14 Days of Love – Day 2 DIY “Love Story” sign

I have been working on this sign for a few days and I am so excited (and quite surprised) I was actually able to complete it BEFORE Valentine’s Day! Ha!

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I originally saw this sign on Pinterest and almost bought it from the seller on Etsy. However the more I looked at it sitting in my Esty cart, the more I kept thinking “I can probably make this…” There wasn’t a tutorial or anything that I followed, although there are plenty of different ones out there.   I realize this project could have been WAAAAAAAY easier if I would have just cut out some vinyl lettering using my Cameo. However, I didn’t have any vinyl on hand and I didn’t feel like ordering it and having to wait another week to do this project. I did have contact paper though! I figured I could use the same technique that I used on my hand painted canvas to make this sign. I didn’t create a tutorial for that one so I thought I’d go ahead and do one for this.  So here’s whatcha do.

What you will need

*12×24 plywood board. You can find these at Michaels or JoAnnes already cut to size for around $2 with a 40% coupon.

*Red and white acrylic paint (or any other color you like. You can even use leftover latex paint. For the letters I used Martha Stewart’s acrylic in “Holly Berry” and some leftover latex paint in “Quail Egg” from Valspar for the main color.)

*small roller

*#2 flat acrylic paintbrush

*contact paper, cut into 2 12 x12 sheets

*Silhouette Cameo or letter stencils

First paint your entire board red (or whatever color you want your letters to be). This will be the color you want to show through once you peel your letters off.

While that is drying, created your the letters in the Silhouette program and cut them out of the contact paper. I used Franklin Gothic Heavy as the font type at mulitiple sizes. **If you don’t have a silhouette machine, don’t fret! You can buy letter stencils at any craft store, buy them on Etsy or just go ahead and buy the vinyl lettering.

Your board should be dry by now. If not, WAIT until it is completely dry before moving on. Measure 3/4 of an inch around your entire board. This will be your guide to make sure all of your letters line up properly and there is equal amount of space around the words.

Take some tweezers and very carefully weed/peel each letter off the contact paper and placed them on your board sticky side down.

Once you complete each row of letters, measure about 1/4 of an inch from the bottom of the row and draw a line. This line will indicate the top of the next line. Use this as a guide to align the top of the next line of letters. Do this for the following line of letters on the top half of the sign. Once you get to the bottom half, use the same technique except now work your way from bottom to top. Start with the last line and measure 1/4 of an inch from the top of those letters and draw a line. This line will be your guide to align the bottom of the previous line of letters. Doing it this way will ensure that there is equal amount of space at the very top and very bottom of the board and that the blank space in the center is actually centered. I hope this is not too confusing… and if you have an easier, less confusing way to do this, let me know!!

Once all your letters are placed on your board go back and make sure they are firmly pressed down and that there are no edges peeling up…

Now it’s time to paint the board again, this time with the main color.  Paint first coat, let dry for at least 1hour and paint a second coat.

I made the mistake of painting my first coat with a sponge applicator instead of a roller and the white paint seeped through the edge of pretty much every letter. I think if I would have rolled it on with a roller the first time, I could have saved myself A LOT of time in the end. I rolled my second coat on with a roller and it was so much easier and WAY faster. USE A ROLLER!! Just be careful not to get too much paint on the roller or you might experience the same thing.

Once your paint is dry, take your tweezers and gently peel off each letter.

See all the seeping paint I was talking about. Ugh.

This is where the time consuming make your eyes bug out craziness begins. Take your itty bitty #2 flat paintbrush and your red paint and paint over all the spots the white paint seeped through.

This is about the time I realized maybe I should have just ordered the vinyl!

Nah – then I couldn’t say I painted it myself 😛

Once that dries, go back with your white and clean up any areas that aren’t as clean as you’d like.

Almost finished…

Add some twine and a few paper hearts and you’re finished!

A completely hand made, hand painted work of art.

So beautiful and SO true. I’m hoping to give you a little glimpse of our love story soon. But for now, just know that it IS truly my favorite, as I’m sure all of yours are as well.

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