I made a Christmas Trees For Sale Sign and I love the way it turned out. That got me thinking that I would like to make a new Bless the Food Before Us rustic sign for my kitchen to take the place of my Piano Front. Earlier in the week I chatted with my friend Tanya of My Funky Farmhouse about designing me a large sign. Yeah, I could type something up and cut it on my Portrait, but Tanya’s designs are so pretty!
Okay, now how I made my sign.
How to make a rustic sign from reclaimed wood
I still have quite a bit of this free weathered fence stored in a wood shed, so I grabbed a few dog eared fence boards to cut for my new sign. The piano front is a whopping 58” long, so I asked Tanya to make the design 48 x 22. That would mean I could use four 4 ft boards as the sign.
So, you don't have reclaimed fene boards? Single fence boards at the hardware store are really inexpensive! Once they're painted, you'll never know the difference.
Cut reclaimed fence boards 4 ft long
Attach Small Brace Boards to Construct Rustic Sign
I used these Simpson 1 ¼” wood screws to assemble my sign. I rarely use drywall screws anymore.
In this photo, you can see how I assembled my rustic sign using four 48” fence boards and two ripped pieces of fencing as brackets. Because my rustic fence has the original screw holes, I sort of worked it where they wouldn’t be “stacked” on top of one another when the boards were flipped over.
Frame Wooden Sign
Because I’ve made a lot of wedding signs for my Etsy Store, I had lots of stakes. I used two long ones and two short stakes to make a frame for my new rustic sign. Instead of doing butt cuts, I mitered the pieces on my compound miter saw.
Paint Bless The Food Before Us Sign
I did a quick coat of Beluga (Behr Satin) with a cheap chip brush. I LOVE using the brushes over and over again. The more they’re used, the better they are. Why do I love them so much? Because cleanup is a breeze and I don’t waste a lot of paint when I clean them.
Use Paint Pyramids when Painting Large Rustic Sign
Do you have any of these handy paint pyramids? They are really good for quick paint jobs. I always paint the back of my pieces first, that way if there is a mishap, it won’t be noticeable on the front.
Here is the sign and the pieces of the frame all dressed up in a fresh coat of black paint.
Dry Brush Red Over Black
Because the piano front was a glazed red, I really knew I wanted this sign to have red tones to take it’s place. I used Heirloom Traditions Peppery to dry brush over the black frame pieces.
uh oh! I forgot to take pictures while I was adding a light coat of white to the boards.
Apply Contact Paper Stencils | Bless The Food Sign
I cut out a contact paper stencil with my Silhouette Portrait. After spending a couple of hours putting the stencil on and weeding out the letters, I wasn't happy.
Working with a large stencil can be challenging. The stencil was not cooperating with me on the rustic sign. I was trying to be oh so careful, but it just wasn’t right.
I ripped it all off, so I could do a new stencil on my Silhouette CAMEO making it in two sections instead of the four I made on my Portrait. The problem I experienced on my pieces cut with the Portrait were definitely operator error. I always put “boxes” around my text, but didn’t put them close enough to the letters. I had to trim them to get them placed on the sign. Just talking about it stresses me out because I worked so hard on it. Of course, I could have left all of this information out (as though it never happened) but I want you to know that as much as I do this stuff, it’s still not perfect 100% of the time.
Design & Cut Bless The Food Sign Stencil
After downloading the design from Tanya, I did have to use the TRACE function in order to get the letters to cut. You can see in this snapshot that I have the box very close to the letters. DID YOU KNOW? That when you put such a long, long piece of vinyl or contact paper in your machine, it MUST be cut perfectly straight and fed in with extreme caution. A four foot piece of media can get very askew if it’s not fed in properly. (voice of experience, but this job was flawless)
So, here on the sign I have two pieces of contact paper stencil. I will tell you in all honesty I had a tough time getting this contact paper stencil onto the sign. I don’t use my CAMEO very often and I actually had the blade set a little too deep. When I do my Etsy signs on my Portrait, I literally pull the entire stencil off the backing and then weed it when it’s on the board. For this project I ended up using some transfer paper for the stencil. (not shown)
Stencil With Foam Pouncers
I used the Peppery and a foam pouncer to complete the stencil.
I think less is more when it comes to stenciling these rustic fence boards. Because I'm impatient I used the hairdryer with a diffuser to help speed up the drying process.
Apply Black Wax to Stenciled Letters
This is the plan—to apply Heirloom Traditions Black wax with a sponge right over the stenciled letters. Remember I like glazed red the best.
I dabbed on the wax, over all of the letters, then used the small sponge to sort of spread the wax around when I was done. The black wax definitely gave more definition to the red paint.
When I removed the stencil, I was in love with the way the letters looked! UNTIL, I realized that I should have left less space between line #2 and line #3.
It is what it is, and it was so late!
Here’s the sign before I added the frame. Maybe you like it like this?
Attach Painted Frame to Rustic Wood Sign
I attached the frame pieces with my Ryobi Air Strike.
Install D-rings for Hanging Rustic Sign
I use these d rings for all of my hanging projects.
It’s difficult to tell, but the frame isn’t “dark” enough to suit me. It looks a little too Mauve for me.
Enhance color of frame with dark wax
I applied some black wax with the small sponge all around the frame to darken it, and I’m so glad I did. I love the new, darker look.
This sort of gives you a better idea of how large it is.
My new sign in the kitchen! It was a lot of work, but I love how it looks. It’s not perfect, but it’s handmade by little ole me!
Be sure to visit Tanya, and check out her Facebook Page.
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Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.