Once upon a time two years ago, I picked up this frame from Goodwill for $3.00. I couldn’t even tell you what project I had in mind. I’m not even sure it was to make a sign. That was two years ago and I have the memory of Dory. Since then it’s been sitting in our basement, probably driving my husband crazy.
I came across the frame when I was looking for another piece of home decor the other day. I gave myself a deadline. “Kelsey, if you can’t figure out something to do with this frame in a week, it’s gone.” True to myself, once a challenge and deadline were in place, I came up with an idea.
I kept seeing these hand-painted signs on Pinterest. I thought to myself, I can recycle that frame to make a hand-painted sign. Here is one that inspired me from Sugar Bee Crafts.
Here are the steps I took to make my sign
Step 1: Take apart the frame
I started with taking the glass and picture out of the frame. I got a nice little surprise with a picture under the picture. Just one of the fun things about refurbishing projects.
Step 2: Cut the Plywood
Measure the inside of the frame and cut a piece of plywood to fit. I used 3/8 inch plywood for my frame.
Step 3: Paint the Plywood
I choose to paint the plywood white. You could also stain the plywood as well. I knew I wanted to re-stain the frame a dark color so I choose to paint the background white to give a good contrast.
Step 4: Create and print out your phrase
I’ve seen some very talented people who legitimately hand paint their signs. Like from scratch. Without a stencil or anything to trace. I am not one of those people. I used this tutorial here from Anastasia Vintage. This tutorial was a lifesaver! I was a little stuck on how to print my quote out easily and efficiently. Using PowerPoint was super simple!
Once I had my quote created, I selected “Tile all pages” from the page scale option on the print menu. I also checked the “Cut Marks” box. This prints out a nice grid for you to cut and tape your saying/graphic together.
Step 5: Cut and tape together your phrase
With the grid print out, cutting and taping together the phrase was really easy.
Step 6: Transfer your phrase
I flipped over my phrase and shaded on the back around all of the letters with a pencil. If you stained or painted the plywood a dark color, chalk would be a better option for the transfer. Once you are done shading, center your phrase onto your painted plywood. Tape down the edges so it does not move. Then get tracing. Trace around all of your letters. You do not have to push hard for the pencil to transfer.
Step 7: Paint your phrase
Once you get your entire phrase traced you can take off the paper and start painting. The easiest way to do this is to use a paint pen like this here. Seriously, it is so easy! I’ve already made a few signs that way. So I wanted to challenge myself. I used acrylic paint and a brush. It was definitely a little rocky when I first started but by mid-phrase, it got easier.
Step 8: Sand and Stain/Paint the Frame
An orbital sander was used to sand down the frame as well as about 25 minutes of hand sanding. You can see that we didn’t get into the grooves of the frame. I choose to leave the old stain in those areas and stain over it to give it a more worn look.
Step 9: Assemble the Plywood into the Frame.
We stapled the Plywood into the frame. And Tada! Here is the finished project. Not bad for an old frame from Goodwill and a piece of Plywood.
Tip: If you don’t have an old frame, you can use just a piece of plywood to create a sign. No frame needed. Or you can make a frame with 1”x2” pieces of wood pretty easily.
What do you think? Not bad for an old Goodwill frame. Right?!