Appalachian Trail Plaque

As I mentioned in my Appalachian Trail Koozie post, for Secret Santa at work, I drew a colleague who had recently hiked the entire Appalachian Trail (AT).  I was looking for a cool AT themed gift. I found some really cool signs/plaques on Etsy, but they were outside of the Secret Santa budget. I decided to make my own. I bought a wooden plaque from Michaels. I then made my own stain by putting some old steel bolts in vinegar overnight. (I had seen the idea on Pinterest.) It brushed on clear, but turned the wood a nice vintage-like brown/grey. Using PowerPoint, I designed a hiker on a trail. Using the same method I used for my wedding signs, I transferred the design to the plaque. It turned out great, and he loved it!  

 

 Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 2 Movies

Overall Experience: Excellent

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Chalkboard Signs Work-in-Progress

This wedding season, chalkboard signs are all the rage.  However, they are quite expensive.  I decided to make my own.  I bought some 2’x4′ pieces of chalkboard for $10.25 per piece at Home Depot last weekend.  My almost father-in-law cut them for me on his table  saw.  I’ve been working at lettering them this week.  The larger signs will have frames around them eventually, but they are turning out too cute not to share!

 

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Materials:

Instructions:

  • Use PowerPoint to design your sign.  PowerPoint has tons of great fonts already.  There are a lot more available at dafont.com.  Erin has some great font suggestions on her blog, How to Nest for Less.  It’s easy to scale the signs to an appropriate size using the program.
  • Print your design and tape it to the board using masking tape.
  • Slide the tracing paper between the design and the chalkboard.
  • Trace the design using a normal ball point pen.  You don’t have to be super exact with the tracing.  I like the design to have some imperfections so it looks like it was handmade rather than printed.
  • Remove the tracing paper and design.  You should see your design faintly in white transferred to the chalkboard.  Using your chalk or paint marker, trace over the design again.

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  30 minutes

Overall Experience:  Excellent