, so its fun getting up and not in a big hurry to get dressed and out the door!
I've been putting together this tutorial for you for awhile now, for those of you who want to know how I make my signs *in a nutshell*. There is a whole explanation to how I make my stencils, but that will have to be another tut in itself. But any of you can do this with a pre-made stencil!
If you have any scrap wood lying around, you can use that, or you can buy cheap pine wood at Home Depot or Lowe's. Just make sure its not really warped or else it will bow and not look straight on your wall. If you don't have a stencil, you can always buy one for cheap at a place like THIS. That is where I got a lot of stencils when I first started making signs. But you can Google primitive stencils or word art stencils and you will come up with a ton of results.
I make my stencils with my Cricut machine. If you have a Silhouette, you can produce the same results. But at first, I bought all of my own stencils. I wanted to make signs!
First, you spray paint or paint by hand your wood the color you want your sign. I like Rustoleum spray paint, its about $4 a can at Home Depot. I love the aqua satin color, so I chose that. Then, you use cheap make up sponges- I like the ones from Target (non-latex), and you put the color paint you want the lettering to be on a paper or styrofoam plate. I just use basic Glidden white paint in flat, I buy a whole gallon of it because I mass produce signs for my Etsy shop but you can use any sort of paint you have lying around. Just experiment.
And don't mind my messy work table there. Everyone and their mom thinks that they can set stuff on my work table and it drives me nuts!
First ( I forgot to include a picture of this step dangit ) you have to fill in the gaps in the lettering with a small liner brush. That way all the letters look whole again and don't have that stencil-y look, unless you like that look, which is fine too. But it drives me crazy so I have to fill them all in.
See the mistakes? I can't just leave them.
That's when I take the spray can of paint I used, and spray a little bit on a paper plate. Then I get my brushes and fix all of the mistakes that stick out and bother me. Now some of you may not need to do this, I just can't NOT do it. And if you are distressing your sign a lot then you may not need to fix anything at all. Its up to you.
Next I "speckle" my signs. Just a preference I have to give it a vintage look. You take a DAMP, not wet, toothbrush, and get some of the paint on it you used for the writing.......
And LIGHTLY speckle. If you do it too much, it will look like you just oversprayed a bunch of paint on it. Or a bird took a dump on your sign. And neither is attractive. :)
Then let it dry COMPLETELY. This is hard for impatient types like me, but you have to, or else your sanding won't come out right.
Now you get your sander, or sanding block (I use both), and distress away. Start with the edges, and lightly go over the front of the sign until the desired distressing is achieved. You can also use sandpaper (fine grit), steel wool, or anything else that floats your boat.
After you're happy with the way it came out, seal it with a satin clear wood finish to minimize the chance of nicks and paint getting chipped off.
Don't forget to put a basic hanger on the back, if you plan on hanging it on the wall. You can buy metal sawtooth hangers at any hardware store, Michael's, or Home Depot or Lowe's. They just hammer right in the back!
I am going to incorporate it into my gallery wall, along with my monogram canvas I made, but for now it can hang here in my living room. I love that pop of blue and am trying to get more of that color in here!
Hopefully all of this made sense and you don't read it and just think its totally confusing. If you have any questions please feel free to ask! :)