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Friday, July 15, 2011

Go Jump In The to stencil :)

I wanted to make a sign for my parent's very best friends. After almost 50 years at the same address they moved to a lake home this week. Many family vacations were shared with them...on lakes... in northern Minnesota. It's awesome that they can drink coffee with a lake view EVERY day! I only wish my parents were here to share that with them :( 

They LOVED their new sign. It even matches the color of their house---I didn't even plan that. I love happy accidents, don't you?

How'd this happen, you ask?  I know you are smart and picked up that the sign is fence pickets. Well, my daughter's bed needed new slats. We dug around in the garage and came up with some picket fence pieces. I had purchased them at Menards for another project, about a dollar each. We cut them off, put them on the bed....perfect! I had the 10 end pieces left....about 18" long. HMMMM, what to do????

They became a house warming present...a sign....well, with some sawing, brad nailing, painting and was a sign.

Here's the painting process.

Each picket was painted before it was joined together.

I used Rustoleum's Colonial Red.

I painted all the edges. Then realized they were not all the same length (who cut those slats anyways?). I evened them up and repainted the ends!

While the paint was drying I went to my wonderful lil craft room!

Using scrap paper I used my Cricut and the Doodletype cartridge to "practice" my letter placement and sizes. Having those other 5 pieces of pickets came in handy to work on while the REAL sign's base coat was drying.

 I knew how I wanted the Go and the Lake, but I had to play with the size of the Jump and I moved the "in the".

Now remember how frugal I am...yeah, I wasn't going to buy the expensive vinyl and use it as a stencil and throw it away. Nope, I wasn't...I used this---

I put it in the Cricut and started cutting away. Remember to take notes when you are practicing. Then you will have the sizes and how you made all your practice letters WRITTEN down. Then there is no guessing how to make your stencils...I speak from experience....learn from my mistakes. WRITE IT DOWN!

I measured and marked lines with white chalk so my letters would be straight.

Now, let me share a little problem I had...the contact paper WAS NOT VERY STICKY!!!!!!!! It was "easily repostioned"...darn it all anyway! PLUS the pickets, yeah, they are kinda rough wood. It was kinda tricky, but with care, it worked.

I used Rustoleum's famous Heirloom White as the top coat.

Very, very carefully, without a lot of paint on your brush, brush out from the middle of the stencil letter. Hold the letter down with your free hand...IT TRIES TO MOVE ON YA!!

WHOOT, worked for the GO....carry on!

Take the contact paper off....that's sticky!

Pretty much successful....look at the K up close

I had a little paint that bled under the contact paper. I thought I had a bunch, but then I realized it was my chalkline to keep everything straight. No worries...I didn't even touch up the paint bleed.

I grabbed my sandpaper and started sanding. The left side is sanded and the right is not. I didn't sand hard enough to get past the base coat. I might on the next sign. I also thought about putting a coat of walnut stain on it to age it. However, it has that cottage-white washed feel, so NO stain.

I sawed 1 X 2's about 1 inch smaller than the width of the sign. When you buy a house that isn't finished you collect some wonderful tools and the skills to use them :) Gotta look for the positive in all that work, right?

 I used the braid nailer to put the 1 x 2 on the pickets.

 The back...I flipped it over and poly'd it. All of the wood is treated so it can go outside :) It measures about 26 1/2" wide by 17 3/4" tall.

So now, you can do it too! Even if you don't have a Cricut. Use your computer to make your letters. You can trace them onto your wood and paint them's just coloring inside the lines :)


Hugs from Iowa,

PS. There are many, many talented bloggers who have made signs. I try to read all that I see! Here are just a couple of my fav's and one copied the other and they are both in, that is sharing :)

Ana White's laundry here to learn about it and visit Ana.

She used Donna's tutorial from Funky Junk Interiors to make here to visit Donna and her how to!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
I'm joining the show and share party at Just a here to visit the party!
Come visit Beth at A to here to come on over.


  1. Very cute!! And what a great idea to use the contact paper!! Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial! I'm visiting from Funky Junk Interiors!! I also linked up a sign tutorial I made with the cricut machine if you wanna check it out!

  2. I've always wanted to make my own sign but I haven't had the guts to try it yet.

    I love that your sign is made of fence pickets. Adorable idea!


  3. I love your sign! Thanks so much for sharing. I've got a couple signs I want to try and this is great inspiration!
    Stopping by from Funky Junk Interiors

  4. Very cute! I'm sure it will be greatly appreciated! So nice of you to creat it!

  5. Love your Lake sign...I've been having fun making some too! Awesome job, I bet they will love it!

  6. LUV LUV LUV this sign, Michelle! Great job! and thanks for the wonderful tutorial, too! :)

    xoxo laurie

  7. Great job on your sign! I love that you used fence pickets, very creative. :)

  8. Hey Michelle! :) I'm so glad I'm not the only one that gets to go through old houses and take out stuff before it gets thrown away! I took a bunch of wood out of that old house too, just like you! I have some seriously wide boards out there, that they just don't mill like that anymore. (they're about 16" wide!) woo hoo! I'm not sure what I'll make with them yet, but I wasn't about to let them get tossed in the trash! I LOVE the drawers I re-did for my son's room, he was so happy with them and the extra room they made in his room. :)
    Your sign is adorable!! I haven't made too many signs, but it's on my "to do" list. :)
    Have a great day!

  9. Hi Michelle, that's a cute sign. It takes me back quite a few years - that's what we used to say to each other when we were a little "ticked off". Glad to hear that your parents' best friend really liked it. Thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  10. Your sign looks great! I like the distressing - just perfect! I have this linked to my wooden signs post too today, nice job!

  11. absolutely LOVE it! I used this phrase on a little sign I had on my mantel last summer & might just have to do a big sign this year inspired by how you have the fonts in different directions and the colors are awesome! so glad to have found ya!

  12. This turned out so great...and a wonderful tutorial, too! I am sure they loved it! I made a sign that I hung just inside our entryway at the lake- ON LAKE TIME. Northern Minnesota is so pretty, but our place is in Southern MN, right near the Iowa border!
    Loved seeing the photos of your beautiful new grandbaby, too! I am a new follower...

  13. Michelle, is the the last time that you blogged? Or did you change up and go somewhere else?


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