Routering An Edge on a Sign plus Using Part of a Stencil

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  We are STILL waiting for our house to sell, quite a few showings but not any offers.  I feel so … stuck.  Also I am going crazy with not making things in the shop.  I have enough to move that I don’t really want more but, as you creative people know, there is a constant need to make something!

So, I will show some older signs and things and maybe work on something new just to get myself out of this rut.

Most of my signs have just plain 90 degree square edges, but sometimes I change it up with a router.  I LOVE my routers (I have three) and all the different bits that can make unlimited changes to a piece of wood.

The round over bit can be used in a few ways, depending on how much of the bit you use:

If you just want to round the top or bottom edge of your work, you set the bit so that only the curved part of the bit hits the wood.  (Round over bits come in different sizes for different thicknesses of wood)
You will get a rounded edge like this:
If you want top and bottom rounded you pass the router over both sides of your wood and get this:
However, if you want a small vertical edge along with the rounded edge you allow the vertical cutter on the bit to also hit the wood and you get this:
This is what I did with my “Welcome” sign.  I used the round over bit in my router, with the router hanging in the router table and the sign face down on the table.
I don’t do this in one pass, I usually make about four passes, starting with the bit lower in the table and just taking a small amount of wood off the four edges of the sign.  Then I raise the bit and take more wood off.  This is easier on the wood and the router and safer for the operator.
Here you can see the sign is face down (already painted, sorry I forgot to take a photo while I was routering):
You end up with a nice edging around your sign:
I first stained this wood with my steel wool and vinegar concoction and then painted over that with turquoise paint.  I sanded some of the paint off to distress the sign, then I used white paint on just a part of my “Paris Flea Market” stencil on each end of the sign.  Many stencils can be used in pieces to create different looks.  This one from Mudaritaville in full is quite different:
I hand painted “Welcome” in white with a grey edging:
This sign is 23″ long x 5 1/2″ wide.
Hope I’ve given some of you some ideas for your own creations!

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Thanks to My Repurposed Life and  DIY Vintage Chic for featuring me!
Photobucket           DIY Vintage Chic

Love is patient…

I make all my signs from scratch.  Meaning I cut them to size from larger wood, often rough wood that is planed and changed from it’s original size.  This leaves me with a lot of wood scraps and at some point I have to sort through and ask myself if I will actually use them.  I swear they multiply in my wood storage boxes.  Thankfully, I can use most scraps in my outdoor wood stove or my indoor fireplace.  I do find it hard to throw out anything though, and as I’m throwing some in the fire I often hesitate and wonder if maybe I can use the wood for something!

I did save these pieces from that fate.  They are all about 1 5/8″ wide and cut to different lengths from 15″ – 16″. I glued and nailed two cross pieces that hold these all together.  I used my steel wool and vinegar stain which I described here and then did a dry-brushing of white over top.

The saying is hand painted in black, perfect for Valentine’s or any day:

16″ high x 13 1/2″ wide

Now, just think, these pieces of pine would have been burned up!  I think I’m going to have to really take a second and third look at my scraps from now on.

This sign is for sale for $40.  Or maybe I can make a special sign for you? Please contact me through my email at

Upcycled, Repurposed and Vintage Decor Inspiration Party Knick of Time Tuesday

Sharing at:
The Scoop
Knick of Time
Elizabeth & Co.
Beyond the Picket Fence
Funky Junk Interiors

Flower Crate from Pallet Wood

I made this crate from pallet wood I had and 3 Mason type jars that I bought at the grocery store, that once contained spaghetti sauce.
To get the correct length to cut, I put the jars right on a piece of wood and put some scraps between to represent the dividers, allowing just enough space to fit the jars in with a bit of room on each side. For my jars the length was 12 1/2″.

I used the full width of my wood (it is 3 5/8″) so that is the height of the crate as well as the inside bottom width.

I placed one board on the bottom and the two upright sides and measured to get the size of the end pieces.  I cut those and also the middle dividers which fit between the sides. I used a pin nailer to attach the parts together.

I applied a quick coat of my vinegar and steel wool mixture and let that dry, then I dry brushed white paint over the top. After that I hand painted “Les Fleurs” on one side and “Flowers” on the other.

I sold this crate, along with the jars and the flowers shown, at the first Farmers’ Market I took it to.  So many of my items have gone to the market and home again many times and this sold only a few days after I made it.  Wish I could figure out what people want… I’m not sure if I should make another one?


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Sandwich Board for the FARM

I have some of my things for sale at a great little store in downtown North Bay, Ontario called The FARM.
FARM stands for Fashion Art Retail Market and has things for sale by creative people, most whom are local.  This includes jewellery, soap, photos, clothing, bags and, of course, my wood signs!

The owner Katie, who sews beautiful garments, asked if I could make her a sandwich board to sit on the sidewalk outside her shop… of course I said YES!

Here it is in use in front of the store (thanks to Liz Lott for the photo)

The sandwich board was to be about 2′ wide x under 4′ tall and needed to have two sides with a chalk board on each side that Katie could write on.  Since she likes my pallet wood signs, she wanted the frame made from pallet wood.

This is how the frame would look, I’ll show it first and then explain the making of it:

At the top, the cross piece will run right across and join the side legs in a half lap joint.
For the half lap, half of the wood is taken from each piece so that they, together make one thickness. To do this I use my table saw and dado blades.  
Dado blades take the place of one saw blade and allow more wood to be taken in one pass of the blade.  I set mine to about 3/4″ wide and then run across the blade a few times to get the width I need off the wood.  The blades are set at a height that will take off half the thickness of the wood.
This is what each piece looks like with the half lap made:
You can see here how the corner comes together when both pieces have half of their thickness removed:
and this is the corner put together:
For the bottom crosspiece, the vertical piece is the same but the leg will have half it’s thickness removed about 2/3rds of the way down the leg and not at the end of the leg:

Here it is put together, showing the back side:

and from the front:

To keep the frame together I use exterior wood glue and strong clamps to hold it for about an hour.

I use hardboard for the chalk board portion and paint it two coats of chalk board paint.  I painted the logo of the FARM on the top, right on the black paint.

The hardboard was cut 3/4″ wider and taller than the space between the frame, so to get the chalk board to fit behind the frame, I routed out about 3/8″ wide and the depth of the hardboard. The board then sits in this opening:

This frame will be dry-brushed with white paint.  The raw wood is quite light and I stain it darker with my steel wool in vinegar stain so that where the white paint doesn’t cover, you see a medium colour of wood.

Raw Wood

Stained Wood

The white paint is dry-brushed over the whole frame. 

 Of course, there are TWO frames, so that they can sit back to back and make the sandwich board:

The chalkboard is tacked on the back into the groove previously made:
I put two hinges at the top of the sandwich board joining the two frames:
Katie, the store owner said she “loved it” so…
another satisfied customer!
Sharing at the following blogs:
Beyond the Picket Fence                          Brambleberry Cottage
House of Hepworths                                 No Minimalist Here
aka design                                               Shabby Art Boutique
My Repurposed Life                                 Jennifer Rizzo
Funky Junk Interiors                                 Too Much Time On My Hands
Under The Table and Dreaming                 BeColorful
Between Naps on the Porch                      Coastal Charm
Cowgirl Up                                               Elizabeth & Co.

Making a Side Table my Own Way – Part 3 – Clock Table

Please check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series to see how I designed and made this table.

After the table was stained, I first put vaseline in spots on the table base and legs as I describe in this post.
Then I painted with white paint on top, in a bit of a rough way, not being concerned about covering every bit of wood.  The vaseline stops the paint from getting through to the wood.  Once the paint is dry, I just rub away the vaseline and the stain shows in those parts.

Here is the underside of the table with the Z clips that I often use.  These clips are essential to allow for wood movement in the top (the clock part).  I wrote more about that here.

Here’s another view of the finished clock table:

Now, you didn’t think I’d only make just one triangular base did you?  I made another quite different table with the same base, I’ll post about it soon.

For this project:

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My Repurposed Life                        Miss Mustard Seed
Between Naps on the Porch             Primitive and Proper
Coastal Charm                                Brambleberry Cottage
Cedar Hill Ranch                             Very Merry Vintage Style
Knick of Time Interiors                     Savvy Southern Style
Elizabeth & Co.                               Faded Charm Cottage
Beyond the Picket Fence                 No Minimalist Here
House of Hepworths                        aka design
Common Ground                             Jennifer Rizzo
Shabby Art Boutique                       Too Much Time on my Hands
Funky Junk Interiors                        Under the Table and Dreaming

Making a Side Table my Own Way – Part 2

You can read part 1 in my previous post here

I’m trying to make a triangular table base with 3 legs and a circular top.

Okay, to make the base, I cut the apron pieces out of pine at 60 degrees:

The ends are such that one end overlaps the one beside it, which I’m really not sure how to explain other than that and each end is different, with one going past the adjacent piece.  Perhaps the photo will show it:

In order to have the legs show their “rolls”

 I will cut a groove in each apron piece at a point which will allow the leg to show itself below the apron. So the groove already in the top of the leg will line up with the bottom of the apron.

Inside the groove will sit triangular pieces of plywood that the legs will be screwed into:

This is the bottom of the apron, so, each leg will sit on the triangle and that allows more of the leg to show than if it sat directly on the bottom of the table top.

I’m hoping this hasn’t caused some of you to stop reading, this is unconventional but please stick with me!

Here’s the apron upright, you can also see the grooves put in to hold the Z clips that I use to attach the table top:

Everything was glued together, not so easy to do, because of the angles, but the plywood triangles were a tight fit and they helped hold things together. I also used a few finishing nails at each vertex.

The legs were then screwed in to the plywood triangles and I put a quick coat of stain (using my steel wool and vinegar mix as I did here) over the whole base:

I’ll show the finished table in my next post!

Making a Side Table my Own Way – Part 1

Many years ago I went to an auction and bought some 14″ tall wooden legs.  I think I have 14 of them, which is an odd number, but anyway, this is what they look like:

Now, the problem with these legs is that they are round at the top, not square. Most legs have a square section at the top to which one could attach flat boards to be the apron, or skirt.  So, for me to make a side table I cannot just nail or screw these legs to a flat apron.  PLUS, the fancy rolls at the top would get covered by a traditional apron because they are so near to the top.

Q:  How to put four round pegs in a square hole?

A:  Who says it has to be square?

I decided to make the table a three legged table with a triangular apron.  Let’s add more geometric shapes to the mix, eh?

Now, on top of all that confusion, I had this 20″ clock sign that I made and had always wanted to be a table top…

So, if you are still with me, I’m going to have a round table top on a triangular base with 3 legs!

Here’s what I planned out:

Still, the problem exists of how to attach the legs to the side aprons and also how to allow the top two “rolls” part of the leg to show?

How WILL she do it?

Stay tuned for part 2, hopefully tomorrow if I don’t get side-tracked…

Projects for a Very Special Wedding

My husband’s nephew, Justin announced his engagement last year.  I offered my services to make anything related to woodworking to his beautiful bride-to-be, Rebecca.
After considering things and doing some searches online, Rebecca decided she wanted some signs as well as cake stands and flower stands.

Rebecca wanted three signs, which I made from pine. She was going for a country look and “crackled” paint. I glued three or four boards edge to edge to make each sign.  I stained the boards with my rusty water (steel wool and vinegar) technique so that the white paint would have something a bit darker to show through the cracks than the light coloured pine would.

I put quite a thick layer of crackle medium all over the signs and then I painted with white outdoor house paint over that and crossed my fingers that the crackles would look nice.  You really can’t redo it, and the paint must go on in one coat without going back over it.

One sign was to have their names and wedding date, the second was a copy of something she found online saying “Happily Ever After Starts Here,” and the third was for a seating plan.  The first two signs were 20″ high x 32″ long and the third was 22″ high x 32″ long.

I planned and printed out the lettering on my computer to the correct size and then using carbon paper, traced the letters and corner swirls onto the boards. I hand painted everything with black craft paint.

Here is a close up of the Justin & Rebecca sign:

and a close up of the Happily Ever After…

Here are the finished signs at my home a few weeks before the wedding:

Rebecca wanted a Seating Plan sign with the same font and corner decorations and a space for her to attach lists of each table with the names of who would be seated there:

As for the other decor, Rebecca decided on log slices that would sit in the middle of each table with a mason jar full of flowers on it.  My husband, Eric’s, chain saw died so we ended up buying a new chain saw and Eric cut  about 25 slices off a large log we got with our winter firewood order.

Here are some of them stacked in my workshop:

One last thing she wanted was two cake stands made out of logs, which I don’t have a photo of before the wedding, but will show those with the wedding photos. They are log slices glued to a length of log for the base.

Last Saturday Justin and Rebecca were married in a beautiful ceremony and I was so proud to see my signs as part of the decor. The bride thanked me in her speech and I was so touched I got teary eyed!

The sign with the couples names was at the reception in the foyer:

The Happily Ever After sign was in the church entranceway and also at the reception afterwards.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a close up of the Seating Plan, which you can see here on the right.  Rebecca did a great job with the way she attached the names to the board, so pretty with different black edged papers.

This isn’t the greatest photo but shows the log slices under the flower jars as well as a mini-sign in front of the bride and groom:

Here are the cake stands, Rebecca made the cakes as well as the cupcakes:

and here’s the beautiful bride and her mother cutting one of the cakes:

Sending best wishes for a happy and healthy life together to the newlyweds, Justin & Rebecca!
It was a pleasure to be able to contribute to your lovely wedding.
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