This weekend we celebrated our 12 year wedding anniversary. We wanted to work on a project together and it just so happened that our friends Janine and Bob gave us a gift certificate to the Home Depot. My wheels began to turn and I decided it was time to create a sign for the farm with our name on it. Now every time we drive out, we’ll remember our anniversary and the Anderson’s.
I think we did pretty well, we only had one argument during the project dealing with the size of the sign. All based on the chicken and the egg argument. What size should it be? What will the design be? Do we pick the size out first or the design. In the end, I designed the layout on the computer first with a few options and Bruce helped me finalize it.
Off to the basement he went to cut out the shape of the sign. I printed out the design in full size and did some scissor and tape action. The back of the design was chalked out to transfer on to the sign. Bruce painted the base black. Then painting and painting and painting and hand lettering. I haven’t painted that long with a teeny tiny brush in a while You won’t see this as a service in the studio. No one would want to pay for the time we had to put into it. Total time 10 hours. We enjoyed being crafty for ourselves and are feeling quite accomplished!
Now if you visit the farm/studio/office you’ll know which one is ours 😉
- Adobe Illustrator
- Laser Printer
I worked out the design in Illustrator. Then printed it in full scale with artboards and printed it on the laser printer. Next just match up the design and tape it. Measure out the image so it can be easily transferred onto the wood.
- Table Saw
- 3/4″ Plywood (We recycled some wood we found on the barn.)
Measured out the dimensions from the specifications. Our design used a circle in the middle which is a little fancier. Easiest way to create a circle is string and pencil. Then cut away and sand the edges. The width of our sign is 24″ and height is 12.7″. I think 18 x 24″ is a good width. Height can depend on your design
- Spray Paint for base color
- Acrylic Paint for decoration
Paint the base color of your sign. We decided on black over white for one simple reason. We live in the country and dirt is part of life. Black is easier to clean than white. A dark green or red would be nice too. While the sign is being cut or the paint is drying it’s time to chalk out the back of your design you printed. Once the base is dried gently place the design chalk down on the sign and make sure it’s all even. Then rub the design onto the board.
Fun part paint away. Have a steady hand and have fun! This took the most time because you do have to do both sides.
After your design is painted and dried add two coats of outdoor polyurethane to protect your sign from the elements.
Frame & Hardware
- Power drill
- Drill bits
- Eye hooks
- Mending Plates
- Counter sinking bit
When creating the bracket we used some old weathered reclaimed 2 x 6 salvaged wood from another project on the farm. We cut the wood into two pieces. The top was 30 inches long and the back was cut to 25 inches. Using 3 inch deck screws we fasted the two pieces together making an “L” shape with the longest part on top. To make a more secure bond we used an “L” shaped mending plate on the top and secured firmly with five wood screws. The next step was to make 5 screw holes using a counter sink bit so that the screw heads would not show on the surface of the wooden bracket. The hardest part of this project was opening up the eye hooks so that we could hook the chains on them. For this we placed the eye hook in a vice and used a sturdy screwdriver to pry open the eye hook just enough to accept the size chain you purchased. Lastly, we drilled pilot holes for the eye hooks so that there was no splitting when we screwed them in. The distance of those pilot holes will be dependent on the size of your sign. Once completed you are ready to mount the sign to a tree using 3-4 inch deck screws, screwed into the counter sunk holes, so there is a secure bond to the tree.