Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'Tis the Season (Part Three)

As if I didn't have enough projects on my plate, I suggested making a pallet sign for church! Silly me! Though it was challenging, it was still a fun and rewarding project.  My Uncle Larry was so kind to collect and deliver a couple pallets from which to take slats, and my dad was nice enough to dismantle them for me while I was doing other projects! (I wouldn't get a thing done if it wasn't for the people in my life.) Once they were separated, my Aunt Kathy and I selected the best boards to use and got them sanded down, to make them both smoother and cleaner in color. We used a lower grit because our goal was not too have paper soft wood, but rather get rid of larger marks and damage to the wood. 

We then arranged them in the order that we wanted, and my dad attached the support beams.  The beams are not too thick, only about a half inch, but they are long so they can secure all of the slats. 

He attached the beams to the back of the sign with screws so the bracketing would be invisible. The holes that are visible below are from the pallet nails, but I think they add character. 

Once assembly was taken care of, I mixed a forest green craft paint with a large quantity of water.  This mixture became the base wash for the sign.  I got a bit nervous once it was all washed because while it was wet it seemed to have a mossy, mildew look. Fortunately it dried much nicer, or else it would have been back to the sander!

My paint was named "Evergreen" which was most appropriate considering our country Christmas theme called for traditional Christmas greens!

At this point, I laid out the text in the format in which it would go on the sign.  I used to generic fonts that come pre-installed on Microsoft Word, Bodoni MT and Monotype Corsiva. The font size varied depending on the text, but I chose to emphasize key words with size and make lesser words a bit smaller.  This can be totally up to your own discretion and relies heavily on the space and board width available. 

Because I am quite possibly crazy, and probably because I had limited resources, I hand traced all of the words onto the wood pallets.  This involved me outlining the words while the paper was still in place, but pressing hard enough that the pencil made a dent in the wood below.  Then I carefully and lightly outlined those indentations using the pencil for a more visible line within which to paint.  When everything was indented and traced, I took my white Sharpie Medium Point Paint Pens and began outlining! The paint required three to four coats because the wood was so dry, the first coat basically just absorbed. The picture below shows words at various levels of painting.  The words at the bottom had received three coats, the center lines had two coats and the top, faint areas only had the first coat.  

I did choose to free hand the Bible reference at the bottom, for two reasons, I forgot to print the reference with the rest of the verse, and I was running out of patience for tracing! I decided that my daily cursive lessons for my students needed to come in handy in the real world! 

The sign was hung (more generous and mostly patient help from my dad!) in the sanctuary above the main doors for all to see! He used two anchors and two 3 inch screws to attach it to the wall.  He was actually able to attach through one of the gaps between the boards so it did not require a hanger or wire on the back. Fortunately the screw were a good color to blend in with the green tint! 
I am so proud of how well it turned out, especially because I was a bit nervous that it would be too rough in appearance to be hung in a church.  I received a few compliments even from people who then asked if they could bring me pallets to make them a sign! Um... first I need to finish the mini sign for myself! 

That mini sign and my Christmas present wrapping paper theme are next on the docket for the Christmas series so stay tuned! And happy crafting!

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