Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Brotherly Love

I have been wanting a sign for our roof deck for about 3 years now and I haven't found anything that wasn't overly cheesy or too Jimmy Buffett-y.  Don't get me wrong, I love Jimmy.  I just wanted something more personal and less depressing than seeing a reminder that Jimmy is floating around in tropical waters off an island and I've got to be at work in half an hour.

I like the vintage looking wooden signs that I've been seeing all over Pinterest and two that caught my eye were these awesomely colorful signs from Beyond the Picket Fence and the rustic but girly LOVE sign from Shanty 2 Chic.  I didn't think I could pass a sign that straight up said LOVE over the's not manly or even unisex enough to be hung in our house.  After a tailgate for the Phillies and a conversation with a new crafty friend, the compromise of "Brotherly Love" was formed.  The following weekend I got to work.

Utilizing Shanty 2 Chic's tutorial, I bought firring strips at Home Depot, along with Gorilla Wood Glue, a saw (yea I bought that one), and Dark Walnut MinWax stain.  I spent Sunday afternoon obsessing over the Olympics and sawing like a boss on the deck.  I sawed each firring strip in half and lined them up horizontally with each other - just like the tutorial.  Then I measured the width which ended up being 18" and sawed my last thin firring strip into 18" pieces.  I glued the 18" strips and adhered them to the back of my sign and then drilled in some screws on the tops and bottoms of the strips.  The back looks like this:

I flipped my sign and followed the instructions on the stain to figure out how to do that step.  The drying time was 4-6 hours so I left painting until the following day.

To paint the letters onto the sign, I went into Microsoft Word and used Arial Black in size 650 to get my letters big enough to cover the sign.  In hindsight I feel like I could've gone even bigger had I had bigger paper.  I used French Script for my "Brotherly" in size 250.  Using an exacto knife, I cut out my letters and placed them on the sign.  After taping down my corners, I got to work filling in the lines.
Leftover paint was great for this project.  I used some extra white paint I had leftover from another craft and applied with a foam brush.  Make sure to dab and not drag, as computer paper can tear easily.  Any mistakes can be touched up with a q-tip and some nail polish remover. 

For my heart I mixed some of the white and an acrylic red that I have hoarded for 5 years since my painting days at Saint Joe's (Art Minor ladies and gents).  I used a hoarded turquoise for my "Brotherly".  I found that I couldnt' make the O's or H's or L's in Brotherly without having to cut out a piece of paper and stick it onto the wood with tape so that I could paint around it.  Once I exacto'd that out from my original stencil, I was fine.  I removed the tacky paper pieces with tweezers when it was dry.

After paint dried, I needed to figure out how I was going to hang this massive, heavy sign on the wall.  I measured down from the top and marked two spots on each side for screws to go into.  I did this into the firring strips on the back so that the screw wouldn't make its way through to the front of my sign.  I even measured how far down I screwed those bad boys in to make sure I wasn't bumping one sign out off the wall more than the other.  I wound string back and forth between the two screws so I could hang the sign on something.  In hindsight, I'd have used wire, but once I start something I am pretty insane until I finish it.

The last step before hanging was going over the sign with a sanding block to wear down the paint for a weathered look.  Harry was pretty proud of me for my hard work.  Even though the sawing sounds were scary, he respectfully laid in front so Mom could take a picture....after being fed 4 hot dog pieces.

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