Monday, September 14, 2015

DIY Wooden Pumpkin Sign

     Hi all!  We are in the midst of our CRAZY month of September.  My husband is currently in France on business. I'm home alone with the kids, keeping them alive, mostly happy (although the twins were really mad about the early bedtime I enacted last night), and trying to pack for my own trip to the city of lights.  Well not so much packing as whining about the limited selection of makeup I'm forced to bring, intermingled with panic attacks of flying solo across a massive body of water.

     So I needed something to keep my overactive mind occupied.  Time for a craft project!  And this little fall pumpkin sign has been perfect.  The steps are quick with quite a bit of downtime in between, so find a place to set it up where it can just stay put for a few days and tackle whenever you have a few minutes to yourself (nap times, right after bedtime, etc).

What You Will Need:

  • Scrap wood - various widths and heights (one piece per letter) - I used craft wood as our scrap pile is gone now that we've recently moved. 
  • Wood letters  
  • Wooden Leaves - I found these in the Autumn section of Hobby Lobby. 
  • 1 Dowel rod cut down into 4 pieces for "stems" 
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Wood Glue
  • Acrylic Paint 
  • Americana Decor Creme Wax - Deep Brown (optional)
  • Sawtooth picture hangers (not shown)

Step 1: Cut and Sand as Needed

     The two "l" pieces of wood I selected were originally the same length.  To add some variety I trimmed one of them down.  I also cut a dowel rod into 4 pieces for the stems.  I quickly ran a piece of sandpaper over all the edges to make sure they were smooth.  I also attempted to sand the wood letters as best as I could since the edges were pretty ragged. 

Step 2: Glue the Pumpkins Together

     Run a small line of wood glue along both edges of the "a" pumpkin and the left edge of the last "l" pumpkin.  I used a finger to thin and smooth the glue into a wider strip.  Layer the "a" pumpkin on top of  the "F" and the first "l" pumpkins.  Layer the left side of the final "l" pumpkin over the right edge of the first "l" pumpkin.  I tucked a paper towel under the right edge of the last pumpkin to keep it level while it dried.  Set the pumpkins aside and let them dry overnight. 

Step 3: Paint the Leaves and Letters

     While the glue on the pumpkins was drying, I painted the leaves and letters with acrylic paint. I didn't prime anything, and two coats of a standard craft acrylic paint was enough for full coverage. Set aside and let dry overnight. 

Step 4: Paint the Pumpkins

     Once the glue has fully dried, paint the pumpkins.  I used a 2" foam brush and two coats of a craft acrylic paint - the name of which was actually pumpkin!  I did not prime the wood, and the paint coats are a bit thin to let some of the wood grain texture show through.  Set aside to dry. 

Step 5 (optional): "Age" the Pumpkins

     The pumpkin orange paint I selected was a little bright for my taste, so I decided to darken it up by "aging" the sign using creme wax.  I used a old washcloth to liberally apply the creme wax over the entire painted surface, making sure I got wax in all the nooks and crannies of the pumpkins.  Then I used a clean portion of the washcloth to wipe off all the excess wax, wiping in strokes that went with the grain of the wood.  Wax that was deposited in the crevices of the wood will remain behind providing the darker, aged (dirty) look.  I continued to add wax until I was happy with the look, then set aside to dry. 

Here's a close-up view of how the wax settles in the wood grain to give a more aged look. 

Step 6: Glue the Letters, Leaves, & Stems 

     Again I used my finger to smooth the glue out over the backside of the leaves and letters.  Wipe away any excess with a paper towel.  The wood glue will not dry clear, but it can be painted. It's easiest to just wipe away than it is to paint it later though. Set aside to dry overnight. 

Step 7: Attatch the Sawtooth Picture Hangers

     Sorry I do not have a picture of this step as I still need to get some. But I can show you that they look like this:

They are easily found at any craft store or home improvement store (I usually find them sold for less at the home improvement locations).  I plan on attaching two, one to the back of the "F" pumpkin and another to the back of the first "l" pumpkin.  Use a ruler or a level to make sure that they are level with each other. 

Step 8: Hang Up & Do a Dance!

Seriously.  Another fun project for the house complete!  You are a domestic goddess (god) and should be treated as such :)


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