Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Barn Wood Art With A Message {Tutorial}

One part of Eva's room makeover 
that I've gotten a lot of questions about is the 
"Daughter of the King" sign 
that hangs above her knee hole desk.

So, I thought I'd share with you how I made it.
No Cricut.
No Silhouette.

I don't know about you, but if I could afford
 a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo, then I'd have one.

But I don't.

Because I can't justify buying one, just to make things for me.

So, it gets done the old fashioned way.

With a little bit more extra work.

First off though, 
I wanted to show y'all the inspiration 
for the sign.

When I saw this sign above the window of Cami's daughter's room, 
I knew I wanted something similar for Eva's.

In fact, I ran across Tidbits while I was looking for inspiration.

I'm now a follower.

I just love the feeling of that sign and this room.

What a great reminder for her daughter each day!

I've tried a lot of different ways to make hand lettered signs.

Since I don't have an artistic bone in my body, 
free-handing letters isn't going to cut it.

When I was ambitious, I made my own stencils.

That got old REAL fast.

Then I tried cutting out words 
that I printed out from my computer with an X-Acto Knife 
and used that as a stencil.


Easier, but not easy enough.

After that I tried freezer paper transfers, 
but they don't work too well on barn wood.

So, this time I tried something different 
and I have to say it's the easiest method so far.

And here's how:

1.)  Design your wording in Word Perfect or iPages. 

{I use iPages.}

2.)  Print them out, enlarging them as needed.

3.)  And then just cut the letters out - 
leaving a small strip attached between the letters, 
so you don't have to worry about lining them up.

{Obviously, I didn't do that with the letter "e" on "the".  Oops!}

4.)  Paint your sign or leave it natural.  

{I was lazy and just used white primer.}

5.)  Mark out where you want your letters to go.

{As you can see, I am TERRIBLE with this!  They're always a little high.}

6.)  Then, just trace around your letter with a pencil.

7.)  Paint in your letters.

{I used the same paint that I used for the walls and the crown.}

8.)  Then, with a sharpie paint marker, draw on the shadows.

{If you're not an artist - as I TOTALLY AM NOT - 
and have no clue where the shadows need to be drawn, 
Works or iPages should have a function - in iPages, it's in the inspector - where you can add shadows to your words.  Simply apply the shadow to your document and copy where the shadows are supposed to go.}

{I don't have a very steady hand, so the sharpie paint marker 
is a God send for me.}

And that's all there is to it.

It's much easier to trace around the letters you cut out, 
instead of making stencils.

That'll probably be the way I do it from now on - 
until I finally spring for a Cricut.

As for the crown...

My lovely boys...

Who like to wrestle...


Crashed into a vintage oak chair that I had painted white 
and broke one of the legs.

Unfortunately, it was irreparable.


But I kept it - Just in case.

It caught my eye out in the shop and 
I realized that it kind of looked like a crown.

So, I took the back rest off, painted it with Acrylic "Golden Yellow".

Then I took a cloth and slightly rubbed it back, 
so the carving would stand out better.

I love this sign and plan on making more with a similar type feeling.

The best part is Eva loves her new space.

She loves to draw and write stories, 
so this is a great little spot for her creativity.

As you can see, 
she's already changed out the picture on the right and 
added a picture taken of us when she was three. 

Gotta love her little red tongue!


How fast time flies!


  1. LOVE the sign...and that crown-like chair piece of top!! So glad you salvaged it from the little "accident" ;)

  2. Love the sign Laura, it really is a perfect fit in Eva's gorgeous bedroom!

  3. Laura your sign is beautiful! So happy that she loves her new room!Today is the big day I paint my girls room!BTW my daughter loves to write stories too!Besides having a dream of someday being a veterinarian she would love to be an author!Her favorite book series is Warriors.

  4. It turned out great and I love it! It looks like you have a silhouette!! Gorgeous as always!

  5. Michele (3:16 Restoration)January 29, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Love the room and sign......great job.For making signs I use good old carbon paper.Do your image on paper then stick carbon under the paper and trace.

  6. When my boys were home that's all they did, poor Michael was so skinny that I was afraid Nick would really injure him...miss those days! Anyway, you have did a beautiful job on Eva's room, you can tell a lot of love went into it! Wish I had a circut but can't justify it either, maybe one day!

  7. Totally agree about the feeling the sign gives the room. I think I am going to make one for the Grands, just need a chair back crown. And the Silhouette...... if one of those was in your talented creative hands, I have no doubt all of Iowa would hunt you down to have one of your signs.


  8. I thought I was the only Blogger left that didn't own a Cricut or Silhouette. :) We should have a secret hand shake or Have Grand Pubba Hat's or something.. :) I love how your sign came out! Did you do a blog make-over or is it just me seeing things?

  9. So pretty - I love how light and bright the whole room is!

  10. i am loving your daughter's room! i have to ask... are you an iowa girl?!?! i found you on Savvy Southern Style and i thought i saw that you got one of the pieces at an auction in iowa. i am so happy to find you and follow along! (i am an iowa girl). beautiful work!

  11. LOVE the crown. Just an idea...to save ink...Put printer paper over the computer screen, trace with pencil and then do what you did. Or use transfer paper, so you don't have to cut, or on soft boards if you trace the letters hard enough with pencil it transfers to the board. Just some ideas I've tried an liked because I don't have any cool tools either. And I see Vintage Charm is asking about Iowa, weird, I'm Iowa too! http://junkparlor.blogspot.com

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