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Thursday, May 14, 2015

DIY directional sign {tutorial}

I was stumped. This doesn't happen often. Probably because I'm so irritated by the feeling of being "stuck" that I don't allow it to happen.

Last weekend was Mother's Day. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do for my mom. It wasn't until I was restlessly wracking my brain at the last second, that I decided I wanted to make her a directional sign for her garden. The kicker? I just had a few hours to make it!

So here's how we tackled this fun project!

For mom's sign, I decided to list all the cities that mean something to her. Most of them have a close family member (my brother, my uncle, my grandmother) living there. After making my list, I scavenged my weathered wood to see what I had for the markers. You could also use new wood if you like, just make sure it's treated to be outside. 

After picking out my wood pieces for markers and grabbing a 2x2 post from Lowe's, I got to work. I had J.B. cut the markers to around 20" each and then point the ends of them like an arrow. 

Next I did a white wash paint style treatment on them. Sounds fancy, eh? It's not. Just take your regular acrylic paint and water it down. It give the surface a more rustic and transparent look while still applying some of the paint color. 

Now, if you're doing a literal direction sign, this is the tricky part where you have to sit down and figure out which arrow should point which way. One corner of your 2x2 post should face "forward. That will give you one side of the posts for markers to point north or south and the other side of the post to use for east and west markers. From my mom's garden, I figured out which cities were in which direction and prearranged a layout. Do this ahead of time so you can make sure to paint the correct side of the marker and have the arrow pointing in the right direction. 

I chose different fonts for the various cities just for kicks. And I used the same stenciling technique from this tutorial to do it. 

J.B. helped me attach the markers to the post, which went pretty quickly with four hands. Make sure to use screws instead of nails. Nails might give more when you pound the sign into the ground, whereas the screws will hold fast. 

And there you have it! A fun directional sign for any outdoor place! 
I've seen some fun version of these on Pinterest. All the fun options for book settings might be my favorite ones!

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