How To Make A “Cottage” Sign – Revisted

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was a busy one (as usual); I feel like they are never long enough to get everything done.  Anyways, I’m pulling this post from the archives – it’s a fun one, and a great tutorial for those of us that (still) don’t have a vinyl cutting machine.  Enjoy!
Hello, I hope you all had a wonderful week!  I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who stopped by my humble little blog to check out my craft room makeover.  I have truly enjoyed meeting new bloggers and reading through your comments… you are all so amazing!  I hope you come back soon to visit with me … I truly enjoy your company!
Now on to my “Cottage” sign tutorial I promised in my last post…..
I have to start this tutorial with a bit of a disclaimer…. I do not own a vinyl machine, so this sign is made the old fashioned way, with stencils and hand painting.  I’m sure there are at least one or two of you out there who are also machine-less and may find this tutorial helpful.  This is an easy project, but somewhat time consuming! 
Here are the supplies needed:
* Piece of wood.  I used a 4 x 6 plank from an old fence.
* Craft paint (acrylic) in your choice of colors.  For my sign I used PLAID acrylics in Wicker White, Pure Black and Bright Red.
*  2-inch self adhesive vinyl lettering.
*Card stock.  Any color will do.
* A black Sharpie marker.
* A glue stick.
* Scissors.
* Medium size paint brush.
* Small artists paintbrush, for touch ups.
* A way to print out your lettering (computer and printer).
* Picture hanging kit.
* Hammer.
* Patience!
I started by painting a light whitewash over my board of choice, which happened to be a plank from my neighbors old fence.  It was destined for the trash heap, so I asked if I could have it.  Luckily, they are DIY’ers and didn’t question my motives….   
 This board already had that worn, shabby look I was after, but I wanted the “chippy white paint” look, so I gave it a dry brushing with white craft paint, diluted with water to a “milky” consistency.  I purposely left lots of wood showing through to help with the “weathered” look.  For this technique, the shabbier and more rustic the wood, the better (just watch out for splinters!)

While the paint dried, I printed my wording onto card stock.  It took a bit of trial and error to find the sizes that worked best, but I finally figured it out.  For my sign I used Book Antiqua in font size 450 for the “Cottage” wording and Abbeyline in font size 170 for the “Cozy” wording.  This font was downloaded for free from this site.  A little tip:  For the wording, I printed my words using the “outline” option in Microsoft Word.  This is a huge ink saver!  For the “For Rent” wording, cut a piece of card stock to the size and shape you want, then use that as a template for figuring out your letter spacing.  I used a 5 1/4 x 6 1/2 inch size piece of card stock. 

I then laid all of the lettering out on my board to verify spacing, etc.  Once I was happy with the way it looked, I used a sharpie marker to trace the “Cottage” letters onto the board.

Next, I filled in the letters using black craft paint watered down to make a glaze.  I did not make it really “solid”, as I wanted to be able to see the wood a bit, adding to the aged look.
For the “Cozy” wording, I found it easier to use a reverse stencil (don’t ask me how long it took me to figure this out!) I printed out my word, then cut it out of the paper, being careful to leave the paper as intact as possible.  Make sure you get the little pieces inside the “C”, the middle of the “O” and the tail of the “Y”.  You will need these to make your stencil correctly!

Using a glue stick, I applied glue to the back of the stencil ….

then placed the stencil on my board. Press down well around the edges so the paint can’t leak under.  Glue those little pieces I just mentioned (the C, O and Y pieces) into the appropriate spots.  Try to move quickly through this step so the glue does not have time to set (if it does, you will have a hard time getting your stencil off of your board!)

I used a sponge brush loaded with black craft paint and “dabbed” my paint on.

 I carefully peeled off my stencil…

and made any necessary touch-ups.

For the FOR RENT sign, you will need your vinyl letters.  You can find these at Wal-Mart, Target and most office supply stores.
I selected the lettering I wanted to use and separated them from the sheet.

I cut out the letters…. and set them aside.

 To make the red background, I used that card stock template I made previously.  I placed it on my board and traced around it with my Sharpie.  (I folded the paper over the sides and traced the corners as well… this was a little tricky, but it worked!)
 After making sure my letters were well placed, I peeled them off the paper backing and stuck them to my board.  Make sure you press down firmly so that paint doesn’t leak under during the next step….
 which is to paint the rectangle area using the red paint.  I used a dry brush technique here, too.

Next, peel off the vinyl letters.  If any paint did leak under the vinyl, you can touch up using your white paint/glaze mixture and a small artists’ brush. 

The last step is adding the hardware for hanging the sign.  I used  this kind because, honestly, that’s what I had in the ole’ toolbox.  It ended up working perfectly.  You can find these little do-dads in the picture hanging section of your hardware store. 

I flipped my board over and hammered one on each end, towards the top edge.

That’s it!  Now go hang it on your wall, stand back and admire your handiwork!

Thank you for visiting and have a great weekend!

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17 Responses to “How To Make A “Cottage” Sign – Revisted”
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