Last night I had celery sticks with ranch and rice krispie treats for dinner. Oh, and a vodka tonic for dessert. Not lying. Fortunately, this dinner is not the norm, but it does illustrate the fact that time is most definitely in short supply for us these days. And sometimes making dinner is the last thing I feel like doing after feeding the kids, doing baths, making lunches, reading bedtime stories – you know the drill. So today I bring you a quick, but satisfying, project so that you’ll have energy left to manage your already busy life.
This sign is definitely a cheat – I’ll admit to it. The only nail/screw I used was the one that I put in the wall to hang this thing. So then how did I make it you ask? Wood glue
. And lots of it.
I wanted to experiment to see how quickly I could whip up a sign, with minimal cost and minimal tools. I knew immediately what quote I wanted to use and it’s quite apropos if I do say so myself – “Easy like Sunday morning” (yes, like the song).
I started by assembling a simple frame, using some scrap 1 x 2s I had lying around. For some reason these 1 x 2s had holes drilled in them. Those holes serve no purpose for this project. Using my angle clamp, I glued
and held the pieces in place while they dried. If you don’t have an angle clamp, be creative and use books, paint cans, whatever, to hold your frame in place.
Since cheap was the name of the game, I found one of the cheapest pieces of lumber that I could at the hardware store – 1/4″ plywood with a decent grain. I used half of the 4′ x 2′ sheet and ripped it into 3 four inch-wide slats using the table saw (if you don’t have a table saw, ask them to do it for you at the store – it’s super cheap and sometimes even free).
I spaced them out slightly on the frame, and glued away. This time I used a combo of clamps and paint cans to hold the frame and slats together while the glue dried.
I let it set (about 90 minutes, to be safe) and went to prepare my stencil using the Silhouettte machine
(not necessary, but definitely helpful). I then unclamped the sign, and stained it with this Rust-Oleum weathered grey finish
(recycling it from the DIY Pallet Sign featured on this site)
My intention was for the letters to appear as stained wood, and the rest of the sign to be totally whitewashed. So I created a kind of inverse stencil, removing the letters from the vinyl that I’d printed them on and sticking them on the middle slat.
I’m not sure if this next step was necessary, but I didn’t brush paint on right away. For the first coat, I used spray paint – a white primer spray paint to be exact. I wasn’t 100% sure that the paint wouldn’t seep in through the vinyl letters, so I sprayed lightly around the letters to form a bond before I circled back and painted – gently- with a brush. I wiped it randomly with a rag to create the washed look I wanted. The letters came out super crisp – as you’ll see in a minute, so my method seemed to work (although I didn’t try any other way, so can’t be sure it wouldn’t have still worked if I skipped the spray paint step).
Then came the moment of truth – peeling off the letters. I was pretty nervous since I’d used a fairly delicate font, but the letters came off perfectly – no seeping. Yay!
And, great news, since I only used the letters from the vinyl, the templates are still totally useable for another sign. Maybe I’ll make one for a friend…