Sunday, April 12, 2009

DIY - Custom/Repurposed Framed Sign

Just in case any of you are wondering - "How did Lindsey make that awesome frame for the bridal show??" - I thought I'd provide a little DIY instruction!

I think this project could be replicated with a couple's monogram or new last name and be a fabulous addition to the guest book table or head table.

Here's a picture of my bridal show materials all ready to go the night before the bridal show (I had to put them on the mantle because it's the only place in my house that Mo can't jump up to... yet...).

{Source - author's photo}

  • Medium/large framed canvas painting (I found an old painting with a decent wood frame at Goodwill for $12)
  • Vinyl in the design of your monogram/name/whatever (check your local listings for shops that make custom vinyl)
  • White Gesso (you can find it in the painting section at Michael's or other art supply store)
  • Medium-sized paint brushes + small paint brushes for detail work
  • Paint for the background of your sign (I took my business card to Wal-Mart's interior paint section and had them color-match some glossy wall paint to the exact color of my card; I bought the pint-sized can of paint)
  • Spray paint for the frame (I chose a satin-finish metallic silver color)
  • Glue gun & glue sticks
  • Razor blade/sharp, pointy object to separate the vinyl from the canvas after painting
  1. Carefully remove the canvas from the frame (NOTE: some canvases are stapled pretty securely to the frame, so you might need pliers or another object to aid you in this step).
  2. Set the canvas (painting side up) on a flat surface & use the white Gesso to cover up the existing painting (using a medium-sized paint brush). It doesn't matter if the texture of the original painting is visible - I think that adds to the charm of the resulting sign! Use 2-3 coats, or until the original painting is completely covered and the front of the canvas is entirely white. Long, sweeping strokes from left-to-right is a good Gesso technique for this purpose.
  3. When canvas is completely dry, position the vinyl on top of the canvas wherever you would like your monogram/name/whatever to be. Try to make sure there are no gaps between the vinyl and the canvas (minimizes paint seeping underneath).
  4. Paint over the vinyl with the glossy color paint & a medium-sized paint brush. Cover the entire canvas with paint & apply a few even coats.
  5. Before the color paint has a chance to dry completely, you need to peel off the vinyl to expose the white Gesso underneath. I used one of those razor-blade paper cutters (looks like a clicky pen, but when you click it, a sharp pointy blade comes out instead of a pen) to carefully peel away the vinyl from the canvas. Don't worry if some of the color paint seeped under the vinyl - we'll re-touch it soon!
  6. While the canvas is drying, spray paint the frame (use a few coats to ensure even coverage).
  7. When the canvas is dry, use the small paintbrushes and the white Gesso to touch up the white areas of the painting (your monogram or name).
  8. Allow touched-up areas and spray-painted frame to dry completely.
  9. Re-attach the canvas to the frame using a glue gun. I placed the frame face-down and glue-gunned the entire inner-rim of the frame, then placed the canvas face down into the rim. I kept the frame & canvas face-down for a while, to let the glue set.

{Source: author's photo}

Result: A chic, repurposed, hand-made sign that can be used many ways at your wedding, and can be displayed at your house post-wedding as a keepsake/memento!

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