And speaking of beds. SLEEP. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that our little miss enjoys this glorious part of life as much as I do. There is no replacement for a good night's rest or even an afternoon cat nap. That whole, "I can sleep when I'm dead," saying - BOGUS. With a good night's rest, I'm more likely to fully enjoy and be prepared for the waking moments and adventures that life throws at me. Realizing that sleep is going to be a foreign word for a while once our girl arrives, I decided to make a sign for her nursery as a reminder of the importance and beauty of sleep. Pinspiration found [here].
Below is a rundown of how this thrifty and rustic sign came to be...
^ I know there are a lot of DIYs on Pinterest that repurpose wood pallets. Here's the thing. Pulling apart a pallet is not as easy as some of these Pins make it sound! There was a lot of strategic yanking and pulling and banging involved to finally get nail and crack free boards. I did it at 7 months pregnant, so it can be done, but maybe wear gloves and have a heating pad ready for your back afterwards. And a hammer and crowbar are a must. A handy guy with a power saw isn't a bad idea either...
^ I used two of the less attractive boards as support for the entire sign. Some tutorials use metal brackets. I didn't want to pay for those...because I'm cheap. Self-starting wood screws [to me, this is a screw that has a pointy tip...I'm sure Bob Villa and my Dad are shaking their heads simultaneously] were used along with our cordless drill to secure these two supports onto the back of the front boards. Make sure your screws are short enough so they don't poke through to the front. I used 3/4 inch.
^ Another thing about wood pallets. They aren't smooth. They're quite rough actually. And the screws and nails leave uneven holes and splinters. Because of the above mentioned handy guy of mine, we own a hand sander. This is ideal for smoothing out all the splinters, stains and uneven edges. A medium grit paper will suffice. You don't want to smooth out all original dips and ridges. This step is also a must in order create a more even surface for painting. Hand sanding works too...and you'll likely have really toned arms if you go that route!
^ A clean slate. Another note of pallet repurposing - nail holes. The nail holes seen here in the middle are from the original pallet's nails. You won't get a perfectly clean hole-free board.
^ And a pup. This is Haley. One of her favorite pastimes of late is also sleeping. She prefers a spot under the dining room table. Though, I hear that in her younger years she was quite the mountaineer.
^ Because I didn't already have stencils and am fairly fast with freehand lettering, I chose to just use a straightedge and pencil to sketch out my letters before painting. Not perfect, but it'll do. Halfway through this process I realized that CHALK actually works much better than pencil. So stick with chalk. It's easier to see and who doesn't love getting to write with chalk? Am I right??
^ Our local hardware store was phasing out this Benjamin Moore Affinity paint so their samples were only $1 each as opposed to $6! Winning. This little bit was all I needed for this project. I bought the smallest sponge brush they had, but in reality I ended up using a very thin square watercolor brush for a bit more precision. And I already had it in my stash of brushes. Don't forget to wash your brushes directly after use!
^ As stated above, pencil is hard to see. Exhibit A. But generally, this is how I accomplished the lettering - just some rough free hand lettering filled in with one solid coat of white paint.
^ Almost done! The mountains were done free hand also. The lavender mountains were painted first and sanded down a bit using the 150 Grit sand paper. I wanted them to fade in the background and show some of the wood texture.
^ Because this next step involved a very pungent odor, I chose to work in our open, well-ventilated garage and set the sign on two saw horses.
^ Said pungent smell came from the polyurethane. Not only is the fume strong...but it will not come out of your down jacket if you happen to splatter it on it. Fact. I chose a clear satin poly. I think it is a happy medium finish for this project.
^ As expected, the poly did slightly darken and bring out the details of the natural wood but did not change the color or color depth of the paint. Above left shows half of the sign with poly and half without. Above right shows how the partially sanded lavender mountains gained some texture after a coat of poly. J'adore how this turned out. I used two coats of poly. The wood just drank in the first coat so a second coat was necessary for a solid finish.
^ Tada! Words to live by baby girl, words to live by.
I used a sawtooth picture hanger on each of the supporting back boards to hang this. It is fairly heavy so requires this type of hanger.