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Oct 7, 2013

DIY: rustic 'harvest blessings' sign

Alright! It's Monday! A fresh start to a BRAND NEW WEEK....... :)

A couple of weeks ago, before leaving my mom's house, she dumped a few things in the back of the truck. Included with a few mason jars was an old board. Not knowing why she was giving it to me, I was still excited and took off. I don't question when someone offers free "junk" to me because I know I will always find a use for it down the road.

I've been wanting to make a sign to go out on the front porch for harvest. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted my sign to say. I don't like decorating for Halloween because it's so short lived. If you stick with "harvest" type decor, it can usually last you until Christmas. So, I tried to come up with the perfect fall-ish saying to put on my old board.

Last week, I wrote a post called Harvest Blessing refering to my favorite time of year. This time of year really is a blessing to me and it's definitely a good time to count our blessings as well. I decided I wanted my sign to say Harvest Blessings.

I started by giving the board a good sanding. Who knows where this board came from. Sanding it removed a lot of surface dust and dirt.

I wanted the background of my board to be really rustic looking. I decided to go with a dry brush wash. It is the easiest way to acheive a weathered, rustic look. For this I just used an acrylic paint. I chose to use Antique Parchment by Apple Barrel because I like more of an off-white look.

I actually made a video of how I applied my dry brush technique wash for you to watch. I thought it would be easier than trying to explain it in pictures. It's okay if you don't want to be my friend anymore after watching this. I understand. I'll never be as cool as Bob Ross.

So now that you have learned how I applied the dry brush technique to create my weathered background, here is what I did for my lettering..........

As usual, 50% of my projects never go as planned. Same went for this sign as well. I started off by creating my design in Illustrator on the computer. I then printed it out and layed it across my board. My plan was to trace by design with a pen in hopes that the design would be indented into the wood then I could just fill in the outlines with paint.

Nope. Didn't work. This wood was really hard and aged. There was no creating dents of any kind. So, I resorted to plan B. Okay, I didn't have a plan B........... so I decided to just take a stab at free handing some painted caligraphy. Yes, I could have cut the letters out and traced them, but that would have taken all day. I thought how hard could this be.

I took out a ruler and created some guidelines. Using my printed out font (Chalk Hand Lettering Shaded that I found at as inspiration, I drew my letters on to the board with pencil. I figured I could use an angled brush and create the pretty calligraphy curves later.

Before I started my lettering, I wanted to do the pumpkin first because I thought it would be cool for my letters to overlap the pumpkin. I just traced the outline of the pumpkin I had printed out then free handed the insides with pencil. 

For colors off the primary chart, I like to mix. I squirted a little red into a lot of yellow to create my orangey pumpkin color. 

I mixed up a slightly darker reddish orange to create the curves/lines on the pumpkin to give it a little depth/shading. I really don't know what I am doing and am just kind of winging this whole painting thing..... for professional advice, please seek out Bob Ross. 

I then finished off my pumpkin with a brown stem and some more depth and curvature. It was time to begin the caligraphy! I was excited about this part.

Using an angled brush about the width of what I wanted my letters to be, I traced over my penciled-in letters to free-hand the font. It took a few strokes to get the letter nice and dark. Some of my letters turned out identical to the font and some of them, well, they could use a little work but none-the-less, I thought it turned out great! I am glad I didn't sit and cut out all those letters..... This was more fun and rewarding!

Once I was done with my letters, I took a really fine-tipped brush and added the little accent lines. This really made my lettering POP! Love it.

Now, it's time to let the sign dry and give it a new home! 

So my mother in law got me this nice, good-sized, refinished wagon for my birthday one year that I was eyeballing at a sale. I have been trying to figure out a creative way to use it and I think I've finally found a good use for this wagon! (Other than hauling things around the yard.....)

I draped some burlap over the wagon, plopped a container of mums down and rested the sign against the mums. I tossed in a few different colored pumpkins I had laying around.

And then I put this awkward looking gourd that I absolutely adore next to the wagon. Perfect!

Wonderful little fall display with my new home-made sign.

And here's a little peeky of my mums from inside! 

Alright guys! Go find an old board and get painting... if I can do it, so can you :) 


  1. You did an amazing job! I love it! Great instructions!

    1. Thanks, Becky! It's sometimes hard to describe how you did something to others, isn't it? It's a great way to learn from your mistakes and learn how much you really gained out of a project! :)

  2. This looks fabulous! I love how it looks in that wagon!!! And I just love your blog....definitely a new follower :)

    1. Hi Therena! Thank you!! I am so excited to have you as a new follower :) I hope you enjoy my future posts. They may be slim these next few weeks since we are full swing into harvest season but please come back! :)

  3. PS I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! You can see it on my post :) I love your blog!

    1. Thanks for the nomination, Becky! I appreciate it. I am glad you love my blog. I've enjoyed following you as well!! :)

  4. Awww Love it!! absolutely gorgeous, you paint well, the little lines you added really set it off. :)
    looks great with all your other fall decor.

    I painted a small fall sign this week, right now I'm having a give a way going on for it, if you're interested I'd love for you to come by and enter. :)

    Have an Amazing day,
    Your friend,

  5. Thanks for linking to DIY Sunday Showcase. This is adorable and I love how you used the wagon to decorate.

  6. These signs are beautiful, Holly. Thanks for sharing the different methods you used to make your signs!
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