Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Family Code

Is what we're calling the new artwork in the dining room. Visitors look at it puzzled and eventually ask, "what's this all about?" It's our family code.

(Custom signs available on my Etsy shop Amanda G Designs)


I saw a printed design using dates on Pinterest and made a mental note to attempt it for our Master bedroom. But the dining room was in need of something fresh, so I changed my method of execution and decided on using wood boards to display our birth dates and anniversary. 
At Lowe's, I purchased two 5-inch wide cedar boards and one .75x1.5x96-inch stick. Mr. G cut the boards down to five 24-inch strips and then I gave them one coat of Dark Walnut stain. After allowing the stain to dry over night, Mr. G cut the long piece into two 20-inch sticks and used them to secure the wood together.

I have a love/hate relationship with stencils. I've seen several tutorials with people expertly using them and when I have a go at the same technique, my results are usually less than perfect. So instead of chancing disaster with the stencil, I decided to trace the numbers directly onto the wood and trust my steady hand to paint the numbers.


I measured three inches from the sides and traced our anniversary (in the middle) first and used those numbers as a guide for the other four dates. None of the months have double-digits, so it worked out evenly. 

We tested out a few shades of stain before deciding on the darkest one. The lighter stains blended into the wall. Dark Walnut stood out and goes nicely with the brown inside the bay window (and the other accent wall in the living room). 
What a difference a day makes.


It was an easy project that makes a big statement and the total cost was only about $10.

-Amanda

21 comments:

  1. Wow, this turned out great! I love that you're calling it the family code! My husband would love this little DIY project, thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love this idea!!

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  3. i absolutely love this! you did a great job.

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  4. Love it! I have been wanting to make something like this for my living room. Great job!

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  5. So fun! I'm going to have to try it out!

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  6. I love this so much! Want to make me one? ha!

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  7. i need to try this! {LOVE your Christmas sign by the way!} is your husband born in 1975 and you in 1982??!! SAME with us! :)


    www.wewouldlovetoadopt.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you and yes - he is 1975 and I'm 1982! And I'm Amanda also! How funny :)

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  8. Dear Amanda,
    I was so blessed when I saw your Luke 2:11 Christmas plaque! I would like to make one for our home and my son's home. I wondered what the overall dimensions are for this. I found a desk on Pinterest that my husband will make for me to make them...it folds up into the wall! I AM NERVOUS about painting the letters...hope I can do it. Any coaching would be so appreciated! :)

    Thanks,
    Susanne

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    1. Hi Susanne! I'm not sure about the dimensions of the first one I did that is in the Christmas post from last year. I believe it was around 30 inches wide by 28 inches tall. I'm sure you can paint it! Even if it's not perfect, it will look great.

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  9. Hi Amanda,

    I would love to make one! It's beautiful! Would you please tell me the type of paint you use for the lettering and if you coat the finished product? Thanks!

    Brigette

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    1. I use white acrylic paint. And I always seal the wood with Valspar gloss Lacquer.

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  10. I LOVE your signs! Thank you for posting! Would you recommend a certain wood and paint/stain brand? Would love all the details. I want to try and make one for my home. Thank you Amanda!

    Tanya

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    1. Pine and Cedar work well for these projects. For stain - I love dark walnut for rustic pieces and golden oak for light ones and I'm not loyal to any brand. I always use acrylic paint.
      Amanda

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    2. Thank you so much. So I am making a sign for our dining room and I found an oil based stain by miniwax??? The smell is very very strong. Do you use oil based stains??? Are there other options where the smell isn't so strong. A lower voc I am guessing.

      Thanks so much, Amanda! Hope you are having a great weekend!
      Tanya

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    3. Hey Tanya! Most stains do have an odor for the first day after staining. I leave the freshly stained wood in the garage for 24 hours to let it dry and air out. If the weather is nice, I'll leave them outside. I haven't had a problem with them smelling after a day or two. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.
      Amanda

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  11. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! In the tracing pic, it looks lighter than the final pic. Did you trace before staining the final coat? Are you tracing with a white pencil or something? Does a paint pen work over stain or does regular paint work better? Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi Mendy. I think it's just the lighting that makes the wood look lighter in the stencil picture. I stained the wood first, then used a fine point paint pen to trace the letters. I wouldn't use a paint pen to fill in the numbers - it won't be crisp and will fade over time. I use acrylic paint.
      Amanda

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  12. Hi Amanda!
    For your Luke 2:11 plaque did you use stencils as well?

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  13. I love both signs. Can you tell me what brand and color stain you used on the Christmas sign? Thanks! Jill

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