Last week, I showed off my new farmhouse kitchen table (if you missed it, you can see it HERE). The love burns on—I’m crazy about it and think it’s perfect in our kitchen. Big purchases are scary for me. This one worked out; no regrets. (So far.)
Seeing the new table in our dining space gave me a push to take on a project I’ve been thinking about for months and months. And since I love the modern farmhouse look ( <—is that a thing?), I thought a banged up, vintage-style sign could be perfect above the window. I waffled for months and months, wondering how it should look and what vaguely food-related word or phrase could go up there, then wondered how on earth to make the dang thing. But with the dual arrival or my new kitchen table and new Silhouette, it seemed like the time had finally come to go for it. I loved the look of this sign I found on Pinterest, and used it as a model for my own. So here’s how I made mine.
I started with a piece of scrap wood that’s been sitting in our garage for at least a year. Who knows where it came from. I bet it’s happy to finally have a purpose (other than having me occasionally run over it by accident with my car). It’s about 12.5” tall, and it was quite long—I had Jeff cut it down to about 54”. I gave it a very light coat of white paint and left it to dry while I set up my design for the Silhouette.
I planned to use vinyl to create a stencil, and I wanted to cut the stencil all in one big piece, but the Silhouette cut mat is definitely nowhere near the size of the wood I was using for my very long sign. A little googling revealed much coolness: you can tell the Silhouette that you aren’t using the cutting mat, and just feed the vinyl straight into it. You can adjust the height to anything you’d like and cut a gigantic design. Super cool.
In page settings, I set the height to 67” (which was way longer than I needed, as you can see——I scaled it back after I finished designing). I also selected ‘none’ for the cutting mat, and just inserted the vinyl right into the machine, straight from the roll.
I downloaded a new font that I thought had a great vintage look (I got it from Dafont.com and it is called Market Deco), and set up my letters just how I wanted them to look, then cut them from the vinyl.
My original plan was to lay the entire vinyl piece over my board, all in one go. This turned out to be way more difficult than I had anticipated. I believe Silhouette makes a transfer material so you can easily move vinyl pieces where you want them to be—I don’t have any of it. My solution was to cut my letters apart, then place them on my board one at a time, lining up the cut edges like puzzle pieces. I still think this worked better than cutting the letters individually—even though I laid them one at a time, they were spaced exactly how I’d designed them, so I could line up the cut edges perfectly. It worked great, although some letters were a bit finicky (I screwed up royally trying to save time by doing the C and E together, and ended up having to recut those two letters and do them again). I applied them all to my board and ran my finger over all the edges one final time before painting, just to be sure they were pressed down tightly. Then I used a sponge brush to lightly sponge black craft paint over the letters.
I wanted this sign to look old and worn and battered, so I didn’t worry about getting it perfect. My paint job was thicker in some areas and thinner than others, and I liked it that way. I didn’t go back over for a second coat or try and make sure everything was evenly coated. After painting all the letters, I peeled the vinyl off. A little tip: a seam ripper works beautifully to get into tight areas or to pull up smaller pieces.
At this point it was almost midnight, so I went to bed and let everything sit overnight. In the morning, I gave the whole thing a go-over with some sandpaper. I considered dry brushing some watered-down black paint around the edges to give it more ‘wear’—I still may. Our walls are technically gray, but they came out so much lighter than I’d planned and basically look white. And the sign is white, so maybe a little extra wear/color around the edges would help it stand out more. Maybe I’ll go back and change that someday, but I’m not sure if I care enough to re-start a finished project. Either way, here are the sanded-down letters up close:
I attached some photo-hanging hardware to the back of the board, and Jeff helped me hang it up above the window. I sure like it.
If you wanna see more of our kitchen renovation: