Welcome Sign with Frame

Welcome Sign with Frame

Don’t believe everything you see on HGTV – not all DIY projects are an episode of House Crashers. In three days, we’re going to totally transform your room! No, you can do that when you have a huge budget and a cast of dozens of professional contractors and helpful friends. But in real life, projects take time and you have to let them take time.

This past weekend, we spent most of our weekend out of the house, between enjoying the last of summer {we’re hoping, so go away, heat and humidity} out on hikes and celebrating a friend’s birthday with a bunch of awesome people at one of our favorite local restaurants. So we didn’t have much time to work on house projects. However, I was able to make a little bit of progress on the entryway.

You saw our main work here with the in progress look at our entryway bench, so all I did here was touch that up a little bit with some of our things, a couple baskets from Michael’s to hold shoes, and a welcome sign I put together this weekend with some leftover shiplap and a fun knotty pine frame.

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I find ideas and save them to Pinterest, they may as well never see the light of day again. I have things I’ve found and saved forever ago and while I mean to come back to them, it just doesn’t happen.

Because tech job or not, I’m old fashioned. If I want to remember something or actually make it, it goes into the big spiral-bound notebook that Scott and I use as our house book. It’s full of to-do lists and sketches and paint samples and designs, mapped out on graph paper or just spare sheets of paper and stapled into the book. And somewhere along the line, I sketched this doodle.

This isn’t how all our projects start. Some of them are literally doodled on sticky notes and stuck into the book. But by the time we’re ready to make them, we usually have something like this together. This shows the sign design and the starting work on a mail sorter I’m building for the entryway.

This is a pretty simple project. I just used a couple fourteen-inch-long pieces of shiplap and bought an eight-foot piece of 1×4 knotty pine that had an interesting edge. I wanted it to have a live edge look, and this piece just happened to have that. We also used Behr Paint + Primer in Ultra Pure White, Minwax Stain in Natural, and Winsor & Newton acrylic paint in Crimson and Mars Black.

The equipment became a little bit more complicated. Here’s what we used:

So, here we go!

I used the sliding mitre saw to cut the frame. I had already cut the two fourteen-inch long pieces of shiplap {they were fourteen inches because that’s how big two pieces of shiplap, overlapped, seemed to be} so I just had to cut the frame. I needed it to be 21-inches square, so I cut two 21-inch pieces and then subtracted two 3.5-inch widths to get 14-inch pieces.

I measured and cut.

I decided which pieces were going to be the outside, and then pulled out the table saw to cut a half-inch deep channel where the shiplap could rest.

Doing this again, I wouldn’t have cut the channel the full length of the long pieces. But I’m not skilled enough with the table saw to have left 3.5-inches on either side. Maybe next time I’ll try a router.

Still, everything fit together really well when I dry-fit it all for a trial run.

Before I attached anything, I painted the shiplap Ultra Pure White to match the entryway bench and stained the wood. I had visions of getting paint and stain everywhere if I tried to do it assembled.

The pine I was using was really soft, so I could only use the Airstrike to nail in the full width pieces. So I placed nails at each of the corners and then used the hammer and these really tiny picture nails Scott found in one of his tool boxes to attach all the pieces together.

I also used a lot of wood glue. Remember, even though we’ve been doing renovation for a while, I’m normally on the design side of things. In doing my own projects, I’m still something of a beginner and I tend to over-engineer things.

This sucker will survive the apocalypse.

I then brought it inside and made myself a makeshift work table at my desk with some MDF board. I figured that would keep me from getting any stray paint on the cedar top of my desk. Not that you can’t sand that out, but I’d rather not mess with it.

I used a pencil and freehand sketched my design onto the boards.

I’m old enough to have learned cursive in school. Lots of tidy even lettering. The handwriting trend has lots of uneven loopy letters, and it’s not coming naturally to me.

But I’m always willing to try new things.

The great part about this project is that if I ever don’t like the piece, I can just paint it over with white and try it again. And knowing this helped me go forward.

Using an acrylic calligraphy brush, I painted Mars Black over the letters and over the two lines that represent my two branches. I actually really like how it came out with the single pass. The loose brush lines remind me of the gorgeous calligraphy artists made and sold in Kumamoto.

I darkened it a little with another pass or two and then washed my brush, changed over to Crimson, and freehanded the leaves.

Nothing left at this point but to set it up on the shelf in the entryway – once it dried, that is. And having a picture or sign like this was the reason I added a slight lip to the shelf.

With this, the entryway bench just needs its cushion!

It also needs a finished floor, but we’re working on finding the right tile for that. We are looking at slate and quartzite tile from Floor & Decor for the entryway. Right now, I love this silver gray quartz tile but we also used a slate very similar to this Virginia Spring Slate Tile. Both are great contenders.

Okay, so this is now what’s left on the to-do list for this room:

  • Rip out old flooring and install slate or slate-like tiles
  • Finish painting walls
  • Cushion{s} for bench
  • Build mail sorter
  • Build river rocked boot tray with wood and hardware
  • Buy all weather rug
  • Paint front door

Hope you guys are having a great week!

  • Great progress and I love the welcome sign – very cute and so much more special than something store-bought.

    • Thanks so much!! We think so, even though the store-bought or even Etsy-bought have much more even lettering. Gotta start somewhere, right? 😀