“Eat” Sign

Pictures Before

While painting our little breakfast nook gray, I realized that the warm colors of these paintings just weren’t going to work with the new cooler palate.  I mulled over what I could do to change them … something cheap, simple and easy to do.  I’m no artist.  Since it’s three panels and it’s in the kitchen, I thought an “Eat” sign would work.

First, I painted over them.  this felt a little sinful.

Painting Over a Painting

Goodbye, happy little house!

Then I used Mod Podge to layer on old phone book pages. I did this to give more texture, and I also wanted the text to peek through the finished signs.

Old Phonebook Pages

A couple more layers of white paint and it seemed just right. Then I traced letters for my sign (I could have printed them, computer issues stopped me) and then scribbled a thick line of pencil lead on the back. I centered the letters where I wanted them and traced them onto the panels. The layer of pencil on the back left an outline I could paint.  (You can see a little more detail of the pencil tracing method in this post.)

"a" Tracing

Then I filled in the letters with red paint and outlined them with black. To give them a slightly aged finish, I lightly sandpapered the edges, then brushed on a coat of brown paint thinned quite a bit with water.

"Eat" Signs

The finished signs are a much better fit and didn’t cost me a thing.

Eat Sign

Breakfast Nook

Now to get to work on to the rest of the kitchen and family room!

Currently …

Up on a ladder tracing stencils and painting, painting, painting over ridiculously difficult textured walls.

But I am loving the result enough to keep at it. More on this later!

Birdies and Birch Trees


Birch Tree Paintings

I bought this little stack of canvases on sale intending to make something completely different for Christmas gifts (click here to see what) but then realized my Mom already had something very similar and just scrapped the idea.  So then I had a little stack of canvases just sitting around and had to come up with some way to use them.

I’m no artist though, so I had to think of something simple, some way I could paint without really having any talent.  This called for tracing and tape.

First, I painted a background color on the canvases, then taped a slightly curved outline of a tree and the larger branches with a low tack painter’s tape.  I ripped little pieces of tape and stuck them on to be the pattern of the birch bark, then painted over it with the lighter shade.

Painting Birch Trees

Carefully peel up the tape while the paint it still wet.

Birch Trees

To get a bird shape, I actually traced a photo I’d taken through my window of a little sparrow.  I copied one larger size, then flipped it and resized it slightly smaller to end up with a little birdie couple facing each other.  I faked carbon paper by coloring a thick line on the back side of my traced bird patterns with a regular pencil.

Birch Tree Birdie

I flipped it over and used painter’s tape to hold it down while I traced over the line again.

Birch Tree Birdie

Can you see the traced lines?

Birch Tree Birdies

Then just fill in with a darker color.

Birch Tree Birdies

All that’s left to do is free hand some smaller branches.  Mine are maybe too small for the scale of the trees, but I thought it gave a little folk art kind of look and left it.  Besides, usually the less I mess around trying to correct something, the better the end result.  If you want to personalize it a little more, “carve” initials in one of the trees with the background paint:

Birch Tree J+S

And ta-da!!  You’re done!

Birch Tree Birdies