I started brainstorming Christmas ideas shortly after Halloween this year! Crazy, I know, but I wanted to get a head start on it. I began by searching Pinterest for ideas and quickly fell in love with a couple “fresh cut Christmas trees” signs, so I decided to make one to add to my own Christmas decor.
The sign wasn’t hard to make, it just took a little while to get my design exactly how I wanted it. I’m always so indecisive with stuff like that. And then my perfectionism kicks in and it takes me 3 times longer because I decide the letters need to be 3.5 inches instead of 3. And the tree needs to be just a tad smaller. And so on and so on! Ha!
Okay, so here’s how I made my sign…
First, I took a few pieces of barn wood and had my husband cut them down to size. These were the only boards that I had that looked similar, so even though one board was a little cut off, we went with it. I figured it would give it a more rustic, time worn look. After cutting the boards down to size, we nailed them to a couple small boards to hold them together.
(Note: the boards were old and warped, so they don’t lie perfectly flat. Again, I’m totally okay with that because it makes it look more authentic.)
To make sure this sign looked old, I stained the cut sides of the boards and the back pieces to blend in. I applied a few layers of driftwood stain and provincial stain, wiping them off quickly each time.
Once all the prep work was done, it was time to start painting. I first mixed up some Grainsack milk paint (MMSMP) and painted the front of the sign. I went with this light gray instead of white because, again, I wanted it to look old, so I didn’t want it to be too crisp. After that paint was dry, it was time to add the art. The tree and “Christmas Trees” wording was all cut out using my Silhouette Cameo. I traced the tree stencil with a pencil and then just painted inside the lines. Then I cut out and pieced together the wording, traced it, and painted inside the lines again. The tree and words were all painted in Boxwood – also MMSMP.
The “fresh cut” wording was a little trickier. The font I wanted to use was more of a sketch font and was really difficult for my Silhouette to cut out. I finally ended up typing it out in a document, printing it out, cutting it out by hand, and then tracing it. I painted those words with Tricycle milk paint with a little bit of Typewriter (black) added to it to tone it down just a bit.
Once all of the design was done, I drew a couple lines around the sign with my pencil and straight edge and filled them in with the same mixture of Tricycle and Typewriter that I used on the “fresh cut” wording.
I chose to trace the stencil instead of using a vinyl stencil and just painting over it because I wanted a more hand painted, vintage look. I wanted to be able to see brush strokes and not have perfect lines. I also didn’t fill in every square inch perfectly. Doing all of this gave it the look I wanted without having to try to sand it later to get that look.
I thought about selling the sign, but I don’t think I can part with it! It really is one of my favorite DIY projects so far! I just love the roughness of the old barn wood. To me, it looks like it could have been a sign from a tree farm long ago!