Friday, December 4, 2009

mini tutorial: vintage looking signs

first off, i just have to say you have entertained me for the past few days with your comments! everything from laughing and agreeing with my sentiments about the tree, to stories about how much more crazy you are than me, to touching stories of memories of when your mother finally gave in to the ugly tree, or your memories of how awesome your mom was to let you have your stuff on the tree.
whatever the case... thanks
my family and i had a blast reading your comments! :)

ready to see ONE of the things i've been working on? (yes i'm working on seasonal projects too and will show those later on next week possibly.)
so i like "vintage" looking things. if i can get my hands on the real thing it's like christmas no matter what time of the year it is... but too often that doesn't happen, and if i do come across something, it's too expensive for me to feel good about it.
so i decide to make my own.
you've seen my country sign tutorial where i take a stencil and draw and paint on each letter.
well here's an alternative, with design and picture possibilities. both signs shown in this post were created the same way.
what you need first:
wood. old barn wood if you have it. with chipped paint even better.

first things first, make sure you sand down wood and get rid of some of the chipping paint.
clean off with a wet rag.
next, take your barn wood and spray paint it with the color you want as your lettering and picture. (with the mom's pie sign i spray painted red first)
next get vinyl lettering. i got mine here. (the gal is super nice and is willing to do custom orders for whatever you want your sign to say.) or you can buy these ones featured here as well.
after your base paint has completely dried, place your vinyl lettering on top of your wood board.
make sure you press it down really well. you don't want paint seeping under.
next get your top coat paint. this will be the main color of your sign. i used spray paint that i had sitting in my garage from past projects.
once you are satisfied that your board is completely covered in the top coat. let it sit for a while so it completely dries.
next you are going to peel off your vinyl letters.
slowly peel it off. some chipping paint will come off with it as well. that's okay you want it too look old right?
next take a power sander and sand over the top of your board till you get the look you want.
and you are done.
kind of easy and a good fast gift for someone, or to keep for yourself.

hope you have a good weekend.
mine should be rather laid back.

i've done all my christmas shopping online this year so YAY to being done with that!
i'm trying to get back into quilting mode.
hope to get something accomplished here on that soon.
we'll see how i do!
see you monday.
comments closed


Marianne@Songbird said...

Love it! So much better then having to paint letters on myself, even with a stencil I am a total kluts with that. Now I have to go find where I can find vinyl letters over here.

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

Love it! What a great tutorial, Something i can do when my daughter moves out in the country in a couple of weeks time, she will love it! I am going to make one for myself to put on the front door of my cats garden. So Thank you very much

Becky @ Our Sweet Peas said...

Love it and I love the "keep calm and carry on" saying. I think there are days when I could carry that around in order to remind myself :)

Elisabeth said...

How cute! I guess there are some big benefits to living out there in the middle of nowhere- like lots of old barn wood laying around! I don't think I'm going to be finding any of that out behind my house (unfortunately) Maybe I'll have to import some from Utah!
Anyway, thanks for the fun idea! And I can't wait to see what you've come up with for Christmas. I was thinking that your little leaf wreath would be cute done in green fabric and then with a cute red fabric bow on it. I might just do that!

Sarah said...

Love it! YOu are a woman of so many talents. :) I usually order those signs from ebay/etsy, as I am completely awful with paint. I may just have to give your way a try though. :)

Valerie said...

Hoorah! I am so excited to be able to make a handpainted sign with vinyl letters!! I am filing this idea at

Thanks so much for sharing!

Tricia Anne said...

I love it! What a brilliant idea! I can do this one. :o) I am wobbly on my free hand painting, but I can hold a spray can of paint. :o) Thank you so much for sharing!
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Michelle said...

GREAT JOB!!!! I am so Happy you posted this tutorial... I have ALWAYS wanted to figure out how to make my own vintage signs!!!!! YAYYY

Michelle Torres

steffany said...

What a great idea, I love this. I do vinyl, so I have lots around, but lately I have been looking for a different look. So much easier than stenciling.

Vicki said...

awesome! kind of cuter than regular vinyl letter things. at least it's different.

Needled Mom said...

Very cute!!! Thanks for sharing.

Janessa said...

Love the tutorial! I adore vinyl lettering but sometimes you just want something a little more vintage-y (yes, that is totally a word in my book!). I have always held off on the free hand painting thing but I could totally do this! Thanks for the inspiration. Can't wait to see what you post next...hopefully one of them will be a tutorial on how to do that fabulous green necklace you made for SYTYC!! Have a great day!!

Angela said...

Love, Love, Love these signs!!!! I have a true old vintage sign that says "Give us this day our daily bread" and is Huge... Love it. I am definitely going to have to use your idea to create my own "vintage" signs. You ROCK!

Kimberly said...

Love these! Love them!

Bonnie said...

Vanessa you are wonder woman! Love these and you. Can't believe you are not Edward's girl anymore. GI Joe is far better anyway! As Paul Newman use to say when asked why he stayed true to his wife....."Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?" Just sayin'... I didn't see New Moon, it wouldn't be fun without you sitting next to me!

Hugs, B

Kari @ Ucreate said...

ALWAYS love your tutorials!! I'll definitely be featuring this!

Sabra said...

such a great idea! I wonder if i could use contact paper, though....

girlsmama said...

I love that you think the signs would be great gifts for friends. I love being your friend. Ahem.

My SIL made your pinecone wreath and had it hanging on her mantle! It looks great.

TRICIA @ The Zoo said...

Love this. Thanks for the tutorial.


Rachel Carlson said...

how amazingly COOL are YOU!!! warm hugs, rachel

kersten said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

resmith said...

This is great! Thanks for the tutorial! I am like you, I like the vintage look but don't want to pay the price so I try to figure out how I can make it myself. I think I enjoy it more that way.

amylouwho said...

Genius! I'm kind of anti-vinyl lettering... probably because it's all over the place, but what a great way to use it as a stencil! You are smart!

Tricia Anne said...

Hi V.
Me again! :o)
I just posted a question on my blog. If you get a chance can you help me? Thanks! Trish

dana said...

Very cool. Great motto! :)

Heather said...

Love the signs! I ordered the Mom's Pie lettering, and also plan on doing a Keep Calm sign. Just one big are the boards you used for each sign? said...

These are fabulous! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

I adore this!! I am getting a cricut for xmas and I am still trying to figure out if it will cut vinyl.....i hope so, for this exact project

kermiefrg said...

Amazing! It's so much easier than it looks!

Stacy said...

Very cool project. I made a 8"x8" sign using this method, turned out beautifully. Thank you. I got my vinyl from, and it worked great!

Tricia Anne said...

I am so excited! My lettering arrived today. It will say "FRESH BAKED BREAD" ... because ... well that is what I do.
Anyhow. I am just waiting for some weather above 50 degrees to get that top layer of paint on! :o)
Thanks for posting this fun idea!
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Sildenafil said...

Oh this is wonderful to know about this, Also I really have to admit this phrase is wonderful to keep calm and carry on all things in order not to be affected our mind and live peaceful and friendly at the same time.

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