i should be mopping the floor: How to Make a Vintage Fall Sign

Thursday, September 26, 2013

How to Make a Vintage Fall Sign

Turn any piece of wood into a charming fall decor addition.
Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a vintage fall sign.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.
I'm super excited about how this turned out. It wasn't my original vision, but it came together even better than I planned. Don't you love it when things work out like that?

This tutorial is just getting started. Click through to see the entire post>>>


Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.
The finished version is up on our mantle right now. Remind me to tell you the story on the new drapes, too. They started out as a major project fail...that turned into a "sometimes ordering from Target is easier and cheaper and less frustrating than a DIY project gone wrong". But, that's for another post.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.
I started out with an old board. This thing sat on the floor of the garage for several weeks until I dusted it off and decided to use it. It's a scrap from the DIY Chalkboard Backpack Station we created in the kitchen this summer.

I sprayed the edges with some old red spray paint I found in the garage {this is becoming a project of "old supplies" so far, eh?}.

As you can see, I worked on this one alongside my chalk-painted piano. And I used that chalk paint for the layer of blue that went on top of this red. For the recipe, see that post, here. 

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.
I only added one coat of the chalk paint. I was going for a rustic look and was fine with the red and wood tones showing through. After my chalk paint dried, I took it to the garage to give it a go with the palm sander.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.
Here is the board after the sanding. 
I wiped it down afterwards with a wet cloth to get all of the saw dust off. 

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.
Next, I created a template for the letters and arrow. I tile printed it and taped it to the board. I've made it available to you below. Since I know not every program has tile-printing capabilities, I've created it in the tiles already. It is a four-page PDF document that will need to be cut and taped once it is on your piece. I created it in the dimension I used...which is 36" across. {My entire board is 24"x36"}.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.
Using a ball point pen, trace your letters {pushing hard with the pen} to make a small indention in the wood. Once you've traced all of your letters, remove the paper. As you can see, I only did the letters, not the shadows on my letters. There's a reason for that. I went back later, when painting and added a simple shadow. I looked at the letters on the paper to see where the shadow was placed, but I did it freehand. It was a bit easier that way, for me, at least.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
After pulling off the paper, you'll need to go over your indentions with a pencil. As you can see from the above picture, the indentions are very hard to see, but are a great guide for your pencil as you trace the letters out. 

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
I traced the letters and arrow. Then free-handed the pumpkin shape above them. If you need a guide for this, I would search the internet for a pumpkin inspiration to look at while you draw yours. 

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
I started with my lighter orange paint and painted the pumpkin. I try to keep my brush going the same direction as the shapes and lines of a pumpkin, even on the inside parts.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
After it was pretty much dry, I used a darker orange to highlight the pumpkin's shape. I also added a stem and leaves with my green. And a little "dirt" under the pumpkin with brown.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
Then I used a skinnier brush to draw some more highlights in black. I also took the brown and added a bit to the stem and some along the leaves as well. 

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
Next, I filled in the letters with the darker orange. I also painted the arrow brown.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
I wasn't going for perfection...I knew I'd be weathering it, so no point in perfecting it. I used my green to add the shadows to the letters, looking at the paper templates I had pulled off the piece as a guide. I also added a shadow to the bottom of the arrow, too. 

I used Apple Barrel Acrylic paints for the pumpkin, lettering and arrow. The colors I used were Spiced Carrot, Ripe Tomato {the darker orange}, Nutmeg Brown, New Shamrock and Black. 

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
After it was dry, I sanded it again. 
I took off parts of lettering and just made it look as old as possible.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
Here's the part that changed the look. While I've done this before with furniture, I wasn't sure how adding the stain to chalk paint would work. The chalk paint absorbed the stain a lot, making it look very old and dirty...I was pleasantly surprised. 

I brushed on {dark walnut} stain in small areas at a time. I let it sit for about five minutes.

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
Then I wiped it off with a paper towel. It is a lot darker over chalk paint than regular latex paint. I continued with the rest of the piece. I finished it with a clear spray sealer. 

Step-by-step detailed tutorial on how to create a vintage fall sign, using mostly items you may have on hand.  Includes a free template for the lettering.
What'cha think? Is this something you'd do?








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34 comments:

  1. I love how this turned out!! Looks great. I definitely would make something like this :)

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  2. I love how your vintage sign turned out! Thanks for the awesome tutorial - I picked up a few new tips from this that I must try on my next sign.
    Marie@InteriorFrugalista

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  3. Oh I want to make this sign now. I appreciate your directions and the available lettering. I see this on my front porch. It is very, VERY cute and the stain is just perfect! I have been following you for a few months. Such nice ideas!

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  4. It's VERY cute Kristi. I've done stain over a DIY chalk paint with the same (darker-than-latex) results, but I ended up liking it just fine! I switched to a water-based enamel for most of my projects a while back when I won a bunch of My Color by Pantone and became a convert. I just have to make sure I don't get lazy about sealing it! The polymers in the latex seem to add a bit of a 'resist', which makes the stain a little lighter and more uneven. For me anyway. Could always be (impatient) operator error...

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  5. I love it and your tutorial is so good I think I may give it a try!

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  6. Looks terrific. I wish I could free hand such a nice painting!

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  7. Your sign came out awesome. I love the vintage sign look. Thanks for the tutorial, too! (Just came from Keeping It Simple Crafts' block party.)
    www.mamagetsitdone.blogspot.com

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  8. I love it! But I confess I probably couldn't manage a free hand pumpkin! I could follow your tutorial to make a vintage sign and TRACE a pumpkin! LOL! Thank you - it's adorable. Julia

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  9. Love this Kristi! It turned out fantastic. xo

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  10. I LOVE this sign! What a wonderful decoration to have. I might have to add this to my list of projects to try soon. It would look adorable in my living room.
    Ashley
    http://ashley-to-awesome.blogspot.com/

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  11. That turned out fabulous- love love love!

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  12. LOVE this Kristi! You are so incredibly talented my friend!

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  13. Love it....going to go home and see if I have any wood laying around in the garage!!!

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  14. I agree with Trish, Kristi - you are so talented and this looks AMAZING!! Great job and your whole room looks fantastic too. Pinning! xo

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  15. Kristi, what a fantastic sign and your tutorial is perfect!!! I just absolutely love the vintage look and feel. Thanks so much for sharing and pinning! Have a happy Thursday!

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  16. I love this sign! It looks like it should be on the side of the road in field, so cute!

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  17. Hi and wow what work went into making this sign! You did a beautiful job. I saw it on domestic superhero!
    Julie @ julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

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  18. Oh my gosh...love, love, love!!!
    Beautiful, Kristi!

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  19. That turned out so cute!! I love it!!

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  20. Amazing tutorial, Kristi. You are so super talented.

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  21. so cute Kristi! It turned out beautiful!

    Thanks for linking up ! I featured your post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2013/15-pumpkin-projects/

    Have a great rest of the weekend!

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  22. Wow, that sign turned out great! You did an awesome job aging it and making it look vintage! Pinning this, and thanks so much for sharing it at my link party!

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  23. Oh Kristi! This just fabulous! Love it. Pinned :)

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  24. Wow, that came out really good! I don't know if I'd have been brave enough to add stain to your beautiful paint job, so I'm glad you tried it ahead of me! Haha! Fantastic job!

    Thanks for linking up with It's a Mom's Life. I hope you'll join us again this coming week (starting tonight!)

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  25. I love this sign and your fall mantel! I love projects that you start with one vision and something even better comes from it. I definitely need to try this out soon!

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  26. Just had to come back and tell you, I gave this a try! It's not near as cute as yours =) but it works. Thanks so much!!

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  27. This is such an awesome sign! Your tutorial is so good I'm going to give it a try myself :) Hope it's half as cute as yours! Pinning too..

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  28. Super cute Kristi! I love your Fall mantel; you are very talented!

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  29. How creative!!! This could definitely be something you can add to your new shop! xoxo http://sunshinesnaturalandlovingit.com

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