Fall Festival DIY: “How Tall Are You” Scarecrow

Happy Summer! Over the last few months, my crafty days have been few and far between. However, I recently managed to find some inspiration in this wooden scarecrow man that I found at a barn sale. I am on the committee for a local small town scarecrow festival, so I’m always on the hunt for cool scarecrows. For 25 cents I could not leave this guy behind! Parent love snapping pictures of their kids at festivals so I thought I’d make his long torso a ruler so kids can measure how tall they are!

This isn’t an everyday craft tutorial per sey; it’s kind of geared specifically for a Fall festival or party. The end result was too cute not to share though!

IMG_20190608_153248

As you can see, his face was already painted. My original plan was to re-paint his face, but I LOVE vintage style characters and cartoons, and I kinda love his face as is! I decided to leave it and just spruce up the rest of his body.

IMG_20190608_124922

Here he is when I got him:

IMG_20190608_124912

First I painted his torso yellow which will soon become the ruler!

IMG_20190608_125508

For projects that will be outside in the elements or need large areas of coverage, I’ve been using paint samples from Lowes. They are around $3 each and you can get them in virtually any color you can imagine. Just go to the paint counter in Lowes, give them your swatch, and ask for a sample. They come in these little screw-top containers that are great for keeping them on hand for your next project.

042397086151.jpg

Anywho, I measured it out and used black paint to make the tick marks and foam stamps for the numbers and “ft.” The foam stamps can be hard to find, so alternatively you could use number stickers or just free-hand them.

The arms are just painted blue with little green squares to give him the country flannel look. I used a small square piece of kitchen sponge to dab on the green. I then added some dollar store garden gloves, a bright handkerchief around his neck, and a little faux flower on his hat!

Lastly I added the sign, which says “How tall are you?” dangling from his hand. He will stand up on a metal stake that he will be securely zipped-tied to with yellow zip ties.

It will make for a simple decoration at the scarecrow festival and maybe a fun memory to look back on and see how much the kids have grown!

Have a great holiday and I hope to be back soon! 🙂

 

Reclaimed Wood Signs

So after many months of cold miserable winter weather and NO motivation whatsoever, I finally got around to doing a little crafty project this weekend. When inspiration strikes, you gotta run with it! The inspiration came from this old, weathered piece of wood that I found in the woods while walking the dogs. It’s chippy blue paint screamed country/primitive signage, so I broke out the foam stamps and went at it!

DSC_0412

First I had Greg cut them into strips. We have a big saw in the basement, but you can easily pick up a little electric hand saw from Lowes or Home Depot for $30 or so, and have it on hand for projects like this.

DSC_0415

I did a couple posts on foam stamps many moons ago, so here’s a little refresher. First, I laid out the letters of the word I wanted to stamp (the word is actually faced down; these stamps have letters on both sides) to get an idea of the spacing. I wanted to make sure the word would fit before I started.

DSC_0417

The most important thing I have learned when using foam stamps is do not ever dip the stamps directly into the paint. If you do, you’ll have way too much paint on the surface of the stamp. The minute you press down, it will overflow out the sides of the stamp and make uneven, messy letters. The best method I have found is to use a small piece of sponge and just dab on the paint onto the surface of the letter. Give it a couple of practice runs if need be. For this project, I used white acrylic paint.

DSC_0416

Go ahead and stamp out your word. Then, once dry, I applied some saw-tooth hangers on the back of each sign. These types of hangers are easy to use because you simply press them into the wood, but I hammered them down in for good measure.

DSC_0421

My last step was to spray them with a clear acrylic coat so the paint would not continue to chip off. The wood was really old and brittle and the paint was a bit loose, so I wanted to seal it in place.

DSC_0422

Here are the finished products, but I need your opinion. Should I add a coat of antiquing gel to tone down those bright white letters down a bit? I wasn’t sure if I should or not. They have kind of a “beachy” feel.

DSC_0428

I added a little star fish because I felt like it went with the cottage theme and filled up the space on the right that was a bit uneven from the space on the left. FYI those star fish are only $1 at AC Moore’s.

DSC_0429

So here they are. They are going over to my booth at the Carriage Place this week. I’ll probably price them around $7-$8 each. With “found” wood, it’s 99% profit, so no need to mark them up with a high price and let them sit in my booth for months!

DSC_0431

Part of my motivation also stemmed from an awesome estate sale that I went to on Saturday. I got tons and tons of great country/primitive themed items, including some nice antiques. This picture only shows a fraction of what I picked up there. It was half off everything so I literally loaded my car! It’s the first really great sale I’ve been to in a while, so this really got me excited! I love “pickin” season!!!

DSC_0424

Earlier in the week, I also got really lucky and picked up this old wooden butter churn……wait for it……off the side of the road!!! It’s amazing what some people throw away. I cleaned it up and now this cool piece will go to the co-op this week with the rest of the stuff from the sale.

DSC_0423

Well, let me know your thoughts on the signs. They are already really “distressed” looking, which is why I’m not sure on adding the antiquing gel. Have a great week and happy crafting!

Making a Custom Sign: Trial and Error

Hello my crafty friends! Summer has kept me quite busy, but I have been able to squeeze in some junkin’ and a few little projects. My latest project is a custom sign I made for a co-worker, with the phrase “Endeavor to Persevere”; a quote from an old Clint Eastwood movie. I haven’t made a sign in a long time, so I had a little bit of a rough go. I thought I’d share my trial and error, and a few tips for sign making.

To start out, spray paint your board with your color of choice. I got this pre-cut board at Lowe’s for $3.

DSC_0230

Sand it to your liking. Go heavy on sanding for a more distressed, country look. There’s no way to mess this up, so just sand away.

DSC_0231

For custom signs, I always use foam stamps. I have had a lot of people ask where I get the large foam alphabet stamps from. They are hard to find, and to be honest, I get them where ever I can find them! All of the stamps I have were ordered online after Googling “large alphabet stamps”. I got them from various sources, such as random online craft stores and people selling gently used stamps on Etsy. Craft stores generally do not sell large stamps like these, so your best option is going to be online.

I use artist grade (thicker, more pigmented) acrylic paint, and I’ll tell ya why in a minute.

DSC_0233

Do not dip the stamp into a big glob of paint. It will be WAY too much and will splurge out the sides when you press down on the stamp. To apply paint to the stamp, use a small piece of slight moist sponge to gently dab on the paint. It seems like a pain, but I promise it’s the best way!

DSC_0234

This was my first attempt. I did not like the way it looked. It looked uneven and my spacing was horrible. I do try to space it out ahead of time by marking the board with little pencil dots, but spacing can be hard to perfect.

DSC_0235

Here’s why I like to use spray paint for the board and heavy grade acrylic paint for the letters. Before the acrylic dries, you can actually wipe off the stamped letters completely.  After stamping many crooked letters, I simply wiped them away with a moist paper towel. Then, when I was done, I still did not like the way it looked. I used a wet sponge to wipe off the entire phrase. It came off quickly and easily. I immediately dried the board with a kitchen towel to avoid saturating the wood. It’s definitely nice to know you have this option should you mess up!

DSC_0236

I decided to use a different set of stamps with a clear back. I highly recommend stamps with the clear backing, as it makes it significantly easier to line up your words! You can SEE the spacing and exactly where the letter will land. Again, these are hard to find…I got lucky and found these online at some random craft store.

DSC_0238

I like this wording much better and the spacing is more even after using the clear backed stamps! No need to worry about the excess board on the right. I will saw it off and even it out.

DSC_0239

To clean the foam stamps, run under water and use a sponge (or your fingers) to rub the paint off the surface of the foam letters. Place on a paper towel to dry. This is important, or else the acrylic paint with harden on the stamps and make them difficult to use.

DSC_0237

I cut down the board using a small electric hand saw that I got at Lowe’s ages ago, for small projects just like this. They are inexpensive and great tools to have on hand. I then re-sanded the edge to keep the distressed look even on both sides.

DSC_0242

To finish off the sign, I used a dark brown gel stain to give it a bit of an aged look. I liberally squirt it right on the sign, and then rub it around with a paper towel. Then wipe off the excess. It’s a subtle effect, but it softens the bright white of the lettering. I find gel stains and antiquing mediums in any craft store, next to the craft acrylics in small bottles.

DSC_0243

For the hanger, I always use these easy-to-install metal hangers. They are found in any home improvement store. The little prongs press right into the wood and make for a strong hold.

DSC_0245

Finally, I sprayed it with a clear poly to seal it. Here is the final result. Hope she likes it!

DSC_0225

In junkin’ news, I hit up a barn sale recently and got this incredible stack of old historical photographs. I listed them in my Etsy store and they have already sold!

DSC_0229

I also picked up a small enamel bed pan, a fun brightly colored vintage tin, and a glass flower frog.

DSC_0226

I got this awesome old bowling pin set, complete with a bunch of brightly colored wooden pins and a yellow ball. I LOVE these for country decor. I now have them listed in my Etsy store. 🙂

DSC_0228

Lastly, I got these gems at the Goodwill thrift store recently. The Peter Rabbit coin bank is silver-plated and very heavy. I polished him up and he is now for sale in my Etsy store! I also got a bunch of tin molds that always seem to sell well.

DSC_0225

Can’t wait to give my friend her sign. She plans on hanging it in their cottage up on the lake. Hope everyone has a great week and Happy Crafting!