21 March 2012

"Sometimes Being a Brother" Nursery Decor--Tutorial

Here's the finished crafting project I mentioned in my last post.  I have a friend who's about to have her second baby--another boy.  I made this as a present for her, and so I wanted to give the gift to her before I posted about it.  Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise!

I've barely used my Silhouette since I got it for Christmas.  Shame on me, I know!  I was (and still am) excited about all the many things the Silhouette could help me make...but choosing exactly what to do has been a little harder.  That and my pregnancy-induced tiredness and lack of crafting motivation for several months that is just starting to abate, plus wanting to focus more time on my art and on Mommy School...  But with this friend giving birth early next month,  I had motivation, inspiration, and a deadline!  Deadlines are always very helpful for me.

I wanted to make a sign/wooden wall hanging/whatever with a quote on it so I could use my Silhouette to cut the vinyl.  I also wanted to make a present that was kind of for the mommy and kind of for the big brother, so I was excited when I found this quote:

Sometimes being a brother is better than being a superhero. 
--Marc Brown

How cute is that?  Of course the three-year-old big brother won't care about it now, but I bet he will like it when he is older (and wanting to be a superhero...and is able to read).   

The sign was really easy to make, so much so that I didn't think there was a point to have in-progress pictures.  I'll just explain quickly what I did.

I asked Mr. MadeIt to cut out a 7 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle out of some scrap wood we had hanging around.  (Actually, it was a shelf from a wall unit we decided to get rid of.  Let's hear it for recycling!)

Then I spray painted the wood with primer.  I don't think this part is necessary, but I do think I wouldn't have gotten the subtle texture I liked if I hadn't primed the wood first.

Once the primer dried, I painted the wood with tole paints.  I bet whatever acrylic paints you have on hand would work just as well.  Since I wanted the sign to have a subtle texture, I applied the paint unevenly, letting some areas be darker, and others areas lighter.  Because of the primer, the paint didn't soak into the wood, allowing me more time to push it around with the paintbrush to get it just how I wanted it--smooth, but with tonal variations.  (I used Hunter Green + Charcoal, by the way.  For the edges, I had more Charcoal in the mix, so they would be darker.  For the back I mixed the green with black, to make it darker still.)

(So you can see the edges.)

And, of course, I had to make up the design so my Silhouette could cut the vinyl.  If you'd like to use my file, you should be able to download it here.  (This is my first time using Google Docs.  Let me know whether or not this link and the download work!)

If you'd rather make your own file, I used the font Haettenschweiler.  (Goodness!  I'm glad I don't have to actually pronounce that!)

I suggest using transfer paper when applying the letters--I did it without and it was a ROYAL PAIN.  It took forever to get those words on straight!

After that, I though the wood needed to be sealed and the vinyl stuck down permanently.  (No need for inquisitive little fingers to take my hard work apart.)  So I coated the whole thing with my homemade Mod Podge, which is just school glue watered down a little.  (Apply with a paintbrush, and be sure to wash the brush out really well afterwards.)

And that's it!  Except for spending forever getting the words on straight, this was a really quick and easy project.  (I'll have to get myself some transfer paper for next time.)

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

Happy crafting!


  1. Hi, I just found this and I've been wanting to make a board with this quote! I can't seem to download your file. Any way you could email it to me? dean_jd@msn.com


  2. Hi, Jenna! I'm glad you like it! I've sent you the file. I'd love to see pictures of your project when you finish!


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