Reclaimed wood sign tutorial

Feisty’s nursery is coming along – the Flyer hung up curtain rods and blinds in her room and ours this week, which means we can once again sleep in the dark and get dressed in rooms besides the bathroom.

To help complete my grand vision for Feisty’s room, I still need one of these letters, a tree painted on the wall (wish me luck with that one), and the sign I finished today.


I found a reclaimed wood board at an architectural salvage shop we discovered over the weekend. The board was $3, and I had to get a set of paintbrushes, which was $2.97. These signs are at least $25 on Etsy, so I am pretty happy to have this one for a lot less! I will probably go back and clean up the letters a bit when it dries, but this is basically it. I didn’t use stencils, but those would make things look a bit more professional. I was going for whimsy, since it’s for a toddler’s room. Here’s how I did it.

Reclaimed Wood Sign Tutorial

Materials needed:  Reclaimed wood board or boards, cut to correct size and assembled if necessary; soap & water; paper towels; sandpaper; sealant; chalk; paint; paintbrushes; two (or more, if needed) picture screw eyes and hanging wire; picture frame hook/nail; drill; hammer. Gloves and stencils are optional.

How to do it:

  1. Wash your reclaimed wood and let it dry thoroughly. My board was FILTHY – it was more of a grey at the shop and turned this nice walnut-y color after washing and drying.
  2. Sand the surface that you’d like to paint. (I wore gloves for this, but it’s up to you.) I didn’t want to lose the character of the wood, so I just used 180-Grit sandpaper until the board was a bit smoother and all the splinters were worn away.
  3. Apply sealant to prep the board. I used Delta Ceramcoat all-purpose sealer (it’s non-toxic!) that I got from…somewhere. Can’t remember. Most craft stores have it or a similar product. I didn’t feel like getting a big paintbrush out of the basement, so I just used a paper towel to slather it on. Have no fear – it dries clear!
  4. Let sealant dry. Mine dried for a whole day, but that’s due to me being busy. A couple hours should suffice, just make sure it’s completely dry and not tacky to the touch.
  5. Sand the dried, sealant-covered board again briefly.
  6. If you’re using stencils, skip this step. If you’re freehanding, write your message or draw your design with chalk. You won’t be able to see pencil markings, and chalk wipes off really easily if you goof.
  7. Actual painting can take place! Paint over your chalked design or stencil, making sure to keep the paint even. I used Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint.
  8. Let it dry. See if you need a second coat – repeat step 7 if so.
  9. Measure to find the middle of your board. Space the screw eyes so that they are equidistant from the middle point – there should be one on each side of the board.
  10. Drill into the board to make holes for the screw eyes, then insert screw eyes until secure. Attach hanging wire to desired tautness.
  11. Hammer picture hook and nail into the wall; hang up sign.

Feisty’s Big Day

Today, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of Feisty’s baptism. Which I can’t believe was actually a year ago. I didnFullSizeRender.jpg‘t make a cake for her baptism party on account of getting ready for a house full of people and having a six-week-old! So I figured today I might as well try out the King Arthur Flour Recipe of the Year, the Lemon Bliss Cake. (I think I linked to this in the previous post, too. I swear I’m not a flour shill, I just really like their recipes and finally had time to make it today.)

The cake turned out really well, nice and moist, with a perfect crumb. I added lavender flowers to the icing, which was a tasty addition. It’s looking a little dented in the photo, but was otherwise lovely!

We lit Feisty’s baptismal candle at lunch. She crumbled her cake into little bits and ignored it, aside from the pieces she threw onto the hardwood. It was nice for The Flyer and me to reflect, though. Here’s a flashback to a year ago, teeny Feisty “enjoying” her big moment with her godparents:


We had her baptized in the traditional Roman Rite at our FSSP parish, and it was a beautiful ceremony. It was interesting to share the Traditional Latin Mass with family who had mostly forgotten it and friends who had never experienced it. (Also, not going to lie, I kinda got a kick out of seeing my mother-in-law don a veil.)

I hope Feisty is able to appreciate why we chose that for her and that this day becomes more meaningful to her as she grows up. She’s already doing better than last year – she was okay until the priest sprinkled salt in her mouth, and then she was filled with rage for the remaining portion.

In other news, I singlehandedly unclogged our basement floor drain, and we are finally getting somewhere on winterizing the spa. We also have gotten mostly unpacked, thanks to my aunt, who took Feisty for part of a day last week. Being able to do laundry and move freely from room to room has taken an amazing amount of stress off all of us.

Hi there

I’ve been meaning to start this blog project for over a week, but the still-packed boxes in the living room, my work schedule, and my child have had other plans. For now, I’m ignoring the couple remaining boxes, have hit a slow spot in the work day, and my child is currently being entertained by her “skellies.” Dancing lifesavers, those skellies.

A little less than a month ago, we closed on our first home, which has been surreal and terrifying. As we settle in here, though, the house has taken hold and made me want to do strange things. Garden, for example, although I’ve killed every house plant I’ve ever owned, and my mom literally couldn’t pay me to weed her flowerbeds growing up. Decorate, but I’ve always been into that. Learn about tools. Unclog drains. Winterize the spa. The last two items are on the agenda for today, so this should be interesting.

Life starts to seem tantalizing-the backyard for Feisty, the gas oven and range for me, the endless DIY learning opportunities for The Flyer, who has been watching This Old House since 1989. I picture every detail of every room during the (many hours of) time it takes Feisty to fall asleep, plan out what I will start from seed, what needs fixing, how to do it.

It’s all kinds of exciting, and I hope to keep chronicling it here.