Who doesn’t love farmhouse signs? The only thing better than a farmhouse sign is a double sided sign! This month I am updating the decor in my home office, DIY style.
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One of the easiest ways to keep my budget low is to use up the extra wood in my basement. I wanted to add some warmth to my office space by bringing in wood tones.
My idea was to make a sign for my blog, but I didn’t want my blog name up all the time. That’s when the decision to make a two-sided hanging sign came to mind.
- (2) 1 x 2 x 8 – COMMON BOARDS
- 1 x 8 x 6 – COMMON BOARD
- WOOD GLUE
- SCREW EYES
- BLACK CHALK PAINT
- DISPOSABLE GLOVES
- ANTIQUING WAX
- SHOP TOWELS
- WHITE VINYL
- TRANSFER PAPER
CUT THE WOOD PIECES TO SIZE
The first step is to decide the size of your sign. I usually think about where I’m going to hang the sign and then measure the space. Since my plan was to place it under my office cabinets, I made a long wood sign that was narrow in height.
I used my miter saw to cut the wood. If you don’t have a miter saw, you can cut it on the manual hand miter box available down the trim aisle at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Usually they will make a few complimentary cuts for you in the lumber area as well.
Cut your main board (1 X 8) to the length you need. Mine was 48 inches. Then take the length of the (1 X 8) board and add 1.5 inches to it. This is your measurement for the top and bottom (1 X 2) boards for the frame. Next, cut two pieces of 1 X 2 to the exact height of your 1 X 8, which is 7.25 inches.
It’s important at this stage to dry fit all of your pieces together. This is the easiest time to make any adjustments to you cuts.
SAND AND DISTRESS THE WOOD FRAME PIECES
The next step is to sand the wood. This helps smooth the surface of the wood and raises the grain to accept the stain or antiquing wax better. I sanded my boards with my orbital sander and 220 grit sanding discs.
I wanted the antiquing wax to settle into the grooves and marks, so I needed to add some texture to the boards. To distress the boards for the box frame, I used a wire brush and pulled along the board in the direction of the grain. Then I went back over the boards and tapped the wire brush on the surface to make distress holes. Pine is a soft wood, so it will distress easily.
Finally, I wiped all of the boards to remove the dust.
PAINT, SEAL AND WAX YOUR WOOD
Start out by painting the main board with black chalk paint. I decided to try out the chalk paint in a spray can this time. It took three light coats to completely cover the board. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area.
You need to finish off your main board with 2-3 coats of polycrylic or other top coat. I learned this the hard way. If you put vinyl directly on latex paint, it will bubble over time. And of coarse, chalk paint needs to be sealed all the time. I almost always seal my chalk paint projects with polycrylic or wipe on poly. I know many of you use clear wax.
Tip: If you decided to make a white sign, be sure to prime your board with a stain blocking primer. Over time the knots in the pine may bleed and show through white paint.
Apply Antiquing wax to the frame boards. Be sure to wear rubber gloves for this part. It’s pretty strait forward. You just brush it on (use dollar store foam applicators) and then wipe it off with a blue shop towel.
ASSEMBLE YOUR SIGN
Dry fit your sign together on a flat surface. You’ll want to place spacers under the sign on your table. It just so happens that the thickness of a 5 gallon paint stick and a regular paint stick together are 3/8 of an inch thick. That is the space you need between the board and the edge of the frame on each side. Lay your 1 X 8 on top of the paint sticks. Here is a picture.
Run a thin line of wood glue down all four edges of the 1 X 8 and place the frame boards back into place. Then firmly hold the opposite end of the frame an place two brad nails in one of the corners at the but joint. Repeat this for all four corners.
Next, using your spacers (paint sticks) line up your brad nailer so it is in the middle of the frame board. Be sure to hold your nail gun level and in line with the frame, so your nails sink into the 1 X 8 below. I added three brad nails to the top and bottom and one in the center of each end.
DOWNLOAD AND OPEN THE FILE
If you like the (Dream, Create, Smile) sign it is available to you in my free library. You can find directions to access the library towards the bottom of this post.
Create your own file or download the file to your computer. Then open the file in your cutting machine’s software.
ADJUST YOUR CUTTING MACHINE SETTINGS
I use a Silhouette Cameo, so I can only provide instructions on that machine. Open the file in Silhouette Studio.
Scroll to Page Setup. Under Cutting Mat, choose none. Be sure your orientation is set to landscape and the first option is selected under rotate. Then, for the Media Size, choose 48 inches for the width and 12 inches for the height. Click and drag you red cut image and position it on the white canvas. Pay attention to where the black arrow is on the canvas. This is the direction you will feed your vinyl into the machine.
Go to the Send Menu. Under material, choose Vinyl, Matte. For Action, choose cut. For Tool, choose ratchet blade. I’m using a Cameo 4, so I chose the Autoblade.
Force=10, Speed=5, Passes=1.
LOAD YOUR VINYL INTO YOUR CUTTING MACHINE
Before you load your vinyl into your machine, run it along the edge of a counter to flatten the end. Often vinyl from a roll has a curled edge, this prevents the vinyl from loading properly or may cause a jam later. This is only an issue when you are cutting vinyl without a cutting mat.
CUT YOUR VINYL
Always do a test cut before you start your project. Then unload the vinyl, weed the test area and make sure it cut properly. This will save you from wasting your vinyl. You may need to adjust your settings if you have a worn blade or are using a different type of vinyl.
Finally, reload your vinyl and hit send. It’s important to watch your cut job. Ruining an entire roll of vinyl is expensive and frustrating. I also noticed that at the end of some rolls, the vinyl is taped to the cardboard roll. If you are not there to remove it, your project will jam.
TRANSFER THE VINYL TO YOUR SIGN
Important: In case you missed it earlier in this post, it’s important to seal your sign with Polycrylic or other top coat before adding your vinyl. This will help prevent your vinyl from bubbling/peeling up later on. Also, if you apply vinyl to a rough finish, it will not stick.
Weed out your extra vinyl and place transfer paper over the image. Then peel up your transfer tape, so the image is on the tape. Line up your image on your sign and press it into place. Using a credit card, rub over you image thoroughly so it is transferred to the wood. Then slowly peel off the transfer paper.
If you are new to transferring vinyl, you may want to only transfer one word at a time.
ADD YOUR HARDWARE
It’s important to consider where you are hanging your sign. For example, I knew my sign would be hanging from the upper center cabinet in my office. I wanted to be sure the hardware would be secured to the cabinet frame. So I found that measurement and then transferred that to my sign’s wood frame and made my pencil marks. Then using the self tapping screw eyes I added the hardware.
If the screw eyes become to difficult to turn by hand, insert a thin screw driver into the eye and use it as leverage.
My cabinets have a melamine coating on them. To add the screw eyes to my cabinet, I first drilled a tiny pilot hole, much smaller than the screw. Then I screwed them in by hand. Remember, this is on the underside of the cabinet, so it won’t be seen.
Finally, I used “S” hooks and the bird feeder chain to hang the sign. The chain comes with hooks.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY
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I hope this post inspires you to add some farmhouse charm to your home decor.