I am pretty much exactly like Banksy, minus the artistic vision, the huge fan base and gigantic amount of nerve it takes to do what he does. Okay, I’m really nothing like Banksy, but I really, really love spray painting things. That counts for something, right?Seriously though, spray paint is one of my favorite things in the entire world. There are very few things in my house that are their original color. Spray paint can take a random collection of crap and turn it into a beautiful, cohesive, matching collection of crap. I love regular paint as well, frequenting the “as-is” paint sections of Lowe’s and Home Depot every chance I get. Do I have a use for that gallon of peacock blue? Not yet, but for $5, was I really supposed to just leave it there? Come on now. That’s just wasteful.
Today’s tutorial will cover a few paint related items from our wedding- the bar signs, the “guest book” table photo decorations, and the directional signs posted to guide people to the location.
I really wish I had a before shot of these signs. They are actually two cabinet doors left over from my best friend’s parents remodel. Her dad had given them to me to test out different stains for my own kitchen cabinets (I hate my kitchen cabinets almost as much as I love spray paint, but that is a project I just don’t have the energy for right now). I came across them in the garage during wedding prep and decided to give them a whole new purpose in life. The tutorial for the signs is a variation as my search for another cabinet door did not go so well. However, it will show you how to replicate this with a regular frame and you can use any size, all the way up to giant poster size.
Frames – if you are looking for standard sized frames, the best place to go is the Dollar Store or Ross/Home Goods/Marshall’s. They have an amazing selection of awesome, fun frames and they are so much cheaper than other stores, even Target or Wal-Mart. Michael’s usually has good frame sales to offset their outrageous prices, so bring one of their coupons if you find some there you like. Don’t let crazy, gaudy of weird colored frames deter you. The ugliest frame can become super cool in a new color, and the more variation you have, the more exciting and eye-pleasing your display will be.
Spray paint– One can of chalkboard spray, cans of whatever colors you would like. Rustoleum is the best for easy coverage, in my opinion. Krylon is okay, but you will almost always need two coats. The Lowe’s brand is just crap. They have a really cool color selection, but I have been disappointed every time I’ve used it.
Sharpie paint pens– yes, we are making chalkboards, but writing with chalk sucks, straight up. I tried and tried again and it was too frustrating. These Sharpie Paint pens are available at Michael’s and other craft or art supply stores. When they dry, they look like chalk, so nobody ever has to know. It’s our little secret.
Remove the glass and backing from the frame.
Lay the glass on a surface you don’t mind getting spray paint on. Spray the glass completely with the chalkboard paint. On glass, one coat is more than enough, but if you are spraying on wood or other surfaces, two might be neccessary, With chalkboard paint, make sure to let the first coat dry completely, usually about an hour, before applying the second coat.
Lay the frame on a paintable surface. Choose your color and start painting.
Make sure you move all the way around the frame and get all the ridges and sides. I used the Lowe’s brand for this frame, hence the horrible coverage. I sprayed over this with Rustoleum after this shot, so the finished product wouldn’t look so lame. I am done with that paint. Ugh.
When the glass is dry, you can start making your sign while the frame dries.
Make sure it is on a steady surface so the glass doesn’t break. I freehanded my signs in pencil first to get an idea on spacing, then color over that with the pens.
“Persephone Magazine Readers Rock!!!”
Once everything is dry, put it all together and voila! If you don’t like your handwriting, this is a good project to enlist a friend for. Find the one who fancies themselves the calligrapher and have them get to work. Also, you can always find a font you like, type up a document with your wording and use transfer paper (available at craft and art supply stores) to copy over the design.
Now for the guest book table display-
The tutorial here is minimal, but the idea behind it was kind of fun, so I thought I would share. We asked our friends and family to send us their wedding photos which we framed and hung them above the guest book table. Also, we didn’t do a guest book, exactly. We had a little vintage train case (that I spray painted, of course, and re-lined with a cute fabric) and small sheets of card stock on which we asked our guests to write a little note of wisdom for having a happy relationship. The pictures were a great conversation starter; we had everything from our great-grandparents in somber stances looking more like a mourning photo than a wedding celebration to my brother and his partner grinning in front of San Francisco’s City Hall right before the bullshit with Prop 8 went down.
To get a cohesive set of frames, follow the steps above for prep- removing the backing and glass, laying them out on a paintable surface, making sure you are in a well ventilated area- I won’t lie, it was cold last night and I was spraying the frames in the garage with the door barely cracked and I definitely got a little huffing going. Fun for a minute, but the headache isn’t worth it, I promise.
Spray them fully, making sure to spray from different angles to ensure full coverage.
A solid or complimentary color scheme can make all the difference in making a display look really put together. Plus, with the variety of colors available, the possibilities are endless.
Last but not least, the directional signs. We were definitely going for a relaxed, back-yard BBQ vibe, so these signs worked perfectly for us.
My parents had a pile of old wood on their property, so we raided that for weathered looking pieces. They don’t have to be in good shape, it is actually better the more beat up they look, but do make sure the surface is clean enough that you can paint on them. If you don’t have access to old wood, try the Craigslist Free section. People are always trying to get someone to come clear out their pile of junky, useless wood, which is exactly what you are looking for!
Use a pencil to start, then trace over with either a paint brush and craft paint or a large Sharpie paint pen. Nail them to a wooden stake and you’re done!
Thanks for tuning in to another DIY Bride article! I have some more tutorials in the queue, but if there is something particular you would like me to address, please let me know. While there were a ton of DIY things at our wedding, the were many more that I would have loved to have done if we had had more time, so I have a number of things in my back pocket if anyone is looking for ideas.
Have a fun-filled super crafty week, y’all!