Friday, March 1, 2013

How I make signs

First, let me explain that these are treasures:
 No, they aren't trash even though they came from a trash bin. :)
I make my signs on discarded wood. Doors, windows, cabinet doors, sidings, fences, etc. If I like the way it looks, it'll be painted on.

I start with a word, illustrator, or photoshop document. When I create a new page I put the dimensions of my piece of wood or size I want the sign to be. In this case, my scrap piece of crapped up wood was 16 inches wide by 6 inches tall. I needed a sign for my gate so, here is how I did it.

I used Adobe illustrator and made the document 16x6.

When I create the document of that size it allows me to see how my wording will fit. I choose fonts that I like to make the sign look good.

Here is the document I created for this sign.

Then I drew some guide lines on my crappy wood with a pencil. I had my printed document beside me to help give me guidance.

Then I "emulate" the font. Is that a technical process??! I am not sure. I can pretty much eyeball copy any font. That skill helps in this process but you could always use tracing paper.

Here are photos of this sign progressing.

I had my pencil guidelines to keep my letters exactly the same size
I just penciled in my letters, I used a baby wipe to erase when I made a mistake.
Kept writing until I had it like I liked it.
Then, now, forgive me here, I was being ultra lazy, but I used a sharpie. I just needed a sign dang it! Most of the time I use paint. Whatever kind I have. Craft, wall, left overs, I mix paints for color... etc.
So, here I have outlined the letters in sharpie marker.

Then, get ready for it, I colored them in. with sharpie. {cringe} I DO normally use paint. I suggest paint. High quality paint. Sign paint. -kidding. use whatever you have. the cheaper the better.
So I colored and colored until I have the sign below complete. Took maybe 20 minutes.

Here are a few others I have done. These are just around my house in various places. Most don't stay long. Friends and family have a way of running off with them.
I cannot tell you how lazy- er, I mean, efficient, I am. I am not exact, I make mistakes but it just adds to my "vintage" look. :)
Trust me, you can do this too. 

Good luck, just grab a piece of crappy trash wood and try it out. You may surprise yourself.







joy said...

WOW - I'm continually amazed at your talent!

Anonymous said...

love it.
crappytrashwood+sharpie = treasure!

nice tutorial!