09 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day! and a Tutorial

Hi all!  I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day.  Ours was great; we went to church, my wonderful hubby made his delicious spaghetti, and Hailey took a long nap.  I even got a nap, too.  What more could the mother of a toddler ask for?

Here's what I made for my mom and mom-in-law for Mother's Day.  (I haven't actually gotten my MIL's present shipped off yet, so I hope she doesn't read this yet...)  Of course, depending on the words you choose, this project would make a great gift for any occasion.

It was really pretty easy and fairly quick to make.  Here's what you need:

--some wood--mine was 1 x 4 x 12 inches
--sidewalk chalk, charcoal or soft graphite pencil (if your background color is dark, use the chalk.  If it is light, use the charcoal or graphite.)
--a pencil or other moderately pointy object
--the base paint (black spray paint, in my case)
--the paint for the letters (extra paint from refinishing Hailey's dresser--hopefully we can get that project finished soon.)  NOTE:  You could cut the letters out of vinyl, and this would probably be faster.
--a small paintbrush
--a computer and printer (or stencils, or you could just be awesome and freehand the letters)
--optional:  picture hanging hardware of your choice

Ready?  Okay, first you'll want to figure out exactly how you want the text to be.  I used photoshop, but anything will work just fine.  Print it out.

Now that you know how long the sign needs to be, you can cut the wood to size.  Sand if needed, and spray paint your base color.

Once the paint is dry, you are ready to transfer your text onto your sign.  Here I have all my supplies gathered...
(I was kidding myself when I thought that paintbrush might work.  Yeah, right.  Luckily, I realized I was crazy before I started painting, and switched it out for a much smaller brush.)

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you my genius idea.  The chalk and the paint could both be messy, so I thought to use a large kitchen garbage bag to protect my table.  Then I thought, If I turn the bag inside out first, then when I'm done, I can flip it back the right way and all the chalk dust and paint will already be inside the garbage bag!  I love easy clean-up.

Use the chalk (charcoal, whatever) to color all over the back of the paper opposite the letters.  (I thought about taking a picture of this step, but the light green chalk on white paper...it wouldn't have worked out.)  Position the words where you want them to be on the sign (chalk side down) and trace around the letters with your pencil.

Now paint the letters...  (It took me two or three coats to get the letters nice and cleanly white--no black showing through.  About this time, I wished I'd just cut the things out of white vinyl.)

Let the paint dry completely, then use a slightly damp cloth to wipe off the extra chalk.  (Don't use a paper towel--it leaves paper towel lint on the nice black surface.  Yes, I know from experience.)

Now you could attached hanging hardware, or just set the sign on a shelf, window, table...

And you're done!  I hope you liked the tutorial.  If you did, leave me a comment!  And if you have a question, I'd love to answer it.

Happy Mother's Day to all, and to all, a good night.


  1. Oh that's so cute! And I would have never thought to use chalk like that...you're brilliant!

  2. Really cute sign! Visiting from Creative Bloggers and have just become your friend and follower! Hope you will consider same.


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