I am so happy to have a fireplace in the house and that means I have my first-ever mantle to decorate! I knew I needed a statement piece, and so I made this Merry and Bright Christmas sign! I LOVE this piece and I seriously skip a step whenever I walk by the mantle and see it. I am totally a kid at times, but I’m ok with that.
I started by making a stencil for the sign. I used the fonts Chopin Script and Mayonnaise Condensed on a cutting machine. I blew it up to the size of the sign. I highly recommend removable vinyl but I didn’t have any on hand so I pieced together several sheets of cardstock to make the stencil.
I used leftover fencing flats from our fence project (yes, I still have more). Hubby cut them to size (26″ x 4″ each) and I used a TON of wood glue to glue all of the pieces together. Actually, I like things super sturdy so after I took the above pic, I added hot glue around each of the backing boards. Overkill should probably be in my name somewhere. And, yes, I did this on the kitchen floor because it was 20 degrees in the garage. The front side was lightly sanded down to keep the character but make it a little less rough.
Now the painting process for this Christmas sign. I wanted to create a distressed sign that looked slightly vintage but not overly worn. With distressing wood, I am a less is more kind of gal. These pictures are a bit rosy-yellowed because of the kitchen lights.
First, I used a warm grey that I had leftover from my son’s room and mixed it with the milky white chalk paint I bought. I painted with a natural bristle brush and got in all the grooves and sides of the wood. That coat dried for 2 hours before adding the next coat. I layered a top coat of the milky white chalkboard paint making sure it was pretty thin. While the white paint is tacky, but not dry, I took #2 steel wool and lightly brushed areas to reveal the grey color underneath and highlight the character of the wood until I was satisfied.
Then I traced the stencil made earlier with my cutting machine. This is a very large stencil that covered the whole board pretty much.
And lastly, painted the merry and bright letters and reindeer. What I love about this project was that there are no mistakes. Well, maybe if you dump the paint can over it, that might be a mistake. I did not worry about getting the letters perfectly even in color or getting in all the grooves because it looks perfect the way it is. Now that you are probably tired of me gushing over this, I have a little something for you as well!
Links to Free Files:
Silhouette Cut File (.studio) – a preview won’t load but you can download.
*Making a sign is definitely much larger than 12×12. The file includes the original Jpeg I designed and it is traced for your convenience. However, in order to use it, you will have to resize it your desired size and then tile it for cutting. You can tile in the business version of silhouette or here is a great video about how to tile in the Silhouette Design Studio.
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Looking for more Christmas Craft Ideas? Check these out:
- Take a Tour of Our Christmas Home
- A crafty Christmas Treat Tree
- 15 Charming Printable Gift Tags
- Christmas Activity Bucket List
- Holiday Entertaining and Decorating Must Haves
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