Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Atlantic Shipping painted sign

Having made a pillow for Lily the other day I decided to make something for Seth's room.
We've had the most torrential rain here for the last few days so my husband couldn't go outside to cut me some wood - I admit it - I'm scared of power tools!  I am thinking of buying myself a jigsaw though so I may well overcome this phobia.

Anyway someone had ordered a wooden sign from me and I had some lengths of wood cut at the Timber Merchants.

So with one of the spare pieces I thought I would make him a sign for his room.

As much as American's seem to adore anything with a European feel to it (particularly French) we Brits have a passion for anything which seems remotely American.

I played around with words and initially printed off NANTUCKET but it was too short for the piece of wood so I decided on ATLANTIC SHIPPING as it had a nice look and sound to it.

Before I even started on the lettering I mixed some black and red paint to make a browny shade and painted this randomly onto my piece of wood.  I then sanded it back and painted over it in white three times each time sanding lightly in between and sanding a lot on the areas where the brown paint was so that it would show through.

I then scribbled over the back of the paper I had printed off and taped it, right side up, onto the painted wood.

I then traced around the edge of each letter and removed the paper so that an outline of the letters was seen on the wood.


I then 'cheated' by going over this with a Sharpie marker pen (is this cheating?  Do the professionals do this or would they turn their noses up at my amateurishness?!  Is that even a word?!)

Then came the hard part - painting each letter with a tiny brush with black paint.

I've realised that as creative as I like to think I am :) detailed painting definitely does not come naturally to me.  Maybe it's because it was around 11.30pm or that I was listening to Deadliest Catch on the TV and kept getting up to watch bits or that I'm just crap at detailed painting, however I found this really hard to do.

The letters in shipping are slightly thicker and closer together than the ones in Atlantic - I was obviously very tired then and just wanted to get it finished!

My P's are a bit squiff!

But my son loved it when I showed it to him and couldn't believe I was giving it to him and not selling it!

I hasten to add I do give my kids stuff but lately I've been really busy building up stock so it's all gone away in boxes - my kids aren't deprived, honestly!

This was quite an easy project to do and for someone who has a steadier hand than me you could really come up with something pretty cool.

I don't know whether to try and paint the letters in Atlantic a bit thicker so they look more like the Shipping or just to leave it as it is and pretend it was painted by some old signwriter with a drink problem or a gammy eye!

What would you do?



  1. I love it! I love that you used a sharpie for the edges. Great idea!

  2. It looks great and I'd leave it as it is. DOn't try to fix the letters as it might just get trickier. Fab result!

  3. I like it and if it works then it's not cheating. I like the tip anyway. Whether the pros turn their noses up or not!

  4. That is so cool. And I love the Sharpie idea.

  5. Wow, You have done a great job the sign looks amazing. I am thinking about creating an industrial type sign myself so thankyou for the inspiration.
    Donna xx

  6. I think your sign came out great. I wouldn't fix or change anything. I think that what we think are flaws really is what adds charm to the sign and makes it more realistic.

  7. Loooks great...great idea...
    Have a nice day,

  8. Your sign is pretty cool, very realistic, I wouldn't change it. Since American, love French stuff, and that Brits love American stuff, It means that as a french girl I'm suppossed to love anything that's American ? ;) Might be true, because I love your sign :)

  9. I wouldn't change a thing - it looks brilliant! The imperfections actually make it look more authentic - your son is certainly a very lucky young man! x (p.s. I share your fear of power tools - I'm fine up to the point of having to switch the plug on!)

  10. I think it looks great! Lettering is hard, but I think if we were to look at an authentic antique sign, we'd see some imperfections there, too. It just adds to the charm.

  11. oh I just LOVE your BHG story! Do you mind if I share it?!

  12. You did a really great job. Cracks me up that Brits like American stuff and American's like British. So true!

  13. Looks fab, definitely leave it as it is - I'm going to try using this teechnique of yours to make my 'Welcome' sign I've been planning on doing for months now...


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