Shabby Boat Sign

6:04:00 PM


Last year about this time, I had a piece of art just randomly fall off the wall of my hall bathroom. The glass in the frame broke, and for almost a year the frame sat in our garage. I repurposed that frame into a 3-D art project for Lil Bit's Room--the origami butterfly artwork.

However, I still had a naked wall in that hall bathroom. I have been going for a kind of beachy theme--blue walls, a little ship model on the shelf. I thought maybe a sign would go well--I had seen some extra plywood with some character that my husband had stashed in the garage--perfect for a sign. I thought at first about a "BEACH" sign--but then I was afraid that was too summery. I didn't want to make a piece of art only to have to make another one in a couple of months! So I racked my brain as to what to put on this little sign.

Then I looked again at the bathroom.


Hmmm. Ship. Boats...I could make a sign that just says "BOATS"--It would fit into the kind of nautical theme I had going, and since I wanted to make a rough, shabby sign, I could make it look like it was an old sign with lots--and lots!--of wear and layers, followed by a lot of neglect and salt spray! Perfect!

So this is how I started:

I took a cool board--this one is a piece of plywood.


I did not sand it, but immediately started painting with a dark blue color.



The color is Valspar's Indigo Streamer. I did a sort of dry brush technique where I wasn't trying to cover everything, but took a semi-loaded brush and then dragged it around with the grain, even when there wasn't much paint left on the brush.

Then I did the same dry brush technique with the lighter blue, also Valspar--Weathered Glass. Both of these blues were from free samples.



Once the both blue paints was dry, I took a very small brush--a detail art brush--and freehanded the letters in white craft paint. I wanted this to look very rustic. I then painted some silver paint on the white letters, while the white paint was still wet.



After the white/silver letters were dry, I took red craft paint and the wrong end of my detail paintbrush.



I took the red paint made "shadows" by dragging the red paint at edge of the white at the left and bottom edges of the letters.


Once the red paint was dry, I took this sign outside and sanded it to give the paint a gentler, more worn look, working hard at the edges and to wear down the lettering. I wanted this sign to look worn, like it had been discarded at a marina or old boat yard.


 Here are the results. I didn't take a picture of it inside the bathroom yet, since there is a lack of good light. Oh, and I would have had to stand on the toilet to take the picture and I just didn't feel like that one today!









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20 comments

  1. This is super cute! I love signs like this and how you free handed the BOATS part. It looks great and I love that you can see the wood, it looks old and rustic. You did a great job!

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    1. Glad you like the freehanded letters. I'll admit I was nervous it would look like my four year old did it in crayons :-)

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  2. What a creative project! It looks fantastic!! Megan

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  3. I love it! Looks like it came off of an old boat shop! Super job!

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  4. looks as if it came right off the boat dock love your display come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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  5. Adorable! You did a fantastic job! I would love for you to link up to the Pomp Party!

    http://jill-createcraftlove.blogspot.com

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    1. So glad you linked up! Pinning to our Pomp Party board!

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  6. What a great sign idea! A perfect fit for your decor and the layers of paint add so much dimension to the sign. I love your sneaky trick for adding the red to the lettering ;)

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  7. Really CUte - It would be great for sign for the garage - "to (park) your boats" Love it! I'd love to have you come visit my blog for me beach decor inspiration www.eatloveinspire.blogspot.com

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  8. Hey, just wanted to stop by and let you know that I featured you over at Sugar Bee Crafts! The lettering on your sign is amazing!

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  9. Hi Rachel!
    First of all, I have the same boat!! So cool! Check out my summer mantel post and you'll see! And I love this sign!
    Would love if you stopped by my party to link it up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change
    http://staceyembracingchange.blogspot.com

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  10. Hi! Stopping in from the Live Laugh Linky! Your boat sign came out really good! Love it!

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  11. What a great addition to a cute room. Thanks so much for linking up at One Creative Weekend! I can’t wait to see what you link up this week.

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  12. Such a cute sign...makes me want to go boating or at least buy a house with a dock! (that is not going to happen)

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  13. Okay, now this is just too cute! I see those weathered signs at a lot of stores but they're usually pretty expensive. This is a much better solution & I love that it's totally customizable too!

    I'm hosting a "Craft With What You've Got" party tomorrow and the featured crafting supply for this week is craft paints. I would love for you to link up your project here.

    Danielle at Framed Frosting

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