We’re slowly working on finishing our bathrooms in Our DIY House. Bathrooms take FOREVER. There are so many little details! The kids’ bathroom is thisclose to being finished – I’m doing some finishing painting, working on a hook wall and sorting out what we’ll use for artwork. The walls of the kids’ bathroom are aqua blue, and the shower curtain is blue, yellow and grey, so I thought it would be fun to pull some yellow from the curtain and put it on the walls!
I’ve always wanted to make a rustic wooden sign, so I knew exactly what I wanted to make for artwork in this bath. This sweet “You Are My Sunshine” rustic wooden sign was made in a day and I used only a few tools to make it: my new Intel AIO computer, some carbon transfer paper, a piece of plywood cut to size, some paint, and a sander. I’m so happy with how it looks!
My incredibly old (7 years, which is like 49 computer years) desktop computer was just about to kick the bucket when a shiny new Intel AIO arrived at my doorstep a couple of weeks ago. This thing is awesome! Instead of a clunky old CPU, monitor and keyboard on my desk I have one large (but thin) screen that does it all. I can prop it up on my desk to do some designing and blogging with the keyboard, or I can carry it into the living room and leisurely browse the web with it on my lap using the touch screen. It’s super cool, folks!
- computer & printer to layout and print a design template for the sign (if you want to make a 12″ x 24″ “You Are My Sunshine” sign, you can download the two pieces of my own template I made here: You Are My Sunshine Template 1 You Are My Sunshine Template 2)
- piece of plywood, cut to the size you want the sign to be (I bought a pre-cut piece at a craft store)
- carbon transfer paper (I found some at Michaels)
- acrylic or latex paint in the colours you wish your background and your text to be
- dark wood stain (I used Minwax Jacobean)
- foam brushes
- small detail brush
Using your computer and a word processing or design program (I use Adobe Illustrator on my new Intel AIO for projects like this), design the text you’ll paint on your sign. Make your “paper size” the same size as your plywood size, and play with different fonts and sizes. For this sign, I used the font “Lobster”. It’s so happy! I made sure there was lots of space around my letters so that I could make a border around the artwork.
Then, print out your template. You might have to tile it, print it on multiple pages, and tape it together like I did.
Stain your piece of plywood with a foam brush. Let it dry completely.
Paint the plywood with your base colour paint. I used a foam brush and just one coat because I knew I wanted to sand it off a little later anyhow to create a distressed look. I left the sides unpainted so that the stain would show there.
After the paint is completely dry, lay a piece of carbon transfer paper over your plywood (carbon side DOWN!), and then center your word template over that. Trace over the edges of the words with a ball point pen so that the edges transfer onto the wood.
Remove the transfer paper and your template, and use a detail brush to pain inside the letter outlines. I used a white paint, so I had to do a couple of coats. Don’t worry about brush marks or little mistakes here and there – they only add to the charm of your rustic hand-painted sign!
I made a border on my sign by putting some painter’s tape about 1/2″ from the edge of my sign all the way around and painting the edge with white.
After the sign is completely dry, sand it lightly with a sanding block or a power sander (if you’re adept at that)! Sand it to your liking – I prefered just a teeny bit of the stained wood to show through so that I could still read the letter well.
That’s it! You now have your own, charming hand-painted rustic wooden sign. Ain’t it cute?
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