• Subcribe to Our RSS Feed
Tagged with " copycraft"

DIY Hand-painted Inspirational Signs

Mar 23, 2014 by     No Comments    Posted under: Crafts & DIY

I got to spend some quality time with Steph and Katie, two of my best gal pals, this weekend for a much-needed craft day. This month’s mission? A slightly distressed, hand-painted sign with a meaningful quote. (Doesn’t sound too hard, right?) Steph was the ringleader on this particular project. She used her super Pinterest-sleuthing skills and discovered a great step-by-step tutorial from Johnnie Collier over at Saved By Love Creations.

Johnnie’s tutorial features the work of a local talent from her region, Pam, who creates and sells rustic hand-painted signs like the one below. After reading about Pam’s process, I’ll admit I was a little daunted to learn how many steps would be involved in recreating her process, but never one to back down from a challenge, we all went to work on finding a quote and gathering our supplies.


More than anything, choosing a quote actually ended up being the difficult part of this particular craft. I had more than a handful I considered, including some of the following:

  • Not all those who wander are lost. – The Riddle of Strider (The Fellowship of the Ring)
  • Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.
  • Live, travel, adventure, bless and don’t be sorry. – Jack Karouac
  • Love everyone. Trust few. Paddle your own canoe.
  • Confidence through competence. (my personal credo)
  • You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. – Nietzsche 

For whatever reason, that last quote by Nietzsche really resonated with me, and I sent it over to Steph who laid out the quote using a couple of different layout/font options (it’s nice to have friends who have a background in design).

At some point I’d actually like to take a stab at free-handing something like this, after I’m more familiar with the process. Katie decided to go that route, but I’m still getting comfortable holding a paintbrush instead of pencil/pen. It’s a different feeling and requires a new style of dexterity that I have yet to master. Steph printed a to-scale version (2′ x 2′) of the layout I chose, and ordered some tracing paper online so we could lay down an outline of the letters.

1. Progress Shot 1

The weather this weekend was beautiful – sunny with a slight breeze – which meant that it was just right for working outside. After a light lunch on Steph’s brand new deck (which was built by her with help from her parents), we brought our blank wooden canvases outside and got to work.

Paco, Steph’s pup, monitored our progress and served as quality control for the project. (Isn’t he a cutie?)

Quality Control

The first step in the process is pretty simple: Put down the base color. For my sign, I chose “Mermaid’s Treasure,” a nice aqua paint and primer duo sample I purchased from Home Depot. It didn’t take much to cover the board – one solid first coat with some light touch up around the edges.

Step two required a little bit more concentration. I lined up my printed guide over my soon-to-be-sign, slipped some tracing paper underneath, taped down the edges, and then painstakingly outlined the letters on the guide to transfer their outline. The time it took was definitely worth it though. When I was finished tracing, I had a perfect map.

2. ProgressShot

I  love the quote that Steph chose for her piece: “If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.” I think it’s pretty representative of her overall positive, can-do outlook. Even when she’s had a rough week or is tired, she always has a smile and encouraging word for her friends. It’s one of the many things I love about her (in addition to spearheading our craft day efforts, of course).

3. Steph in progress

As I mentioned above, Katie, crafty rockstar that she is, managed to skip the tracing step, free-handing her piece using just an image on her phone as a reference. I hope that with enough practice, I can do the same. Her quote was  another that really resonated with me (I told you choosing a quote was the hardest part!), and really reminded me of her. Katie’s got some pretty brilliant ideas and is one of the most driven and passionate people I know. She not only knows what she wants, but she has the courage and persistence to go after those things and make them happen.

4. FinishedPiece(Katie)

Tracing the outline and filling in the letters took a little more time than I thought, especially given the intricate nature of the font I chose (definitely a factor to think about the next time I give this a go). I ended up having to finish my sign at home, which I did while watching the first season of Veronica Mars, my latest TV series addition. (Thanks, Katie!)

If we were to follow through on our original pinspiration, we actually all have some additional steps to finish, but I’ve been at war with whether or not I want to follow them all the way through. The last steps call for sanding over the sign to create the distressed, weathered look, applying a walnut stain, and then framing the board. While I know I’ll probably end up adding a frame to my piece to give it a more finished look, I don’t know if I can go through with the sanding and stain. I like the bright colors and look of my piece the way it is, and will likely hold off. However, if that changes, I’ll be sure to add an update to this post.


(Sparkly flourish courtesy of PicMonkey until I can figure out how to recreate it in real life.) ^_^

How are you celebrating the return of spring? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

CopyCraft #2: Art for the Kitchen (Sneak Peek)

Jan 12, 2012 by     1 Comment    Posted under: Crafts & DIY

I’m not quite finished with this project, but I’m SUPER excited about it, so I couldn’t help but post a teaser image of the work I’ve done thus far. It’s going to be a series of paintings, but I’ve got two left to go before I write out my tutorial and explain where my inspiration came from. If all works according to plan, the series should be finished by the end of the weekend. That being said, I would love to know what you think thus far!


CopyCraft #1: Criss-Cross Wall Art

Jan 3, 2012 by     1 Comment    Posted under: Crafts & DIY


If you ever feel as though your well of inspiration has dried up, or perhaps that pesky muse has indeed fled, I challenge you to spend five minutes on Pinterest. (And I’m betting you can’t spend JUST five.) Even if you don’t consider yourself crafty in any way, I GUARANTEE there’s something on this site for you.

That being said, I’ve been a little quiet on the web during the holidays because I decided to take a dose of my own advice, and have buried myself in the creative projects I’ve been dying to get around to for months. I kicked excuses to the curb and cranked out quite a few groovy little projects in between all the family gatherings, day trips and gorging.

Since I’m still stretching my writing muscles (which have been hibernating over the past few weeks as I stuffed myself silly with all my holiday favorites), I figured I’d share one of my simpler projects first – to warm up, as it were.

My hubs has been a driving force behind me returning to my crafty roots. We’ve been in our new house for almost a year and a half, and while I was a driving force in making it our own when we first moved in, I’ve been a little lax these past few months in finishing up the décor in some of the rooms. One of the things especially lacking has been artwork for the walls, which brings us to my first Pinterest project – the criss cross wall art you see below.

Criss Cross Artwork

The example project you see above, I found on Pinterest and tracked back to the blog “Living in the Woods.” Taylor does a great job of explaining the process, and has included some step-by-step photos should you decide to try something similar, so instead of walking through the entire process myself, I’m just going to tackle some of the differences between her approach and mine.

  1. I decided not to put down a white base coat on the canvas. I could go into some lofty explanation about the fact that I prefer the texture of the canvas to the smooth, gloss of the white paint, but let’s be honest – I was impatient to try out the project and didn’t feel like driving to Home Depot once I realized that the white house paint we’ve had on-hand (that followed us to three houses and cities over the past four years) was no longer usable.
  2. Instead of using multiple widths of masking tape, I decided to keep it simple and use the one width. By limiting myself to one type of tape, I thought I might be able to save myself from adding too many layers. (I go a little overboard sometimes when excited.)
  3. Taylor used interior paint and a paint brush to coat the canvas and masking tape. I opted for some silver spray paint I had lying around for another project I’ll be sharing with you soon. I thought about using some of the interior paint we have left over from our latest painting projects, but I’m in love with the metallic silver spray paint and decided to give it a go.

The finished project is what you see below. Now the hubs and I just need to agree on a place to hang it!

  • If you’re on Pinterest, I’d love to check out your boards! Let me know your username in the comments below! (Mine is MusesFled, if you’re interested in reciprocity.)
  • Not a member of Pinterest, but looking for an invitation? Send me an invitation request below!


I’ve finally decided where to hang this! It’s going in my dining room (see photo below). And I’m already working on a new project for my kitchen.  I can’t wait to show off what I’ve come up with! Stay tuned!