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waste not, want not

Remember the chippy old screen door I used in my bathroom makeover?

I sawed two pieces of wood off the bottom so it would fit around the commode. I saved the pieces knowing I’d use them for something. Waste not, want not!

A couple of months ago, I saw this sign in the Pottery Barn catalog. I thought, how awesome would that be hanging in our guest cottage? Then I saw the hefty $69 price tag and kept on truckin.

Now, I will gladly fork over money for Pottery Barn pillow covers Because I can’t make them myself.

But a piece of wood with two words on it? Puh-lease. I can whip that up for nothing.

So I filed that idea away in the vault and got busy with a million other projects.

Then I spotted this post at Lemon Tree Creations last week and it reminded me to make one.

Now there are a ton of ways to make lettering on signs. You can use freezer paper, carbon paper, a blending pen, an overhead projector, press down really hard with a ball point pen, etc, etc, etc.

But as Madea says, “I ain’t fittin to deal with that.”

Here’s my method.

Make a word document using whatever word you want in whatever font you like.

For my first sign, I chose “antiques.”

I printed out the word and cut out the letters. This is the most time consuming part. But I like to cut things out…it’s the former teacher in me.

Don’t worry about being perfect. You are going to sand out the “imperfections” later.

I love how the crackles from the old paint show through once it’s sanded.

After sanding, I sealed it with a coat of clear Briwax. I could have used dark Briwax but since it was actually aged wood, I didn’t need to “age” it with dark wax.

Then I used the same process on my PB knock-off sign.

It’s the first thing you see when you walk in our guest cottage. You know, in case you’re lost or something.

Pottery Barn’s version…$69 plus shipping.


Free=good. 🙂

Linking here:

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Linda J #

    Wonderful – love them both!!
    Do you know where I can get Britwax (or something similar) in the Burlington/Oakville area of Ontario?
    Thanks in advance, and keep on postin’!!

    September 30, 2011
    • Linda, I googled it and there is an antiques store in Bellevile that carries it. I might check Speers Paint on Speers Rd. also. They are really nice in there. Also, it’s right near my favorite Goodwill! There is also a hardware store just down from Speers Paint, closer to Kerr. Sorry, I can’t remember the name of it. But I bet they might carry it. Good Luck. Let me know if you find it!

      September 30, 2011
    • Tammy #

      I actually prefer your version of ‘guest cottage.’ Fun.

      September 30, 2011
  2. I love it! Great job.

    September 30, 2011
  3. Fabulous….love both signs!!

    September 30, 2011
  4. Neat! Love your process of getting just the font you want, too. Did your hubby see the “free” at the bottom of your post? hehe

    September 30, 2011
  5. Nana #

    Can’t wait to walk through the door and see the sign in person. Did you get that hint? Lol. Love the signs and the way the cottage remake is going. You are to to talented.

    September 30, 2011
  6. I must get to figuring this out. Because I want a sign for the little blue house…

    September 30, 2011
  7. I love your blog and look at it every day, reading old posts, as I only found you about a month ago.
    What a good idea to just print the letters out. I will remember this.

    September 30, 2011
  8. Great job, I think I need to make a guest cottage version for our basement guest suite. I’m going to borrow your tip, above, on the GW in Oakville.

    September 30, 2011
  9. I love them! I actually made a “guest cottage” sign very similar to the “vintage goods” sign you liked for someone (both out of beadboard). Someday when I have an empty room, maybe I’ll make one for myself 😉

    September 30, 2011
  10. First of all, your house looks so inviting with the fall decor (and pets). Love the signs!

    September 30, 2011
  11. I love this!! thank you for sharing! 🙂

    September 30, 2011
  12. Dana #

    So cute! …and personally I like yours better than PB’s!

    October 1, 2011
  13. Love both of your signs! I have to show this post to my husband… he complains like crazy because I save scraps like you did from this screen door. You just never know when you might can use something and you just can’t beat a paint finish that has aged “for real”, know what I mean? 🙂

    October 1, 2011
  14. Gurl….what can I say…you are just plain good!

    October 3, 2011
  15. Deborah Oakley #

    what kind of paper did you use? I just used regular paper, cut the letters out and they all curled so it was pretty tedious to trace but it eventually worked…and I may of picked too fine of a font…so maybe next time I will try card stock paper…pretty awesome tho…love your signs!

    October 30, 2011

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