I'll admit I didn't accomplish too much this weekend - funny that during the week, I have all these big ideas at work about what I'll do with my days off, then when faced with them I have a hard time finding direction. I did take some time to finish one small project, a pretty bit of wall art that started out as an unfinished sign blank from the Dollar Tree.
My ideas for this little piece included making a hand-painted sign using one of the many amusing quotes I've been finding on Facebook and Pinterest (maybe this one: "If a ship doesn't stop at your port, it wasn't your ship.")... or, making it look like a plank from an old fruit crate, complete with peeling label. Up until today, I was leaning heavily toward the former. But once I got to sifting through some images from The Graphics Fairy, I found a beautiful label I couldn't resist - even though it wasn't fruit-themed.
I started the project by removing the hanging string and then lightly staining the unfinished blank with a Minwax maple stain. I dabbed on a couple of coats, including the back and edges.
I then selected a piece of scrapbook paper which - at the time - I thought would lend itself well to having lettering painted on it. It was a subtle color, with a lovely pattern that wasn't too intrusive. I wanted this to have an aged look too, so I tore the paper into the size I wanted rather than cutting the edges.
I glued the torn scrap to the front of the blank using ModPodge, then brushed a layer of the maple stain over the whole piece. This served to "age" the bright white torn edges of the paper and made the paper look like it had weathered along with the wood. Once that was dry, I brushed a layer of ModPodge over the entire piece.
Next I printed out my chosen label, trimmed it closely, and used ModPodge to glue it to the sign blank. I brushed on yet another layer of Minwax stain over everything, let that dry, then finished up with a final layer of ModPodge to seal the deal.
I really like the overall result... I wish the sign blank itself had looked more authentically aged, but I think my efforts to "old it up" gave it a distinct personality.