I’ve been wanting to tackle this project for a long time. I first saw this version of Family Rules over at the Pleated Poppy. It was done on a canvas using scrapbook paper. Then I came across this Subway style resolution sign over at Little Blue Boo.
I started with a trip to Home Depot. Did you know that they have a bargain lumber bin in the back? Items in the bin in my store are all either $1.01 or $2.01. So I was able to get the materials for less than $5.00. I picked up a piece of this stuff made for drawer bottoms and cabinet backs. I had it cut to 24” x 30”. I also picked up some 1” x 1” trim pieces.
Then I cut the ends to length using my saw and miter box. This is a great simple tool that can help you not only cut angles, but make nice straight cuts as well.
It wouldn’t be a project with wood if I couldn’t pull out the pneumatic nailer. Yippee for power tools!
Here’s the underside. Just a simple frame nailed to the surface piece.
Here’s the front side. After filling the nail holes, and sanding, but before priming the whole thing.
Then, I made a list of all the rules I wanted to have on my board. I wanted there to be a mix of “life” rules (Do your Best, Have a Thankful Heart, etc), as well as things that I just tend to nag about. (Wash your hands, Pick up after Yourself, Be Kind to your Sister, etc.) I came up with nearly 30 rules for my board.
Up until this point, I had been following Little Blue Boo’s tutorial. I had printed out my rules and used spray adhesive to attach them to contact paper. (You can see this version laid out above.) The idea was to cut out the letters, and then stick the contact paper letters down to your board. However, after cutting out my first two rules, I knew that I would never be able to finish such a tedious job. Not with this many rules. Just not my type of project. So I switched gears and ran down to my craft store to buy some adhesive scrapbooking letters. If you’re going to do try this project, I highly recommend laying out your rules on the board, and taking a photo, so you’ll know where everything goes when you’re ready to actually start sticking them down.
I picked a couple of colors for the basecoat and randomly painted then on the board. When dry, I drew some light pencil lines to guide me. Then using my assorted adhesive scrapbook letters, I began to stick my rules down. I really like the look of mixing fonts.
I took a roller and covered the letters with paint I had leftover from my family room. I used a sponge pouncer brush to make sure the letters were all well covered. It took two coats of paint to cover up the different color base paint layers. I used black paint to finish off the edges.
Next came the uber tedious job of peeling all the letters off. I used an exacto knife along with a pair of tweezers to painstakingly remove each letter. I tried to be as careful as I could, but couldn’t avoid having to touch up the letters in places where the paint seeped beneath the lettering.
Finally, I did a bit of decorative painting and put a tinted glaze over the whole thing.
It looks great on the wall of my redone bathroom! Even though this was one of my most time consuming, frustrating projects ever, I love the way it turned out.
(6/22/10): Edited to link up to the “Frames, Art and Wall Decor Challenge” at