Wedding Signs and Chalkboards

These signs were made by myself for a wedding that took place last summer.  I was contacted by the bride, through email, after she saw my local ad on Kijiji.

Sarah wanted original signs with a different font, more fun and curly, than regular signs I do. I work with brides to get the signs they want and I can do any font and any size, so the possibilities are endless.  I used old pallet wood that had been outside for quite a few years and had an aged grey patina. (All my signs are completely hand painted.)

She settled on this font:

Sarah wanted some directional signs because the drive was out in the country.  I thought these were a great idea that Sarah came up with:

She also needed some “Bride” and “Groom” signs and chalkboards.

The chalkboards were cut with grooves for the hardboard which you can see how I make here, but this time I went with mitred corners.  The couple’s initials were painted on the top.
Sarah ordered 3 chalkboards to use at the reception:

She also wanted a larger sign with some writing and the couple’s names and wedding date. This sign was made by edge-gluing five boards together.  (You don’t need screws, glue is actually stronger than the wood and will not come apart)

This next photo shows the whole order:

Here are the signs in use on the special day:

And here is the beautiful couple:

Thank you to Sarah for choosing me to help make her day special with personalized signs and also for providing me with extra photos.

May Ray and Sarah continue to enjoy the Happiness forever!

Sharing at the following blogs:
Three Mango Seeds
Elizabeth & Co.

Wedding Signs

Isn’t this just a beautiful photo!

Photo provided by Expressions Photography

I was contacted by a local bride-to-be after she saw an online ad for my wedding signs.  She had some ideas in mind and said there were signs she saw online elsewhere and that she would like some made similar to those.  Imagine my surprise when, of all the blogs and online creative people, she chose signs made by Gail at My Repurposed Life!   Not only are the bride and myself in Northern Ontario, but Gail is my online friend and lives a long way away in Kentucky.

I contacted Gail asking her if it was okay to copy her and she graciously said to go ahead and make them and then she even supplied me with the font name.  Gail is the absolute best, thanks Gail! xoxo

So, Sarah decided on the wording for her signs which I made out of old barn boards and hand painted.

She also wanted a Bride and Groom sign for the backs of their chairs:

Photo provided by Expressions Photography
Photo provided by the bride – thanks Sarah
Photo provided by the bride

I am so happy to work with brides, they appreciate having something made just as they have pictured in their minds.  Brides have been so friendly to me, I work through emails back and forth with them figuring out sizes, fonts, wood types, etc. and they always are happy to see their signs come to life.

I provided Sarah with a little extra sign and was surprised to see in the wedding photos that it had even appeared at the reception

Photo provided by Expressions Photography

Thanks so much to  Sarah (and Darryl) for choosing me to make these special signs for their big day and to Tanya and Sean at Expressions Photography in North Bay, ON for sharing these photos with me so that I could show them to my blog readers.

Perhaps I can make a sign for you?  See more wedding signs at my website here.

I was featured at this great site:

Showing my signs at these parties:
My Repurposed Life
House of Hepworths
Homespun Happenings
Funky Junk Interiors
Too Much Time on my Hands

Barn Board Jar Holders

Here are a few Mason jar holders I just made from 1″ thick barn board.

I left the angle that was on the ends of my boards at the top and then cut the lower ends straight across.
The bottom piece fits into a rabbet at the lower edge of the back piece.

I have routed out a circular area, about half the thickness of the wood which allows a mason jar to sit into it.

I made three of these, two are 15 3/4″ high x 5 3/4″ wide, the one just above with a flatter angled top is 13 1/4″  h x 5 1/2″ wide.  They are all coated with tung oil and there is a sawtooth hanger on the back.  I wrap the top of the jar with twine and hot glue it on.

Posting at the following blog parties:

farmhouse decor
Farmhouse Friday

Barn Board Shelf #1

I’ve been working on a few things for an upcoming show.  Here is a barn board shelf I just finished:

I found a few pieces of barn board that were about 34″ long and already had both ends cut at an angle.  
For the top of the shelf, instead of cutting the ends straight I left them angled which preserved the aged cuts:
For the shelf supports I cut off two ends from another piece:
I glued them into grooves cut into the bottom of the shelf top:

Then I cut a piece to fit between the shelf supports and added 3 hooks which I sprayed with Oil Rubbed Bronze paint and then distressed. The front edge of this shelf is “live” (meaning it’s left as it came off the tree, not cut straight) and  the whole shelf is hand rubbed with tung oil. It really looks nicer in person!

The following post shows my second shelf which is similar:  Barn Board Shelf #2

Everything I make is for sale, if you are interested please contact me

Linking at the following great blogs:
aka design
Beyond the Picket Fence
Brambleberry Cottage
Shabby Creek Cottage
Sew Woodsy
My Repurposed Life
Kristen’s Creations
Funky Junk Interiors
Jennifer Rizzo
Sisters of the Wild West
Vintage Interiors
Coastal Charm

Barn Board Bench

I made a bench out of old barn board.

You basically need five pieces.  I didn’t have wide enough wood so I glued together two 6′ pieces side-by-side which gave me about an 11 1/2″ width and then I cut that into three pieces for the top and legs.

The height of the legs is 18″, so I cut two and then cut out the V shape.

The top piece is about 3′ long.

The side pieces are scraps of 3 1/2″ wide boards that I put a 45 degree cut on each end as you can see from the photo.

Everything was nailed together, and then the cut edges were covered with my not-so-secret recipe which I will share in a day or two when I organize the photos.

This is an old looking, very solid bench that is easy to make and similar to my bench I posted here, except it has the two side pieces instead of a middle piece.

Linking to:

Tool box (or Tool tote) Tutorial

* This post was previously posted in edited form at Donna’s Funky Junk Interiors *

Totes can be used for anything from holding tools to flowers, they can be used in the garage, the living room or on the kitchen table as a centerpiece.  Although old ones are found at garage sales or resale type shops, sometimes they are hard to find, so let’s make one!

This is a very easy project that anyone can do with very few tools. I will explain it step-by-step with a lot of photos.

What you need

  • wood planks old or new (we’ll get to the dimensions later)
  • plywood
  • a dowel, old rake handle or branch
  • jigsaw or handsaw
  • drill
  • drill bit
  • hammer
  • nails
  • pencil
  • scrap of cardboard (to make the template)
  • measuring tape or ruler 

 Wood Planks

I’ve used old barn board plus new pine to make my totes.  Because they can be made in practically any size, it’s hard to give actual dimensions but I will give a guide.  If you find some planks you can use that as the width of your finished tote, which will mean that you don’t have to cut the board widthwise, just lengthwise.  

This shows the basic pieces you will need:

Here are some old barn boards I had.  The top two I will use for the sides, they are about 3 1/2″ wide.  Boards sold as 1″ x 4″ are actually 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ wide, perfect for the side pieces. The bottom (third piece shown) is about 5 1/2″ wide.  Most boards sold as 1″ x 6″ will be about 3/4″ thick by 5 1/2″ wide.  This width will work out well for the end pieces.

As I said previously, you can use wood that you have. Old fencing or decking is perfect, but you can also buy new if you like. The side pieces will be thinner than the end piece.  Of course you could also cut a wider piece down the middle to make the two side pieces.

The length to cut the side pieces would be the approximate length you want your tote to be. My side pieces are 12 1/2″, they sit inside the ends which are 3/4″ thick, so the tote will end up being 14″ long. Cut them to length with your handsaw or jigsaw.

To determine the length of the end pieces, this will be the height of your tote.  If you know for sure what you want to put in it, you can use that as a guide.  Make sure you leave room so that what you are putting in the tote can fit with the handle in place.  

I made a template with a piece of cardboard from a cereal box.  The width is the width of the wood for your end piece.

The angle starts after you have reached the height of your side pieces.  In the case of using the 3 1/2″ wide pieces, you will go up 3 1/2″ and then slant on an angle towards the middle of the top.  Leave enough space for the dowel to fit into the top with some wood above it. This is hard to explain, but if you look at the picture above it will be clearer. The height of my piece and template is 9 1/2″, the straight part across the top of the piece is 2″ long.

 Trace around your template onto the end pieces of wood, you will need two and you can easily cut them with a handsaw or a jigsaw. 


A piece of plywood is needed for the base.  It will be the length of the finished tote (14″ in the case above) and the width of the end pieces (5 1/2″ in the case above).

I had some leftover plywood that was 3/8″ thick.  Any thickness will work and you can even use a piece of 1″ x 6″ if you like, it’s just nailed on the bottom. Wait to cut it to size until you’ve put the rest of the tote together.  This way you get the perfect size.

Dowel, handle or branch

I found a rake handle that had broken from the rake head.  It was destined for the burn pile, but I saved it.  For the pine tote I made I used a purchased hardwood dowel.  They are available in different diameters at any hardware or building type store. You can also use any branch, preferably one that is pretty straight. Your dowel needs to be about the length of your tote, but don’t cut it to size until you’ve made the other pieces.
Shown here from top to bottom: a dowel, the rake handle and a branch:

Once you have decided on what you are using for your handle you will need to cut out a hole that same diameter in the inside of the end pieces. You want to make your hole for the handle just half-way through the end piece.  So that is approximately 3/8″ deep for a 3/4″ thick piece.  This way the handle is stuck between the end pieces and cannot fall out.  

The best way is to use an electric drill or drill press with the correct drill bit, which would be a forstner bit if you have it.  They come in different diameters and cut a nice clean-bottomed hole.  You could use a spade bit but it will make a smaller diameter hole right through the wood because it has a center point that goes deeper than the hole you are drilling. If you use that you will need to plug the smaller hole or put a screw into it and into the end of the handle.

I took a photo of both to show the difference.  The forstner bit is on the left and the spade bit on the right:

Mark the hole on your wood first so that you can center it and both sides will match. I put mine about an inch down from the top:

Stand up your end pieces and put the sides in between where they will go.  Measure for the length of your handle by resting it on top of the ends.  Each end of the handle will sit inside the hole in the end piece.  (Pretend in the photo below that the hole has already been drilled)  Your handle will be shorter than the outside length of your tote.  Mark the length and saw to the correct length carefully.

Put your handle in the holes and make sure the sides and ends fit tightly together.  (If the handle is too long it will push the ends out) Put one end piece down on a firm surface and nail the opposite end piece into the side pieces.  I even used old, used nails. The nails should be long enough to go through the top piece and at least an inch into the bottom piece.  Line up the nails carefully so that you attach two right into the end of each side.  This photo will give you a better idea than my explanation:

Flip and nail the other end piece on.  Here’s the pine version:

Turn the tote upside down and measure and then cut the size of the bottom.  Nail it on with smaller nails if you are using plywood. I used finishing nails, with three across each end and 3 or 4 more down the sides.

These totes can be finished in any way you can think of.  You may find that if you cut old wood, the cut edges are lighter than the rest. The plywood also might not match. I explain how to fix that in another post HERE

I stenciled TOOLS on the side of one of the totes.

The pine tote, I painted white and then painted “Flowers” on one side and “Les Fleurs” (French for flowers) on the other with a little flourish on each end.  It was then distressed to look old:

Donna and I are hoping you will make your own and post it at her special tool box party here

 I have also made and blogged about a different type of barn board tote in the past, it is a divided one and you can read about it HERE.

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Barn Board Cupboard

I’ve made a few things with barn board, and wanted to try something different so I designed a small cupboard.

I thought the cupboard would work out best if it was the width of the boards, which is 5 1/2″ and with large box joints on the top. So the two sides and the top are box-jointed (also called finger-jointed) on the table saw. They will look great for this rustic style, especially when large and chunky.

The length of each side will be 23″ and since my pieces had a 45 deg. cut on the bottom edge, I left them that way (you can see that in the final photo).

A dado is run on each side for the bottom to fit into.


I’m just designing as I go because I CAN.

I also decided to have a log branch as a towel holder across the bottom, so I drilled out the 1 1/4″ diameter size of my log near the bottom of each side and about 1/2″ deep.


Here are the pieces all laid out:


Here it is glued up:


There will be a door on the front and a middle shelf inside.  The door panel was made by gluing two pieces together.  It looked plain by itself so I felt the need to router a design on it.  How about a barn star, influenced by the fabulous blogger Donna at Funky Junk Interiors  

I drew the star on the door panel and used a “V” bit in the router, here it is partially done:


When it was finished I put some watery brown paint in the raw cut lines.


Then I routed out a ledge on the back edges to fit in a piece of 1/8″ thick plywood for the back. I nailed a shelf in from the sides … something I would never do with any project other than rustic barn wood! (I hope my cabinetmaking teacher forgives me for this)


And I added a little homemade toggle opening and black metal hinges and knob.


This cupboard is heavy and solid, is one-of-a-kind, and would look great in any room. The finished size is about 13 3/4″ wide x 23″ tall x 5 1/2″ deep.


Linking to:

Knick of Time

Funky Junk Interiors Sat Nite Special
Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Friday
Repurposed Life Catch as Catch Can
Under the Table and Dreaming Sunday Showcase
Tools are for Women Too Link Party
Dittle Dattle Amaze Me Monday
Blue Cricket Show and Tell
Sisters of the Wild West

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.