Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Welcome to R town!

Happy Tuesday everyone!
O.k., it's time to reveal the project where I learned to use a biscuit cutter. Ha ha, sounds so funny!! Anyway, as I previously mentioned, my sweet neighbor George helped me with the project and let me use some of his tools. It was fun (but to be honest, I'm glad it's over and done with). To start, I bought 3 6' cedar fence posts from Home Depot for $1.89 each and had them cut in half. I knew I wanted to make some sort of wood sign for over my mantle but I had no idea what I wanted to do. As I was outside trying to figure out how I was going to be able to put the wood boards together by myself (my hubby was at work and this is typically where he "helps" me), George stopped by to have a look. He took one look, walked back to his house and came back with his gear :)
He introduced me to Mr. Biscuit Cutter. Have you met him?? Basically what he does is cut small slits in the side of each board (we did three evenly spaced slits on each side of each board). Then, you put a line of glue along the edge of the board, but some glue on a wood biscuit (a thin football shaped wooden peg like thingy) and put it in the slit that was made by the biscuit cutter. Then you push the boards together so the biscuit goes into the slit on the other board too. Sounds confusing, I know, but it's not. It really put the boards together well without having to use cross beams on the back for stability. This way it can sit more flush on the wall when I hang it etc.

After all the boards were biscuited and glued together, I clamped them all and let them sit with some weight on them. I let mine sit out undisturbed for the whole day, and by the time the sun was going down it was nice and dry. I waited until the following day to remove the clamps and start painting.
Once the sign board was assembled, I was faced with a new dilemma. What to paint!!?? Hmmmmm. I definitely wanted something that was "mantle worthy" and I wanted it to be unique and look cool.
If you have been reading this blog a while, you know that I am obsessed with initials and really anything personalized. I fell in love with the big red "R" in my last "Friday's Etsy Faves" post so I definitely wanted to do something like that. Anyway, enough talking. Ready for the reveal???

Are you thinking to yourself, "what the heck is that thing??!" Ha ha! well, I guess when I say personalized, I really mean it. I wanted it to sort of look like the left corner of an old "Richardson Family Farm" sign or something like that. All of the writing on the sign says personal stuff about our family. Want a closer look??

Josh and I were married (established) in 2003 and there are 4 members of our immediate family:

Here are the initials of all the people that live here (related):
The address to our family home...kind of like our little place on the map (the street name is left out...you know, stalkers):
Our family "markers" aka current ages:
And the typical family "moods"
(with kids in the mix, there's always a chance of rain, ha ha!).
I purchased a pack of Martha Stewart stencils from Michael's to do the lettering but didn't end up using them. I am definitely NOT patient enough for stencils. Basically I free-handed the writing while looking at the stencils as a guide. I also free-handed the big "R" and was hoping I could make it not look free-handed. Did I succeed? Hope so :)

I really wanted it to look old and worn so with my sander and some wood stain, I think I achieved the look I was going for. The "R" is definitely my favorite part! The fence posts aren't the smoothest wood boards, so they already had some fun rough texture to them. I think it gives the sign some extra character and interest.
Old and chippy without looking too dirty.

Here's the big picture for you so you can see what it looks like in the space.

And of course I had to re-spookify it for Halloween :)

I really love how it came out and it makes me happy to have something handmade, personal, and unique hanging over our mantle. Do you like it? Am I nutso? Ok, I know I'm a bit nutso :)

Have a great day everyone!!


  1. Awesome! That's what. It looks so great. I would never have guessed you free-handed all of it. And I would never of guessed you were 32, more like 28 :)

  2. I LOVE how it turned out!!! :) You are so awesome, sister, and have such an amazing vision. x to the o!

  3. Hahaha, cute post! I love the whole est. thing. We did something like this for the wedding, I totally need to send you pic's for the too! the necklace looked great!

  4. I really love it! The color and the sayings you used are perfect, doesn't it pay to have great neighbors? Great job!

  5. well you are nutso, but that is part of the reason i love you so much! and you know i LOVE it! i love the big red r- it really grabs you! and i love that your halloween decor is hanging off it!

  6. Very creative!!! It looks great against the mantle! Now I know what a biscuit cutter is, thanks for the info...BTW, your description of how it works was perfect!

  7. I love it. I love the personalized part of it. So very cute. My last name is start with an R. Love.

  8. Well.

    You know how I feel about Words In The Home. Hmph!
    I love it anyway! Especially that big red R. It's all kinds of fantastic!

  9. Ali!! This is the coolest thing ever! I love every single thing about it!! Now I want a biscuit cutter ;)

  10. You are awesome!!! I'm truly in love with this!

  11. What a fantastic, meaningful piece of artwork, Ali! To borrow from Paula Abdul, you took that inspirational red R you shared the other week and "made it your own" by incorporating it into the sign. :) The details are sweet and the colors suit your living room perfectly.

  12. I think it's darling!!! I love how personal it is and how it captures your family right now!! Something meaningful like this is a work of art and will be treasured for years!!

  13. LOVE this Ali!!!! So beautiful! Great job! I need you to come redecorate my house okay?

  14. This is really wonderful! I love all the personal touches you fit in with the population. Very sweet!
    Jaimee @ craft-interrupted.blogspot.com

  15. you are so creative and the sign looks awesome! seriously, where do you come up with these ideas?? I love it!


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