Yesterday was my coworker Dan’s last day in the office — he and his wife are moving to Greece for a couple of years. Dan has a fantastic sense of humor and is a midwestern boy. One of the long-running jokes in our office is that Dan wants to move to West Virginia to start a bear emporium… it’s better that you not ask haha. Anyway, he calls it “Uncle Dan’s Bear Emporium.” SOOOOO, the rest of the team devised a plan to make Dan a sign for his fictional business for him to take overseas with him. While I doubt anyone will want to replicate this project exactly (who else wants a fictional bear emporium after all?), I’m sharing it because 1. it’s awesome, and 2. it turned out to be a pretty authentic looking wooden sign.
Here’s the image I created in InDesign for us to use on our sign:
I picked up a wooden slab at Hobby Lobby for the back of our sign.
It was the perfect size and shape for our sign, and the smooth surface made making the sign a breeze. Once I had my piece of wood and the document printed, I trimmed the edges of the sign so it would fit in the center of the piece of wood.
I headed down to my craft room to start making the sign look like aged wood. To do that I took a lighter and burned the wood. Be very careful if you try this. After all, you are playing with fire.
Once the piece of wood was sufficiently burned, I turned the flame to the piece of paper.
I was very careful to not set my house on fire or burn a hole through Dan’s face, only letting the flame burn for a second or two before blowing it out. I did this around the entire edge of the photo. The effect of the burnt edges was a really nice touch.
With my photo and piece of wood equally burnt, I set to work Mod Podging the piece of paper to the piece of wood.
Two coats of Mod Podge later, I left Dan’s sign to dry. Once it was dry, I set it on fire a bit more (can you say “pyro?”). Then I attached picture hangers to the back of the sign using a shallow screw.
We all signed the back before sending our coworker off to Greece in style. I wonder what they’ll think of the sign in customs?
Farewell, Dan. We’ll miss you!