Craft Projects

Pallet Bar Sign

Remember this sweet pallet I scored from work? I got a lot of use out of this bad boy, making two different jewelry holders, one with knobs and one with spoon hooks.

But, what I’m about to show you is the pièce de résistance from my first-ever pallet — a BAR sign for, yes, our bar!

To make my sign, I had to demolish the pallet. I got out my handy-dandy jigsaw and cut out the middle planks to use. I decided to make my sign with four planks, and an additional plank as support along the back.

Once my pieces were cut (I cut one of the planks in half for the back), I lined them up outside and nailed them together using my nail gun. I didn’t want the edges to be perfectly even, so instead I lined up the four planks by the nail holes down the middle. This gave it a nice look.

First, I nailed the wood into the back supports from the front of the sign. Then, for added support and more nail gun fun, I flipped it over and added nails down the supports in the back.

Then, I got out my sander and sanded the edges down and the front and back down. I picked pieces with holes and knots on purpose, so I made sure to leave those spots alone.

With the sign all smoothed out, I brought it inside to begin taping out my letters. Using painters tape, I blocked out the letters “B,” “A,” and “R” at varying heights along the sign. I did this all by eye (no tracing, no stencils), which took a long time (about an hour) and a ton of patience, but was worth it in the end.

Then, I got out some of my remaining paint samples and started to fill in my letters. For the “B” I used Behr Smoky Slate, for the “A” I used Behr Contemplation, and for the “R” I used Behr Lime Light. I’ve gotten so much use out of these samples, it’s crazy! Anyway, I chose these colors so the letters would have a subtle ombre effect to them.

Once the letters were painted, I removed the tape — the paint was still wet, so the tape came off perfectly! Then, I set the sign aside to dry.

Afterward, I got out some leftover gray stain from my coffee table project and stained the entire sign. Yes, I did go over the paint. I let the stain sit for about five minutes, then wiped it off and let it dry. I came back a few hours later and gave the sign two coats of poly. I also attached heavy-duty picture hangers to the back before letting the sign dry overnight.

We hung up the sign last night right behind our bar and it fits perfectly! I’d pretend that I did that on purpose, but it was just dumb luck! Still, I’ll take it 🙂

{A Smith of All Trades} Pallet Bar Sign

Um yeah, I ❤ my sign. So does the hubby. Total win!

And, best part, it was totally free to make!

Craft Projects, Life

Authentic Wooden Sign

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:

Awesome, right? We all thought so. But it gets better. So much better!

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.

I then tied rope to each hanger.

With that, the sign was complete and AMAZING.

Pretty sweet going away gift, huh?

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!











Craft Projects

Smith sign project

Hey blog world, heyyyyy.

The hubster and I had a lovely weekend at the beach hanging out with some of our best friends, but today it’s back to work and back to crafting 🙂 Oh darn.

I’ve been slowly working on a project, revamping a Smith sign my mother-in-law gave us that she had hanging out around her house. It was pretty ugly — the font is just horrifying — but I figured I’d give it a go.


Um yeah, talk about not matching much that we own. So, I primed the whole thing with white paint, which took a few coats. I then stopped my project altogether because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next.

When I was finally inspired to take the next step on this project, I started taping off stripes horizontally on the sign. I then painted every other section Behr’s Contemplation, the same color we have in our family room. I had to be really careful around the edges of the word, which I left white.

When I started this part of the project, I figured this would also be where I left it. But sometime was definitely missing. So again, I let my project sit until I had more inspiration.

Finally I figured out what I wanted to do. I’ve been playing around with EnviroTex Lite, which is a gloss that hardens on whatever surface you pour it on. I really like the way this stuff looks (wait until you see the other project I’ve been working on!), so I decided to fill the letters of our last name. So, I mod podged a single line of beads in every letter, then poured on the EnviroTex and waited for it to dry.

In the meantime, I ran over to Super Hobby Lobby World Land (that’s Brian name for it) and picked up some sweet ribbon with a silver accent in it. I pulled out my glue gun and started striping the ribbon in between each green and white stripe.




Once it was all on my sign, I let everything dry overnight. Here’s the finished product:


I hung it right by our front door. It looks really nice against our gray walls.


Quite the improvement over the ugly brown sign I started with, wouldn’t you say?